Financial Daily Dose 4.27.2020 | Top Story: Uncertainty Over How to Reopen Rules Even as Some States Return to Business

group of executives meeting in office

All the talk of when to reopen the economy is largely gotten in the way of a bigger (and thornier, if possible) question: how to do it.  Despite the bold declarations from optimists and wishful thinkers that it’s as easy as a light switch flipped back on, most think that that we’re really talking “months, and possibly years” before we back to anything that looks like a pre-COVID normal – NYTimes and Bloomberg

One approach pushed by trade groups representing some of America’s biggest retailers calls for states “to adopt uniform reopening standards as the pandemic subsides, including allowing warehouse and distribution centers to reopen all at once, rather than state-by-state”—a potential answer to the patchwork of reopenings now underway given the lack of a federally directed plan – Bloomberg

Boeing has cancelled its agreement to buy 80% of Embraer’s commercial jet business after two years of negotiations. Walking away now will help Boeing save $4.2 billion at a time when it desperately needs some extra cash kicking around – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

In other air-related news, the French and Dutch governments have teamed up to deliver “an unprecedented taxpayer-funded bailout of 10 billion euros” to prop up Air France-KLM “as the fallout of the coronavirus on the travel industry exacts a devastating toll on global air carriers” – NYTimes

And the Telegraph’s reporting that billionaire Richard Branson is shopping around his Virgin Atlantic Airways venture “as he struggles to secure a 500 million pound ($618 million) government bailout” – Bloomberg

Big banks’ role in the last financial disaster (and the bailouts that followed) led to needed reforms, but some experts and industry insiders now fear that some of those changes “sapped banks’ tolerance for the kinds of risks that are necessary to bring about a recovery.” Put differently, banks are “safer today,” but these unprecedented times are forcing the Fed to “sidestep[ ] banks that have proven to be imperfect conduits for its rescue efforts” – WSJ

A group of 13 publicly traded companies, many facing media and social media backlash, will return the collective $170 million they raked in under the Paycheck Protection Program—a “portion of last month’s $2 trillion stimulus package intended to help small businesses and limit layoffs through the coronavirus pandemic” – WSJ

Meanwhile, a trio of tribes in South Dakota has sued the Small Business Administration for allegedly violating the terms of the COVID relief bill “when it barred tribal casinos and lenders from applying” to the PPP – Law360

Zuck’s announcement of a coming video chat product to take on Zoom’s surging dominance helped knock Zoom’s shares back to Earth after a week that still saw 5% gains based on a user boom during the lockdown – Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Speaking of big Mark, DC Federal Judge Timothy Kelly has signed off on the “record-breaking $5 billion settlement between the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Facebook, slamming the social media giant’s alleged privacy practices as ‘unscrupulous’ but deeming the settlement fair and appropriate” – Law360

The Journal is reporting that millions of Americans are skipping payments on their credit cards, a trend likely to get worse in coming months that threatens to destabilize banks and other lenders “that for years relied on heavy consumer spending to create big profits” – WSJ

A coming wave of corporate bankruptcies shows that consumers aren’t the only ones struggling – WSJ

Streetwise looks back on last week’s weirdest financial phenomenon—negative oil prices—and suggests that it’s just the latest “illustration of the destruction of demand in the economy” while considering what it can tell us about the coming months – WSJ

Checking in with the GDPR, Europe’s landmark privacy law that—2 years on—hasn’t brought the change its supporters promised thanks to “a lack of enforcement, poor funding, limited staff resources and stalling tactics by the tech companies” – NYTimes

Taiwan’s got an answer to the social-distancing measures that’s left its baseball stands fan-free even as its professional baseball season presses on: cardboard – WSJ

Stay safe,

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