Financial Daily Dose 6.15.2020 | Top Story: Reopening-Related COVID Surge Pauses Recent Market Rally

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Rising infection rates around the U.S. and the globe are worrying markets, as fear of a second wave of cases linked with the reopening of the economy freaks out traders – WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Coronavirus-related litigation looks to be a hot topic in America for months and years to come, which is why the current debate over business-friendly liability shields is well worth our time. Large institutions, like companies and universities, are lobbying for “temporary legal protections they say will help get the economy running again,” while labor unions and others have concerns that some “businesses are doing too little to protect vulnerable workers, and that such a liability shield would only encourage reckless behavior” – NYTimes

Payment processors like PayPal, Stripe, Square, and Worldpay have hit customers with unexpected delays in accessing funds deposited in their accounts and, in some cases, mandatory escrowing of a percentage of their transactions—obstacles only “intensifying the cash crunch at many firms already devastated by lockdowns and changes in consumer behavior” – WSJ

For those small businesses that are working through such stumbling blocks, the pandemic experience appears to be changing for good the way that many of them will do business, even after the worst of the virus is over – Bloomberg

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has been crying foul (and “setup!”) since his 2018 arrest for alleged financial misconduct. It now appears that there’s “some evidence to support his claim,” thanks to a recently revealed email chain that “paints a picture of a methodical campaign to remove a powerful executive” – Bloomberg

Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan has gone on the record proclaiming that “systemic racism has held the U.S. economy back from reaching its full potential,” affirming comments made by Atlanta Fed chief Raphael Bostic on Friday and marking a relatively rare move by the central bank to address the topic of race – WSJ

Even as the U.S. economy reels in the Covid era, Tech’s biggest players—Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, and Google—are “deliberately laying the groundwork for a future where they will be bigger and more powerful than ever” through acquisitions and expansion of the services that have made them “near-essential” in this time of social distancing – NYTimes

American Express has gained approval to “start bank card clearing services in China, making it the first foreign payments network to be allowed to process local currency transactions” in China’s $27 trillion market – Bloomberg and WSJ

Jinxing it be damned—the Journal’s Greg Ip is bringing the V back to discussions of the U.S.’s economic recovery (though even he admits that we’re too early to know whether the hoped-for bounceback will actually play out) – WSJ

The Upshot’s got a little cold water for any such enthusiasm, reminding us that when it comes to a jobs recovery, we really need to watch the U.S. core unemployment number (rather than headline unemployment). Core unemployment tracks the number of people “tipping into sustained unemployment,” and it’s on the rise – NYTimes [and Bloomberg]

Admit it.  Watching Quibi crater has become something of a guilty pleasure. We won’t judge (and here’s some more fodder for you, today in the form of the bickering between CEO Meg Whitman and founder Jeffrey Katzenberg) – WSJ

Last week’s awfully bad week for executives at Bon Appetite has prompted a wider “reckoning” at Conde Nast, the publishing giant that’s adding complaints about a racist work culture to the economic woes a virus-induced drying-up of ad revenue have delivered – NYTimes

Because (who knew?) there’s quite the market for it, as it turns out, Hertz was thrilled to learn late last week that a bankruptcy judge had approved the company’s proposal to “raise up to $1 billion in new equity from a counterintuitive stock rally, a seemingly unprecedented move for a large bankrupt company eager to capitalize on market anomalies” – WSJ

Fascinating look back from the Times at some pretty prescient coverage of soon-to-be-megastars in their 20s, when they were just getting started – NYTimes

Stay safe,
MDR

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