December 1, 2020

Entrepreneurship

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Investors who were around in 2009 might be having déjà vu this year.

That’s because the S&P 500’s run so far in 2020 has eerily tracked the market’s path in 2009, with similar dips and recoveries, strategists have pointed out. Randy Frederick, Charles Schwab’s vice president of trading and derivatives, is one such prognosticator who has long highlighted the roadmap’s accuracy this year—and even he is a little surprised.

“Amazingly, it never really deviated for more than just a few days,” Frederick tells Fortune. “I always expected it eventually to break down but it frankly just never did.”

What’s more, with that pattern having continued “a lot longer than I thought it would,” Frederick says, he believes “it’s pretty late in the game to think it’s going … Read the rest

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A new tech regulator will work to limit the power of Google, Facebook and other tech platforms, the government has announced, in an effort to ensure a level playing field for smaller competitors and a fair market for consumers.

Under the plans, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will gain a dedicated Digital Markets Unit, empowered to write and enforce a new code of practice on technology companies which will set out the limits of acceptable behaviour.

The code will only affect those companies deemed to have “strategic market status”, though it has not yet been decided what that means, nor what restrictions will be imposed.

The business secretary, Alok Sharma, said: “Digital platforms like Google and Facebook make a significant contribution to our economy and play a massive role in our day-to-day lives – whether it’s helping us stay in touch with our loved ones, share creative content or … Read the rest

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Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam says that she has “piles of cash” at home because she is denied basic banking services due to U.S. sanctions.

In a television interview, Lam said the Hong Kong government has to pay her in cash because she does not have a bank account following sanctions imposed by the U.S. on her and other officials for what it called their role in undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy from mainland China, including imposing a national security law on the city at the end of June.

“Sitting in front of you is a chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR (special administrative region) who has no banking services made available to her,” Lam told Hong Kong International Business Channel. “I’m using cash every day, for all the things. I have piles of cash at home because the government is paying me cash for my salary because I … Read the rest

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Sir Philip Green’s retail empire is facing collapse within days, putting 15,000 jobs at risk and bringing the curtain down on the high street career of one of Britain’s most controversial businessmen.

It is understood that Arcadia Group – which owns TopShop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins – is preparing to appoint administrators from Deloitte as soon as next week.

One retail industry figure said Arcadia’s collapse had become inevitable after talks with a number of lenders about an emergency £30m loan ended without success.

The appointment of administrators could happen as early as Monday, although one person close to the situation said the plan had yet to be finalised and that it could yet be delayed.

If the insolvency is confirmed, it is expected to trigger a scramble among creditors to get their hands on the company’s assets.

It would involve Arcadia’s online operations and the stores which are … Read the rest

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Congress is bracing for President-elect Joe Biden to move beyond the Trump administration’s state-by-state approach to the COVID-19 crisis and build out a national strategy to fight the pandemic and distribute the eventual vaccine.

The incoming administration’s approach reflects Democrats’ belief that a more comprehensive plan, some of it outlined in the House’s $2 trillion coronavirus aid bill, is needed to get the pandemic under control. Republicans have resisted big spending but agree additional funding is needed. With the nation on edge but a vaccine in sight, the complicated logistics of vaccinating hundreds of millions of Americans raise the stakes on the major undertaking.

“We have an incredible challenge on our hands,” said Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state, which is approaching the anniversary of its first reported case of the virus last January.

A vaccine can only go so far, Murray warned, without a distribution plan. “A vaccine can … Read the rest

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Spanish lender Banco Sabadell has said it will consider options for its UK bank TSB after it called off a planned merger with rival BBVA.

Sabadell and BBVA said they were in merger talks less than two weeks ago, but they failed to agree a price.

Sabadell said it would now seek “strategic alternatives for creating value with regard to the group’s international assets, including TSB”.

It did not specify if that would mean selling TSB, which it bought in 2015.

Separately, TSB said it had “good momentum” in its business growth as well as progress in “taking full control of our IT, delivering a right-sized modern branch network and reducing overall operating costs”.

In January, it signed a deal with US computing giant IBM to run its online banking, bank systems and cash machines, in an attempt to put a stop to the IT failures that have plagued the … Read the rest

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The major retailers wanted sparse crowds on Black Friday in this COVID-19 era. They certainly got them.

On Friday morning, only a few dozen people were lined up outside the Macy’s flagship in Manhattan before it opened, compared to 15,000 or so in recent years. A nearby Aéropostale and Victoria’s Secret were devoid of any customers at all at 7 a.m. And at the sprawling Newport Centre in Jersey City, N.J., across the Hudson River, it was a ghost town: not a single customer inside its Sears store, and only a smattering of shoppers at its J.C. Penney or Kohl’s.

Even at the nearby Target, Best Buy and Home Depot, which were busy in comparison, the crowds were modest compared to previous years. Best Buy, … Read the rest

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Everyone agrees we need economic growth, but we cannot agree on how it can be achieved. There are two fundamental approaches the government can take.

The first is through more public spending, which would put the country into even more debt. In the short term, while interest rates are low, the problems of this are not so severe, but the long term impacts are a different story.

The other option is to stimulate the private sector with lower taxes and eliminate red tape.  However, deregulation takes time to implement whereas the positive effects of reducing business taxes are immediate. The best and most immediate action the government could take to put a proverbial rocket up our economy is to scrap corporation tax in its entirety.

Lance Forman, Vice Chairman of the Independent Business Network (IBN) sets out 10 reasons why the Government should scrap corporation tax:

Employment

If a company … Read the rest

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Though he may never publicly admit it, Donald Trump effectively conceded the 2020 presidential election on Monday, when his federal government’s General Services Administration finally signed off on the transition to President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming regime.

With a constitutional crisis, for now, averted, there is much speculation on what the future will hold for Trump. Whatever follows his remarkable, unprecedented four-year term in the White House, it’s hard to envisage him settling into a quiet post-presidency—perhaps one spent designing his presidential library and keeping quiet on his successor’s job performance.

What’s clear is that he leaves Washington much as he arrived: a divisive, polarizing figure who, despite losing a national election by millions of votes, retains a fiercely devoted following among segments of the American electorate. A new Read the rest

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More than 95,000 newly incorporated business could join the quarter of a million firms that failed to meet recent Companies House accounts deadlines this year, following a record boom in new business registrations.

According to official government figures there were 397,135 new incorporations in Q2 and Q3 2020 combined, with HMRC reporting that one in four businesses required to file a month-to-date VAT return failed to do so on time, as well as more than a quarter of a million companies missing the September accounts deadline.

The proportion of business that fail to meet the important filing deadlines may also increase due to the added pressures of Covid, despite deadline extensions, as business owners and directors deal with the pressures of running a business during the pandemic.

Simon Wallwork, Partner & Head of Corporate and Commercial at Slater Heelis, said: “The pandemic and resulting rise in redundancies have accelerated … Read the rest

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