|Bid||20.01 x 800|
|Ask||35.98 x 900|
|Day's Range||22.57 - 23.77|
|52 Week Range||13.12 - 46.90|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.82|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Aug 06, 2020 - Aug 10, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.96 (4.07%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Jun 12, 2020|
|1y Target Est||16.30|
(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said he expects companies to begin receiving money through the central bank’s long-awaited Main Street Lending Program within two weeks.“This is a program that’s just starting up so we’re expecting to have the loan documents up this week,” Rosengren said Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “We then have to register the banks, and then we’re going to be ready to start issuing the loans.”“Money will go out over the next two weeks,” he said.Lending FacilitiesThe Boston Fed is administering the Main Street program, part of the emergency lending effort announced by the U.S. central bank to keep credit flowing in the economy during the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s designed to provide up to $600 billion in credit to small and medium-sized U.S. companies.Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Rosengren had said in recent days they expected it to become operational by the end of May. The Fed first announced its intention to create the program on March 23 and has been under increasing scrutiny over its slow launch.“We’ve been working on it very hard over the last several months,” Rosengren said. “I expect it will be a relatively smooth opening.”Main Street is one of nine Fed emergency lending programs opened or under construction that are aimed at mitigating the economic impact of the virus.Asked about the pandemic’s impact on the labor market, Rosengren said he doesn’t expect a rapid rebound in employment this year.“Unfortunately, I think it’s likely to be double digit unemployment through the end of this year,” he said. “Getting back to the low level of unemployment we saw at the end of February probably takes either a vaccine or other innovations that make it much less risky to go out.”Rosengren also repeated his view that more government support for the economy will be necessary.“We need to continue fiscal and monetary policy because double-digit unemployment risks actually a much more severe outcome in labor markets over time,” he said.(Updates with additional comments from eighth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Pop culture star David Dobrik dives down to Bikini Bottom to host The Stars of SpongeBob Fan Favorites Special, a virtual table read uniting the voices behind the popular characters, premiering Friday, June 5, at 7:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon. The Stars of SpongeBob Fan Favorites Special sees voice actors Tom Kenny (SpongeBob), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs) and Mr. Lawrence (Plankton) come together in a virtually produced special to bring to life classic SpongeBob SquarePants scenes.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- After a prolonged shutdown, Ford Motor Co. officially resumed production at its North American factories this week. It hasn’t been as smooth a process as the company might have hoped: Ford had to temporarily close two critical facilities this week to allow for a deep cleaning after workers tested positive for the coronavirus. An Explorer SUV plant in Chicago was closed a second time after an employee at a nearby supplier facility tested positive for the virus, causing a parts shortage.This is the reality of manufacturing for the time being as companies fret about worker safety and the legal and reputational risks of not doing enough to protect employees. Unlike Ford, whose products fall into a category of consumer spending that’s become even more discretionary amid the pandemic, wide swaths of the industrial sector were deemed essential and allowed to remain operational. Those companies, too, have had their share of growing pains as they adjust to a new way of working.Boeing Co. temporarily closed its factories in the Puget Sound area in March after a worker died of the coronavirus and later briefly shuttered work at its 787 plant in South Carolina. CBS Minnesota reported earlier this month that a Honeywell International Inc. facility in Minneapolis had closed after a worker tested positive. Whirlpool Corp. closed its Amana, Iowa, refrigerator plant at least twice after employees tested positive for the virus, according to the Gazette local paper. Deere & Co. and Altria Group Inc.’s Philip Morris USA are among the many others that have had to close plants on a limited basis to avoid outbreaks among workers. Lockheed Martin Corp., meanwhile, said this week it will temporarily slow production of the F-35 fighter jet because of delays at suppliers. It’s a lot harder, though, to bring factories back to life than it is to just figure it out as you go along. Ford may be a manufacturer, but because it’s one of the few to have experienced an extended lockdown, it’s arguably a better benchmark for the non-industrial economy. You better believe that office-based companies that have sent most of their workers home are keeping a close eye on how the likes of Ford fare in flipping the switch back on. Seeing the automaker’s setbacks this week, companies that can operate without their employees clustered in the same place may be less keen to rush back. They’re getting a more continuous stream of work out of their employees now than they would if they had to hit the pause button and clear out the office every few weeks. And the mixed messages from the White House aren't helpful: President Donald Trump is due to visit a Ford factory in Michigan that’s been converted to ventilator production and has been wishy-washy on whether he will adhere to the company’s face-mask requirements. Already, American Express Co. CEO Steve Squeri and Visa Inc. CEO Al Kelly said this week that most of their employees would work from home for the rest of the year. Some 28% of employers recently surveyed by Challenger, Gray & Christmas said they would make work-from-home arrangements permanent for at least some employees. Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase and social media site Twitter Inc. are among those who have publicly said remote working will be their indefinite default option. Facebook Inc. said Thursday it would follow suit and move to a more permanent remote workforce.At the end of the day, manufacturing or non-manufacturing, it's all interconnected. How permanent this shift to work from home will be is debatable, but if companies end up needing less office space, by default that means fewer HVAC systems, commercial lighting, fire and security products or even 3M Co.’s Post-it notes. And if workers aren’t going to be commuting, do they still need to buy cars from Ford? There's a lot riding on getting reopening right. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. can afford plenty of additional government support for the economy even after authorizing almost $3 trillion in fiscal relief measures to counter the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams said.“From my perspective, we can afford significantly more government support for the economy,” Williams said Thursday during a virtual discussion in New York. “Depending on how the economy continues and recovers, we’ll have to see whether more fiscal and monetary support is needed, and exactly how it should be designed to help get the economy on a strong, sustained path.”The pandemic has taken a heavy toll on U.S. economic activity and the job market. Some 2.4 million more Americans filed for unemployment insurance benefits in the week ended May 16, bringing the total to 38.6 million since mid-March when stay-at-home orders went into effect, according to Labor Department data published earlier Thursday.Lawmakers have passed nearly $3 trillion of measures to cushion the blow and are now debating another round of aid. The central bank has slashed interest rates to nearly zero, flooded financial markets with liquidity and rolled out several emergency lending programs. Democrats and Republicans in Washington are debating the scale and timing of further fiscal aid.Williams voiced confidence that the U.S. economy would fully recovery, though it may take a while to get back to where it had been before the virus struck.Expected Rebound“I expect in the second half of the year to see a rebound in the economy,” he said. “I think consumers are likely to be hesitant to get back to the normal flow of life.”The New York Fed chief cautioned that it’s too early to know the way forward for the economy because it still depends on the path of the virus, though he added that relaxation of social distancing measures would provide a clearer view of the impact the pandemic has had.“As social distancing measures are relaxed, we will get a better understanding of how different industries are affected. We know that travel, hospitality, and retail have all been hard hit,” Williams said. “What we don’t know is what the shape or timescale of the recovery will be. It’s going to be some time before we have a clearer view of the effects on other industries.”Negative, NotHe also played down the benefits of the Fed following other central banks by adopting a negative interest-rate strategy in the U.S., which some investors have bet on in recent weeks.“My view is we have the tools without going to negative interest rates,” he said. “Negative interest rates is not the right tool to be used right now, right for the situation that we’re in.”That remark chimed with similar comments by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who told CBS’s show ‘60 Minutes’ in an interview that aired on Sunday that he and his colleagues “continue to think” that negative rates are not appropriate in the U.S., noting the evidence on their success was mixed and they could do more harm than good.(Recasts top with remarks on fiscal policy)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
BET announces today plans to move forward with The "BET Awards" 2020, which will celebrate the brightest stars across music, television, film, sports, and philanthropy on Sunday, June 28, 2020, at 8 pm ET. Using an array of innovative techniques and artist-generated content, the show will continue, allowing the audience to join in a celebration of black love, joy, pride, and power with an all-star lineup taking to TV’s biggest stage. 2020 marks both the 20th anniversary of the awards and BET’s 40th anniversary. This year’s show will continue the rich history of providing fans with those special, not to be missed moments. The official "BET Awards" 2020 nominations to be announced on a later date.
Armando Nuñez Transitions to Advisory Role at ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group; Dan Cohen to Lead the Division Beginning in June
The CEO of ViacomCBS says that streaming TV is booming during the coronavirus and that the fall television season is still on schedule.
(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell sought to maintain neutrality in the debate over whether Congress should build on record stimulus, to further cushion an economy facing increasingly dire pressure from the coronavirus pandemic.Powell, who testified along with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin at a virtual hearing of the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, reiterated his stance that more fiscal aid may be needed -- potentially giving Democrats some ammunition for an additional $3 trillion stimulus bill that Republicans and President Donald Trump have already rejected.But Powell stopped short of a full-throated endorsement, a pleasing stance to Republicans such as Senator Pat Toomey who are urging a go-slower approach.“I make my comments on fiscal policy on a general level and I’m reluctant to talk about timing and specific provisions,” Powell said under questioning from Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat.Powell’s reluctance to argue forcefully for more aid suggests a stalemate between Republicans and Democrats over the scale and timing of additional fiscal stimulus will continue. The prospect of any quick rebound in employment is becoming increasingly dim with tens of millions jobless and no strong treatment or vaccine immediately available to support Americans’ confidence in returning to work, school and shopping.The comments by Powell compare with remarks at the end of last month, when he dismissed concerns about ballooning federal debt, saying that “this is the time to use the great fiscal power of the U.S.”Powell and Mnuchin were both pressed on the amount of funding that has been released through the programs already in operation.“It’s all ahead of us. The amount that has gone out so far, in the context of the U.S. economy, is fairly modest,” Powell said.Mnuchin was grilled by Democrats on the committee on how his deployment of pandemic rescue aid has done enough to help workers and small- and medium-sized businesses as opposed to big corporations. Senators from both parties asked the Treasury chief about how he intends to mobilize the $500 billion in support that Congress authorized.Mnuchin defended the administration’s work to help the economy, pointing to relief in market liquidity and the delivery of hundreds of billions of dollars in disaster relief and forgivable loans to mom and pop companies.State and LocalOne focus of interest among lawmakers during the hearing was about the strain on state and local governments and potential for additional support. “We are continuing to look at ways to accommodate further borrowing,” Powell said.Powell also said the central bank is ready to use all the weapons in its arsenal to help the U.S. economy endure the coronavirus pandemic, as attention shifts to whether Republicans and Democrats will agree to more fiscal aid.“We are committed to using our full range of tools to support the economy in this challenging time even as we recognize that these actions are only a part of a broader public-sector response,” Powell said.Powell and Mnuchin appeared before lawmakers for a hearing on the first quarterly CARES Act report to Congress.Working with the Treasury, the central bank has launched unprecedented support for markets and the economy since mid-March. It slashed interest rates to near zero and unveiled nine emergency lending programs, supporting everything from corporate to municipal credit markets as it tried to stabilize access to financing.The Fed is still trying to launch four of the nine facilities, including one aimed at Main Street that will buy bank loans extended to mid-size businesses. The facility is one of the riskiest and most challenging programs the Fed has undertaken given the diversity of businesses that are likely to borrow.“We expect all of them to be stood up and ready to go by the end of this month,” Powell said of the remaining programs during questioning at the hearing. “People are working literally around the clock and have been for weeks.”The House backed an additional $3 trillion Democratic economic stimulus bill Friday. The measure would give cash-strapped states and local governments more than $1 trillion while providing most Americans with a new round of $1,200 checks. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said it should be the basis of talks with the GOP-controlled Senate and White House, which have argued for a pause to allow earlier virus-recovery spending to work.Calls for more stimulus from Democrats contrast sharply with the view of GOP lawmakers and Trump that the best way to revive the economy is to end state lockdowns aimed at containing the pandemic. During Tuesday’s hearing, Mnuchin warned of significant harm to the economy if shutdowns are prolonged.“There is the risk of permanent damage,” Mnuchin told lawmakers. “And as I’ve said before, we’re conscious of the health issues and we want to do this in a balanced and safe way.”For all the support, just about every indicator of the U.S. economy shows history-making declines as economic activity slammed into a sudden stop as households sheltered in place. Employers cut 20.5 million jobs last month, tripling the unemployment rate to 14.7%, the highest since the Great Depression.Powell said the scope and speed of the downturn “are without modern precedent and are significantly worse than any recession since World War II.”(Updates with comments from Treasury Secretary.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
ViacomCBS Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend
CBS today unveiled its new 2020-2021 primetime programming lineup featuring one new comedy, two new dramas and 23 returning series. Additional new series will be announced at a later date. For 2019-2020, the Network finished 1 for the 12th straight season, winning 17 of the past 18 seasons.
CBS will finish the 2019-2020 season as "America’s Most-Watched Network" for the 12th straight season with a lead of over +1 million viewers. This will be the Network’s 17th win in the last 18 years. So far, CBS has won an incredible 18 out of 33 weeks this year, including the last 13 in a row, to take the crown yet again. The feat is even more impressive when considering that the Network did not have the Super Bowl this year. CBS is also 1 in late night and daytime, sweeping all three key dayparts for the fourth consecutive year.
Nickelodeon, TIME and TIME for Kids today announced that submissions have opened for the first-ever Kid of the Year honor, a multiplatform initiative recognizing extraordinary young leaders who are making a positive impact in their communities. Now through Aug. 1, parents, teachers, friends and more, can nominate a kid (aged 8-16) who is doing incredible and inspiring things to make the world a better place. Five honorees will be featured in a TV special—hosted by Trevor Noah (The Daily Show with Trevor Noah) and simulcast on Nick and the CBS Television Network in December--with one kid ultimately being recognized as TIME Kid of the Year and featured on a cover of TIME with a companion story in TIME For Kids.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. economy will recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but the process could stretch through until the end of next year and depend on the delivery of a vaccine, said Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.“Assuming there’s not a second wave of the coronavirus, I think you’ll see the economy recover steadily through the second half of this year,” the U.S. central bank chief said in a television interview conducted Wednesday, parts of which were aired on CBS’s “Face the Nation” and “60 Minutes” shows on Sunday.“For the economy to fully recover people will have to be fully confident, and that may have to await the arrival of a vaccine,” said Powell, seated in the Fed’s stately boardroom at the long table used to deliberate monetary policy. His interviewer was seated at a socially safe distance at the end of the table.More than 36 million Americans have lost their jobs since February as the economy shuttered to limit virus spread. Countless companies, especially small businesses, are hurtling toward bankruptcy, while states and cities are confronting gaping budget shortfalls that could provoke a massive second wave of layoffs from the public sector.To limit the harm, Powell and his colleagues have slashed interest rates to zero, flooded financial markets with trillions of dollars in liquidity, and unveiled nine emergency lending facilities to keep credit flowing in the economy.Negative RatesSome investors have bet the Fed may be pushed to follow other central banks in adopting negative interest rates, which President Donald Trump has repeatedly called for in the U.S.Fed officials including Powell have consistently batted this idea away, and he did so again on Sunday.“I continue to think, and my colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee continue to think, that negative interest rates is probably not an appropriate or useful policy for us here in the United States,” he said, according to a transcript of the full interview. “There’s no clear finding that it actually does support economic activity on net. And it introduces distortions into the financial system, which I think offset that.”‘Take a While’The Fed chief said people should never “bet” against the American economy and firmly played down suggestions that if faced a second Great Depression. But he took care not to promise a swift, so-called V-shaped rebound.“This economy will recover. It may take a while,” he said. “It could stretch through the end of next year. We really don’t know.”Powell also stressed that the central bank hadn’t exhausted its options for aiding the economy.“There’s a lot more we can do. We’ve done what we can as we go. But I will say that we’re not out of ammunition by a long shot,” he said. Powell noted the Fed can increase its emergency lending programs and make monetary policy more supportive through forward guidance and by adjusting the Fed’s asset-purchase strategy.That could be a veiled reference to yield curve control, where the Fed undertakes to hold yields out to a certain maturity at a certain level, as the Bank of Japan already does. Some analysts expect the Fed to move in that direction later this year.Fiscal PolicyPowell’s remarks follow his grave warning Wednesday that the U.S. economy faces lasting harm from the pandemic if the government doesn’t step up. The comments add support to calls for more congressional spending as Democrats push for a fresh $3 trillion in virus aid on top of a record $2.2 trillion package agreed in March. On Friday, the House passed the measure, though it has no future in the Republican-led Senate.Powell can expect questions on the scale and timing of additional fiscal relief when he appears before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday.Pressed on the question during the CBS interview, Powell said providing more congressional support to state and local governments was “something that deserves a careful look,” and also cited the need for policies to limit business insolvencies and keep workers in their jobs and homes.He also declined to be drawn into the debate on when the U.S. economy should reopen, beyond saying it should happen carefully to minimize the risk of sparking more infections.But he opened up when it came to the next time he’d feel safe sitting in a crowd to watch his hometown’s Stanley Cup-winning hockey team, the Washington Capitals.“Certainly no sooner than next season,” he said. “Public sporting events, public concerts and things like that -- those will be among the last things that can be resumed.” The National Hockey League’s 2020-2021 season is scheduled to start in October, 2020.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pushing ahead with a vote Friday on a $3 trillion Democratic-only virus relief bill despite the misgivings of some liberals and moderates in her party and the fact it has no chance of ever getting signed into law.Lawmakers began consideration of the stimulus package and a measure to allow proxy voting under restrictions that have now become common place during the coronavirus pandemic: face covers and limits on the number of members on the floor at any one time.The circumstances didn’t diminish the partisan rancor surrounding the House bill.Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts lashed out at Republicans for describing the legislation as a Democratic “messaging exercise.”“I don’t give a damn about sending a message, Madame Speaker,” McGovern. “I want to send help to those in desperate need.”Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Rules panel, replied that the bill “is nothing more than a Democratic policy agenda masquerading as a response to the coronavirus crisis.”Pelosi is counting on key parts of the legislation -- aid to states, more payments to individuals and extending unemployment insurance -- to generate enough public support that the White House and the GOP will be forced into negotiations on another round of stimulus for a hobbled U.S. economy.“I am optimistic that the American people will weigh in and make their views known,” the speaker said on Thursday, deflecting questions about pressing ahead with a partisan vote without any active negotiations with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or President Donald Trump’s administration.But Trump, who has said he’s in no rush for another stimulus package, said Friday he has the upper hand.“We have all the cards because we have the cards of the American people. I know what they want,” he said at the White House. “Phase four is going to happen but it’s going to happen in a much better way for the American people.”McConnell said he’s spoken with Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin about the next phase of stimulus but they’ve set no date for getting it done. He dismissed the House Democratic legislation, known as the Heroes Act, as “a $3 trillion left-wing wish list.”The White House said Trump would veto it if it ever got to his desk.The toll of the coronavirus pandemic continues to mount even as some states begin rolling back lockdown orders, allowing businesses to slowly reopen. More than 1.4 million people have been infected and more than 85,000 have died. And since businesses began shutting down in mid-March 36.5 million people have applied for unemployment insurance.Adding to pressure on lawmakers and the White House is the prospect of an autumn election campaign with the economic hardship continuing.In a speech on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the U.S. economy faces unprecedented risk if additional fiscal support doesn’t come through. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said direct cash payments are needed.“Putting money directly in the hands of laid-off Americans is, I think, the most direct way to get assistance, and then they will spend the money where they need it,” Kashkari said Thursday during a virtual event with CBS.But McConnell and other Republicans defend their reluctance to swiftly pass another round of pandemic relief by saying that Powell hasn’t explicitly said how quickly lawmakers should act.Pelosi is positioning the Democrats to lay down the first marker in the negotiations, even if her party isn’t in complete agreement. On one side is the moderate wing expressing skepticism about acting on a partisan bill with no chance of being enacted. On the other are progressives who complain the bill isn’t generous enough. Still, Democratic leaders expressed confidence they have the votes to pass it.Some of the Democrats who were elected in 2018 from swing districts have shied away from some of the bill’s provisions that were designed to appeal to the progressive wing and don’t directly apply to the dislocation caused by the pandemic. They also have urged their leaders to engage with Republicans.Republicans are targeting some of those Democrats for defeat in November by painting them as supporters of a “socialist wish list.”One of the most vulnerable Democrats, Oklahoma’s Kendra Horn, announced Thursday that she would be voting against the measure.“Messaging bills without bipartisan support are a disservice to the American people, especially during a time of crisis. This is not the time for partisan gamesmanship, this is the time to find common ground and deliver help where it is needed most,” she said in a press release.Virginia’s Abigail Spanberger followed suit, saying members of her party “have decided to use this package as an opportunity to make political statements and propose a bill that goes far beyond pandemic relief and has no chance at becoming law.”South Carolina’s Joe Cunningham, Utah’s Ben McAdams and Iowa’s Cindy Axne, all first-term Democrats, also announced they would vote against the measure, saying both parties should negotiate.An aide associated with the moderate wing of the party estimated that five to seven swing-district Democrats would vote against the bill, mostly because of the provisions that allow stimulus checks to go to undocumented immigrants. Others are angry about the rush to draw up the legislation, skipping over committees.The Congressional Progressive Caucus, meanwhile, had pushed Pelosi to delay the vote. Some big-ticket items the group wanted didn’t make it into the legislation.‘Falls Short’One proposal would have made regular stimulus payments until the recession ends, rather than just one more round as included in the Heroes Act. Another proposal by CPC leader Pramila Jayapal of Washington state would have paid employers to rehire furloughed workers and covered 100% of their salaries directly up to $100,000 per year. Pelosi said that those provisions were too costly.Jayapal said Friday she would vote against the bill because it didn’t include the paycheck guarantee. The legislation “ultimately fails to match the scale of this crisis,” she said in a statement.The speaker will be able to claim a small measure of bipartisanship. Republican Representative Peter King of New York said he plans to vote for the bill, in part because it would repeal limits on state and local tax deductions, which have hit residents of his state.King, who represents a district on Long Island, isn’t running for re-election this fall.(Updates with Trump remarks in ninth paragraph, Jayapal to vote no in 28th)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Soaring demand for streaming, including CBS All Access and its free sibling, Pluto TV, could help a prosperous but unloved broadcaster win more fans on Wall Street.
(Bloomberg) -- Republicans are defending their reluctance to swiftly pass another round of pandemic relief by saying that Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who backs further action to prop up the ailing U.S. economy, hasn’t specified that more is needed immediately.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has sought to tap the brakes on federal stimulus spending, said Thursday that Powell hasn’t explicitly said how quickly lawmakers should act. McConnell spoke a day after the central bank chief warned that the U.S. economy faces unprecedented risk if additional fiscal support doesn’t come through.“The Chairman of the Fed is correct and we do anticipate having to act again at some point,” McConnell said in an interview on Fox News. “I do think though in terms of timing, the Chairman of the Fed didn’t say how quickly, and we need to verify how we have done so far and make sure whatever mistakes we have made we don’t want to repeat.”Both Democrats and Republicans have tried to use the Fed to win legitimacy for their initiatives, and McConnell’s comments are the latest effort by Republicans to win support for a pause in coronavirus aid. Powell has avoided speaking about the timing of any legislation, and his consistent message in recent weeks is that lawmakers should be prepared to do more.House Democrats plan to pass a $3 trillion stimulus package on Friday, citing further deterioration of the U.S. economy as the coronavirus outbreak grinds on. But Republicans including McConnell have declared the bill an assemblage of liberal wish-list items that won’t be considered in the Senate.Republicans are trying to put the brakes on passing another virus relief package and President Donald Trump has said he’s in “no rush” to pump more aid into the economy. But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has repeatedly cited Powell’s statements as she has promoted Democrats’ plan for new aid.During a call with House Republicans last week as Democrats were crafting their latest proposal, Powell reinforced the need for stimulus but did not indicate that Congress should act immediately, according to two people familiar with his remarks. GOP lawmakers took that to mean they have some leeway on the timing of the plan, the people said, on condition of anonymity to discuss closed-door conversations.Powell has gone further in private conversations with administration officials, saying that he’s not opposed to waiting to see how the economy responds to the spending bills enacted in March and April, according to three other people familiar with those discussions.A Fed spokesperson said that Powell has not spoken specifically about the timing of any legislation, and pointed to the central bank chief’s previous public comments. A White House spokesperson declined to comment.In his public remarks since the economic shutdown starting in mid-March, Powell has consistently called on lawmakers to consider that Fed programs are about lending, not spending, and that the central bank’s temporary bridge loans to businesses may not be enough.His remarks Wednesday at the Peterson Institute for International Economics raised the notion that the government may have to consider further stimulus.“The passage of time can turn liquidity problems into solvency problems,” Powell said. “Additional fiscal support could be costly, but worth it if it helps avoid long-term economic damage and leaves us with a stronger recovery. This trade-off is one for our elected representatives, who wield powers of taxation and spending.”Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari added his support for more action by Congress.“If this is a slow recovery, the way I think it is -- I think we’re in this for months, a year, 18 months -- there are going to be a lot of families that are going to need direct financial assistance,” Kashkari said Thursday during a virtual event with CBS.Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said policy makers need more time to measure the impact of trillions of dollars already poured into the economy before proceeding with additional stimulus.“Our view is let’s take a step back for a few weeks and let’s see how the $3 trillion is working,” Mnuchin said Thursday on Fox Business Network. “We’re just beginning to see the impact on that.”While Democrats say that their new aid bill is needed immediately to prevent a second Great Depression, Republicans say more data is needed before passing any more aid. Many Republicans are holding out hope that states will successfully be able to reopen in the coming weeks and obviate the need to add more to this year’s record breaking budget deficit.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Today, BET announced second season pick-ups of original dramas "Tyler Perry’s The Oval" and "Tyler Perry’s Sistas" from Tyler Perry. The two series hold top spots as the 1 and 2 as new scripted cable series, respectively, for general market P18-49 & P2+*. Production of the original drama is slated to start at Tyler Perry Studios on July 8, with premiere dates for both series forthcoming.
ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) today announced that it has agreed to sell $1.0 billion in aggregate principal amount of 4.200% senior notes due 2032 at a price equal to 97.395% of the principal amount thereof (the "2032 Senior Notes") and $1.0 billion in aggregate principal amount of 4.950% senior notes due 2050 at a price equal to 94.987% of the principal amount thereof (the "2050 Senior Notes" and, together with the 2032 Senior Notes, the "Senior Notes"). The sale of the Senior Notes is expected to close on May 19, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.
Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy, who presided over her company with steady force and a passion for books during a time of frequent and traumatic change, died Tuesday morning at age 71.
ViacomCBS Inc. ("ViacomCBS", "we" or "our") (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) today announced that it is increasing the combined aggregate purchase price (the "Maximum Tender Amount") of its previously announced cash tender offers (collectively, the "Offers") to up to $2.0 billion (excluding accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the applicable settlement date and excluding fees and expenses related to the Offers), from the previously announced Maximum Tender Amount of $1.0 billion. The Offers are for the following debt securities originally issued by CBS Corporation or one of its predecessors, CBS Broadcasting Inc. or one of its predecessors or Viacom Inc., and are the same series as the ones previously announced: 3.875% Senior Notes due 2021, 2.500% Senior Notes due 2023, 2.900% Senior Notes due 2023, 3.250% Senior Notes due 2023, 4.250% Senior Notes due 2023, 7.125% Senior Notes due 2023, 7.875% Debentures due 2023, 5.875% Junior Subordinated Debentures due 2057 (the "2057 Debentures"), 3.375% Senior Notes due 2022, 3.125% Senior Notes due 2022 and 2.250% Senior Notes due 2022 (collectively, the "Securities"). The Offers are subject to the proration procedures described in the Offer to Purchase dated May 12, 2020 (the "Offer to Purchase") and order of priority (the "Acceptance Priority Levels" as set forth in the table below under "Acceptance Priority Level"), and are made to each registered holder of Securities (individually, a "Holder," and collectively, the "Holders").
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s global logistics chief Dave Clark, in an interview on CBS’s 60 Minutes, said the spread of Covid-19 in the e-commerce giant’s warehouses is no worse than what’s happening in America at large. But when pressed, he declined to provide a total number of cases, making it impossible to independently confirm the company’s assertion.Clark said the Amazon knows how many cases have afflicted its warehouses but declined to share the total because, he said, “it’s not a particularly useful number.” His comments echo what company spokespeople have been saying for several weeks, prompting workers and officials to press executives to be more forthcoming about illness in their ranks. The latest demand came Tuesday from attorneys general in 12 states and Washington, D.C., who called on Amazon to reveal a state-by-state breakdown of the number of Amazon and Whole Foods workers “who have been infected with and died from Covid-19.”Public health officials can take swift action when they believe a business is putting workers at risk of exposure. In March, the Kentucky governor temporarily closed an Amazon warehouse that processes returns due to concerns about the spread of Covid-19, and local authorities in Colorado briefly closed a Walmart store near Denver that was linked to the deaths of three people. The coronavirus has ripped through the meat-packing industry, infecting 1% of its workforce and causing at least 20 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Large retailers like Walmart haven’t publicly disclosed coronavirus case totals either, prompting Senator Cory Booker to send the company a letter demanding information about the number of cases, among other things. Fear is widespread among Amazon workers. In recent weeks, some of the company’s U.S. warehouses have suffered a high rate of absenteeism despite the measures Amazon has taken to make the facilities safer, according to workers interviewed by Bloomberg. Employees have protested and called for the company to be more transparent about not just the number of cases but the deaths of their colleagues, at least six of whom have succumbed. Clark, the public face of the company’s response, has dismissed the protests as the work of a few employees who don’t represent the majority. Representative Josh Harder, a Modesto, California, Democrat, recently complained to Bezos about Amazon’s lack of transparency. He cited a report that a warehouse worker whose children have compromised immune systems only found out about a positive Covid-19 case at her workplace after asking human resources. In a letter to the Amazon CEO, Harder wrote: “Employees need this information to make vitally important decisions impacting themselves and their families.”Amazon had an opportunity to communicate more fully when it reported earnings last month. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos extolled his company’s efforts to protect workers, such as purchasing 100 million masks and 31,000 thermometers. He didn’t mention the number of cases. Amazon’s top spokesman Jay Carney dodged the question during an interview on CNN, saying he didn’t have the figure handy. Clark’s 60 Minutes interview went the furthest in explaining why Amazon is unwilling to share the number: because case counts aren’t useful when not compared to the size of the workforce in each Amazon building, or the prevailing infection rate in the surrounding community.“Our rates of infection are at or below the communities we’re operating in at almost all of our facilities,” Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Levandowski said in a statement. “Anytime there is a confirmed diagnosis we alert every person at the site. This alert to employees is a direct text message noting when the person with the confirmed diagnosis was last in the building—even if it’s been a month or more.”Still, trust in management, a common sore spot for the company's warehouse workers, has taken a beating in recent weeks. Employees say information about positive cases is sent by text and voicemail to workers in each facility. News about deaths has been shared verbally, with warehouse managers informing small groups. In Amazon's massive warehouses, some of which employ thousands of workers spread across multiple shifts and weekly schedules, the result has been significant delays in workers being told someone they previously worked with has died.As an outbreak at a warehouse in Hazle Township, Pennsylvania, worsened, managers initially told employees how many of their colleagues had contracted Covid-19. In recent weeks, though, managers have stripped out the number and issued a drumbeat of automated text messages informing workers of “additional confirmed cases.” Says one employee: “As serious as this situation is, they’re still lying to us. We need protection, of course, and communication. Truthful communication. It’s not a hard thing to do.”Deaths of the six Amazon workers have leaked out in various media reports. They include one each in Staten Island, Waukegan, Illinois, Hawthorne and Tracy, California, as well as two employees at Amazon-owned Whole Foods Market. A company spokeswoman says the company chose to verbally notify workers about the deaths given the sensitive nature of the subject. The Staten Island warehouse worker, for instance, was last at the warehouse April 5, tested positive for Covid-19 on April 11 and went into quarantine. Amazon later learned of his passing from family members and began sharing the information verbally with small groups of colleagues.Rob Duston, a partner with Saul, Ewing, Arnstein & Lehr, who has represented companies in labor disputes, says employers are in a difficult spot. For one thing, federal health authorities and workplace regulators have given companies little guidance on what to tell employees about coronavirus cases in their ranks. Privacy laws prevent companies from disclosing personal health information in such a way that a specific employee could be identified without that person’s consent, he says. While companies have wide latitude to tell workers about coronavirus cases so long as they don’t share personal information, informing them that an unnamed colleague is sick or has died often does little to assuage their concerns because they still don't know if they’ve been exposed.“The constant media attention is resulting in a huge number of employees refusing to work,” Duston says. As an employer, “I could be doing everything that the CDC and local health authorities ask, but I may want to limit the publicity. One of my concerns is why is there publicity of every single infection, or death, of a worker? Is that going to further add to that fear?”Amazon has taken many steps to make workers safer and has been paying them an extra $2 an hour. Still, its communication strategy risks workers first learning of a death from other sources and feeling betrayed, says Kelli Matthews, who teaches public relations at the University of Oregon and has advised companies on how to deal with fatalities. “The worst-case scenario is that someone would find out any other method but direct from the company,” she says. “If you’re reading the article before you’re hearing it from the company, it really damages trust and the relationships that employees should have with an employer.” She sees a missed opportunity. “If you’re burying your head in the sand, saying we have done the required reporting and that’s all we have to do, people will fill that void,” she says. “In incidents where they don’t want to talk about it, they seem like a big corporate monolith.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The voice cast of SpongeBob SquarePants will come together for a virtual table read to recreate the most memorable moments from Nickelodeon’s longest-running animated series. Premiering Fri., June 5, on Nickelodeon, The Stars of SpongeBob Fan Favorites Special sees Tom Kenny (SpongeBob), Bill Fagerbakke (Patrick), Rodger Bumpass (Squidward), Carolyn Lawrence (Sandy), Clancy Brown (Mr. Krabs) and Mr. Lawrence (Plankton) join in a half-hour virtually produced special to bring to life classic SpongeBob SquarePants scenes, as voted on by fans.
Moody's Investors Service ("Moody's") assigned a Baa2 rating to ViacomCBS Inc.'s (ViacomCBS) proposed senior unsecured notes offering. Moody's believes that ViacomCBS will adhere to conservative financial policies in a manner consistent with its investment grade rating.
ViacomCBS Inc. ("ViacomCBS", "we" or "our") (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) today announced that it will commence cash tender offers (collectively, the "Offers") for up to $1.0 billion aggregate purchase price (excluding accrued and unpaid interest to, but not including, the applicable settlement date and excluding fees and expenses related to the Offers) (the "Maximum Tender Amount") of the following debt securities originally issued by CBS Corporation or one of its predecessors, CBS Broadcasting Inc. or one of its predecessors or Viacom Inc.: 3.875% Senior Notes due 2021, 2.500% Senior Notes due 2023, 2.900% Senior Notes due 2023, 3.250% Senior Notes due 2023, 4.250% Senior Notes due 2023, 7.125% Senior Notes due 2023, 7.875% Debentures due 2023, 5.875% Junior Subordinated Debentures due 2057 (the "2057 Debentures"), 3.375% Senior Notes due 2022, 3.125% Senior Notes due 2022 and 2.250% Senior Notes due 2022 (collectively, the "Securities"). The Offers are subject to the proration procedures described in the Offer to Purchase dated May 12, 2020 (the "Offer to Purchase") and order of priority (the "Acceptance Priority Levels" as set forth in the table below under "Acceptance Priority Level"), and are made to each registered holder of Securities (individually, a "Holder," and collectively, the "Holders").