The week in business: it’s getting embarrassing

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Welcome to the strangest Thanksgiving week ever. Whether you stay at home – an excellent choice – or try your luck by traveling, being safe and limiting your gathering. (Remember, this means no more pie for you.) – Charlotte Cowles

Despite more promising vaccine news, the recovery of the economy seems more fragile every day. New unemployment claims increased last week for the first time in over a month, and coronavirus outbreaks keep breaking records and invite new locks. Despite these alarming developments, the Trump administration is in the process of ending some current pandemic relief programs. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin asked the Federal Reserve return unused funds for emergency loans linked to the virus by the end of the year. (The Fed has said it “would prefer” if the funding remained in place to support “our still strained and vulnerable economy.”) get the money back, Mr. Mnuchin complicates the job of President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. incoming administration to relaunch the Fed’s aid efforts next year.

In his first major political speech since he won the election, Mr. Biden asked Congress immediately adopt a broad stimulus package, even if lawmakers remain desperately deadlocked. He also met with business and union leaders, including CEOs of General Motors, Microsoft, Target and Gap, to hear their concerns about reopening safe workplaces. But no matter what he does now, Mr. Biden will face an uphill battle once he takes office, especially if Mr. Trump continues to hamper the transition process. The president-elect will face a dangerous phase of the virus, a struggling economy and a population tired of being stuck at home. It can also be crippled by a divided Congress, depending on the outcome of two rounds of voting in Georgia in January.

Have you ever suspected that your iPhone is getting slower? You’re not the only one: Apple paid $ 113 million to end an investigation to find out if he deliberately (and secretly) “slashed” the speed of his older phones to extend their battery life. Customers have also accused the company of slowing down older iPhones after new models released, apparently to encourage people to upgrade. As part of the settlement, Apple said it will be more transparent about how it manages the battery life of its devices, but has not admitted any wrongdoing. The company had previously agreed to pay up to $ 500 million to customers who “experienced a decline in performance” from their iPhone in a separate class action.

It has been more than 20 months since two fatal plane crashes led the Federal Aviation Administration to ground Boeing’s 737 Max jet and conduct a major investigation into the aircraft manufacturer’s safety practices. Now the FAA approved Boeing’s next steps to make the planes fly again. But don’t expect to see the 737 Max in the sky anytime soon. In addition to retraining pilots to use its upgraded software, Boeing needs to regain the trust of the airlines that bought its planes and the passengers who use them (who aren’t many these days, given the hit by the pandemic to the travel industry). The 737 Max disaster cost the company billions and tarnished its reputation as a leader in American manufacturing.

Airbnb long planned to go public in 2020, but the pandemic has changed its timeline. Now he’s rushing to complete the process next month, despite take heavy losses in revenue earlier this year. Why hurry? Airbnb has compensated many of its early employees with stock options, and much of that equity will expire next spring. To avoid angering these longtime employees (and many poorer than they expected), Airbnb must meet its deadline. Documents relating to its initial public offering, filed last Monday, showed the company made a profit in the last quarter after making severe cuts. It plans to raise up to $ 3 billion when it goes public

Tesla to become largest company ever added to the S&P 500 when he joins on december 21. To qualify for the index, a company must be profitable for four consecutive quarters, which Tesla had not accomplished until this year. It’s unusual for a company to be as valuable as Tesla when it achieves S&P status, and its inclusion has already boosted its stock price even further. Investors often scramble to buy shares of a company when it is added to the index, as many investments are intended to accurately reflect the makeup of the index.

Amazon also ships drugs now: e-commerce giant launched an online pharmacy that will bring your medications or prescription refills right to your door in days. Speaking of speed, the world most expensive carrier pigeon sold for a record 1.6 million euros, around $ 1.9 million, after a bidding war between two Chinese buyers at a Belgian auction. And the digital media company BuzzFeed buys the HuffPost news site from Verizon Media to better compete in an increasingly crowded field.

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