More companies take a stand on abortion

Yelp, the online research and review platform, is expected to announce today that, starting next month, it will cover the expenses of its employees and spouses who have to travel out of state for abortion care, reports Alisha Haridasani Gupta of The Times and Lauren Hirsch of DealBook. It is the latest company to respond to a Texas law banning abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy.

The company, which is based in San Francisco, has more than 4,000 employees, with just over 200 workers in Texas, where the ban has been in place since September. A company spokesperson said the benefit will extend to employees in other states who may be affected by “current or future action that restricts access to covered reproductive health care.”

Abortion has become a problem in the workplace. “Being able to take control of your reproductive health, and whether or when you want to expand your family, is absolutely essential to being able to succeed in the workplace, said Miriam Warren, Senior Diversity Officer at Yelp. Last month, Citigroup became the first major bank to say it would pay travel costs for employees affected by the Texas abortion law, which employs more than 8,000 workers. Uber, Match Group, and Salesforce have introduced similar policies.

“The backlash is getting more attention,” Warren said when asked if she was concerned about the possible rejection of the company’s new policy. (A Texas lawmaker warned that he would seek to prevent Citi from underwriting the state’s municipal bonds unless it repeals its travel expense policy.) Instead, Warren said she and other company directors received personal notes thanking Yelp for past actions supporting abortion. being able to.

Executives increasingly find they have to take a stand on contentious social issues, such as reproductive rights, because the workforce and customer bases have strong opinions on topics, which are not always in sync. For companies that operate nationally, this is exacerbated by sharp political divisions between countries.

This has implications for employment, Which Especially important in a tight job market. “I think the question for these companies is really going to be: Where do you want to set? Are you in a place where women have very limited reproductive rights? Are you going to be able to recruit women to come there?” said Caitlin Myers, an economist at Middlebury College that tracks the impact. The economics of reproductive policies. Warren said the policy helps maintain a more diverse and inclusive workforce. “We want to be able to hire and retain employees wherever they live,” she said.

President Biden announces a new measure to ease gasoline prices. The White House plans to allow the sale of gas with a high ethanol content this summer, temporarily removing restrictions that prevent the mixture in the warmer months when smog is a problem. The move is expected to lower gas prices by about 10 cents a gallon.

PG&E reaches $55 million settlement over wildfires. The civil settlement, which includes payments to local organizations, schools and government agencies, allows PG&E to avoid criminal prosecution for its role in last year’s Dixie fire — the second largest fire in the state’s history — and the Kincaid fire in 2019.

Philadelphia is the first major American city to bring back the mask. Wearing masks indoors in the city will become mandatory again next week as officials try to stem the rise in coronavirus cases.

Lockdowns in China due to the Covid virus lead to further closures. iPhone assembler Pegatron and German auto parts maker Bosch are the latest two companies to halt production in China due to pandemic restrictions.

An experimental drug for severe Covid cases cut deaths in half. The manufacturer of the new drug, sabizabolin, said it significantly reduced deaths among hospitalized patients in a clinical trial, with observers recommending it be stopped early. Shares of Veru, which plans to apply for emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration, doubled yesterday.

This morning, the government will release inflation data for March. Economists expect a big figure, with prices continuing to rise at their highest pace since the early 1980s, raising concerns that inflation will remain high even as economic growth slows – an unwelcome combination.

But while prices are rising, expectations for long-term inflation are not. Yesterday, the New York Fed reported that inflation expectations three years from now, based on a survey of consumers, fell to 3.7 percent, down from the previous month and below 4 percent plus readings late last year. Although this is still higher than it was before the pandemic, the recent downward drift in the three-year forecast contrasts with the uptick in the one-year forecast.

It is not clear why consumers’ expectations of long-term inflation have not risen any further. The components of continued price increases are clear, as the pandemic continues to disrupt supply chains and the war in Ukraine raises commodity costs. It could be that because inflation has generally been low in recent decades, consumers have come to expect it to stay that way, removing the risk of inflation becoming self-fulfilling.

As a result, some economists caution not to be overconfident in the forecast. For most of the past few decades, when inflation has been weak, consumers have consistently expected it to be higher than it really is. So it’s possible that expectations are off again, but this time in the other direction. “The relationship between inflation and expectations is less convincing than is often thought,” Dean Baker of the Center for Economics and Policy Research told DealBook.

For full coverage of today’s inflation report, see Times Special Briefingwhich will be updated throughout the day.


– Jason Goldman, who was a member of the founding team of Twitter and served on its board of directors, at The drama the social media company is facing With Elon Musk as its largest shareholder. All bets are off now that Musk, a Tesla billionaire and outspoken and unpredictable user of Twitter, declined an invitation to join Twitter’s board of directors, which would have imposed various restrictions on his actions.


After fierce regulatory crackdowns on the private sector, the Chinese government’s drive to redistribute wealth is in limbo, The Times’ Keith Bradsher reports.

It is more a tactical retreat than an abandonment of the “common prosperity” plan. The Communist Party’s transformation acknowledges that its moves to rein in the country’s giant corporations have alarmed investors at home and abroad. Chinese leader Xi Jinping is preparing to assume a third five-year term later in the year.

The government’s crackdown has wiped out more than $1 trillion from the value of Chinese companies, defying Xi’s efforts to show that the country is growing more prosperous under his leadership. China’s economic outlook has become more uncertain recently amid soaring commodity prices and strict Covid lockdowns.

Under President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government system works like a sports car Li Daokui, director of the China Center for the Global Economy at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said: – The accelerator pedal and the brake pedal work very quickly. “When he wants to implement a policy, even a long-term policy, the car immediately accelerates, and that may not be what is meant.”


Silver Lake leads a $150 million funding round for Genies, an avatar technology company that provides digital tools to create and sell online characters, clothing and spaces. and social experiences, DealBook is the first to report. It is the latest push by traditional investment firms to web3, the name of the cryptocurrency industry for a decentralized internet built on blockchain networks. The investment value of Genies Corporation is estimated at $1 billion.

Genies, founded in 2017, previously raised $100 million, with investors including former Disney CEO Bob Iger, who now serves on Genies’ board of directors, and Mary Maker’s Bond Ventures. The company declined to disclose any financial figures or whether it was profitable.

How it works: Genies users mint non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, that they can sell in an online marketplace, with Genies receiving a 5 percent discount from each sale. The consumer-focused Avatar Gadgets has opened by invitation only, but plans to roll it out more widely this summer. The company’s success will depend in part on whether people spend time growing their digital identities in virtual worlds known as the metaverse.

“metaverse is really about freedom,” Akash Nigam, co-founder of Genies, told DealBook that customizable avatars can allow people to express themselves in online worlds differently than they can in real life. The company has also partnered with record labels like Universal and Warner to be the official provider of avatars and NFTs, working with artists like Justin Bieber, Migos and Cardi B.

“We’re only trying to invest in the best tech companies,” said Egon Durban, Co-CEO of Silver Lake. “Sometimes it’s a small company like this, other times it’s huge, massive companies that need to be transformed.” Silver Lake is best known for spearheading the massive acquisition of Dell, but it has also invested money in smaller and smaller companies like Genies. Other investments by the web private equity group include 3 Fanatics, which owns NFT sports collectibles firm Candy Digital, and blockchain development platform Alchemy.

Russia and Ukraine war

  • The governor of the Russian Central Bank has spent years updating the country’s monetary policy, only to dismantle much of what it has created. (The Wall Street Journal)

  • A German newspaper hired a Russian TV producer who interrupted a news broadcast with an anti-war poster. (Bloomberg)

  • Nokia said it would leave Russia permanently, a day after rival Ericsson made a similar move. (The New York Times)

  • “Bucha Terror Month” (The New York Times)

deals

  • The Daily Journal, the publishing company headed by Charlie Munger of Berkshire Hathaway, has cut its holdings in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba by nearly half. (CNBC)

  • Israel’s NSO Group, the software company blacklisted to manufacture spyware used by governments, has been deemed “worthless” by private equity backers. (Foot)

  • Before many of the SPAC companies announced mergers, there was an intriguing spike in collateral trading. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Policy

  • Amazon’s plan to finance affordable housing near a new campus in the Washington, D.C. area benefits few of the area’s poorest residents yet. (WaPo)

  • At least ten potential 2024 presidential candidates use nonprofits to raise “dark money” with few disclosures. (Politico)

  • The European Central Bank’s first chief economist said the bank is following a “misleading policy” on inflation. (Foot)

The best of the rest

  • The Brave Girl statue will remain outside the New York Stock Exchange for the time being. (The New York Times)

  • Profit-related calls and meetings with swear words are on the rise. (The Wall Street Journal)

  • “As remote work becomes permanent, can Manhattan adapt?” (The New York Times)

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