Tag: Donald Trump

Donald Trump threatens to stop paying WHO after they got coronavirus ‘very wrong’

President Donald J. Trump, joined by members of the Coronavirus Task Force, delivers remarks on the COVID-19 pandemic in the James S. Brady Press …

Donald Trump threatens to stop paying WHO after they got coronavirus ‘very wrong’

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Good morning. These are certainly unusual times. The NBA is suspended, Italy is locked down, Tom Hanks has coronavirus, and many of you are currently reading this in PJs.

We’re gonna get through this.And we want readers to know that now more than ever we are laser-focused on bringing you the most important business news every morning. If there’s ever any way we can be more useful to you, our inbox is always open. 

Have a great day, and remember: When videoconferencing, the mute button is your friend.



– 4.70%



– 4.89%



– 5.86%



– 1.36%



+ 6.60 bps



– 4.02%

*As of market close

  • COVID-19: The World Health Organization has officially declared coronavirus a “pandemic.” That sounds alarming, but the agency also said countries can mitigate the impacts if they “detect, test, treat, isolate, trace and mobilize their people in the response.”
  • U.S. economy: Many economists are no longer debating whether we’ll have a recession because of the coronavirus…the questions now are 1) how bad will the recession be and 2) how quickly can we recover.

Trump giving speech in Oval Office

Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Investors, airlines, cruise operators, and newsletter writers who miss their work sweaters were watching President Trump for any news of a stimulus measure to cushion the economic impact of the coronavirus. 

  • Of course, the most important thing is to contain the virus’s spread. But…that’s for health experts, not economists. 

What Trump said

In a brief Oval Office address last night, President Trump laid out his plan to respond to the crisis: 

  • He’s restricting some travel from Europe (minus the U.K.) for 30 days.
  • The IRS will be instructed to push back the April 15 tax payment deadline.
  • The president also called for low interest loans for small businesses and a payroll tax cut from Congress. 

Investors were…not impressed. Futures tied to major stock indexes tanked after the speech, which did not mention any aggressive actions like infusions for suffering industries or paid sick leave. The White House also had to correct some of Trump’s statements following his address.  

Zoom out: There is precedent for government bailouts in times of crisis. The U.S. government provided $15 billion to airlines after 9/11, $700 billion to banks to army-crawl through the 2008 financial crisis, and $17 billion to automakers just after that. 

  • Those episodes show us that timeliness is key. In 2008, Congress dragged its feet until it was almost too late, friend of the Brew and bailout expert Andrew Ross Sorkin writes. 

Will the administration announce something more?

We just don’t know. Fed Chair Jerome Powell recently met with President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Powell has already cut interest rates and indicated he’s willing to keep up the slashing.

But it’s important to remember a pandemic is different from a financial crisis—bargain-basement interest rates can help keep businesses afloat, but the “social distancing” measures recommended by health officials mean canceling events and avoiding crowded places, which will curb spending. Interest rates can’t fix that. 

Looking ahead…the U.S. House will vote on a stimulus package compiled by the Democrats (who hold a majority) today.

Empty basketball stadium

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Yesterday, sports officially stopped being an “escape” from the problems facing the world.

The NBA suspended the seasonafter Rudy Gobert, a Utah Jazz player, reportedly tested positive for coronavirus. In a statement, the league said it “will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic.” 

  • We’re in uncharted territoryhere. The NBA has billions in revenue at stake through TV deals, ticket sales, merch, and more. No one is quite sure what’s going to happen next, including commissioner Adam Silver. 

Basketball couldn’t catch a break

The NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will be played without public fans this year out of coronavirus concerns. “Only essential staff and limited family attendance” will be allowed, said NCAA President Mark Emmert.

Zoom out: The Division I men’s basketball tournament generates $868 million annually on television and marketing rights alone, the vast majority of the NCAA’s yearly revenue. 

  • CBS and Turner Sports said they support the decision and intend to fully produce and cover the event.

Bottom line, via USA Today: “The decision to move March Madness behind closed doors represents a new frontier of sorts for American sports, which have never seen an event of this size and scope take place without fans present.”

Bear waving


After 11 years, the longest-ever bull market in stocks appears to be nearing the end. If coronavirus put it near the edge, fears over long-term economic implicationstipped it over.

Yesterday, the Dow fell 5.9%, putting it in a bear market (down at least 20% from its recent high). The S&P 500 might not be far behind, closing just 33 points away from a bear designation of its own.

How about a little color? Hope you like red. 

  • 29 of the 30 stocks in the Dow ended Wednesday lower. 
  • All 11 sectors of the S&P were at least 10% off their 52-week highs during Wednesday trading. 
  • Since 1915, the average amount of days it’s taken for stocks to go from peak → bear territory is 255. The Dow took 28 this time. We’ve had milk in the fridge for longer.

+ Wondering how else coronavirus is impacting the markets? Morning Brew’s Business Casual podcast just recorded a special episode to break down what’s happening, why it matters, and what comes next—with the Brew’s Kinsey Grant and markets expert Downtown Josh Brown.

Listen here: Apple / Spotify / everywhere else


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A Harvard University building

Harvard University

Colleges and universities across the U.S. are deploying measuresto limit the spread of coronavirus. 

  • For many students, spring break starts tomorrow, which means many of them will be traveling both domestically and internationally. Schools are trying to avoid importing COVID-19 via flights back to campus.

On Tuesday, Harvard asked students to move out by this weekend, leaving students pondering how to tell friends they’ve been kicked off campus without sounding obnoxious. Stanford and the University of Washington were among the first to suspend in-person classes. 

  • UW shifted its 50,000 students to online-only courses through March 20, as many schools in Europe and Asia have already done. 

Plus, schools are axing university-sponsored international trips, sending mildly alarming preparedness messages, and preparing for total shutdowns if a student or faculty infection is confirmed.

Bottom line: Muted activity in college towns could take a substantial economic toll. Everything from prospective student visits to athletic tournaments fuels their financial health, Bloomberg notes.


Bong says he's going to drink at the Oscars


The global entertainment market, from the box office to in-home streaming, surpassed $100 billion in annual revenue for the first time ever last year, according to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). 

But like Les Mis, the MPAA report highlights the differences between the haves and the have-nots.

  • Money spent on home and mobile viewing jumped 14% to $58.8 billion. 
  • But the box office barely eked out a 1% gain with $42.2 billion in sales. While overseas moviegoers turned out in record numbers (crossing $30 billion in ticket sales for the first time), sales in the U.S. and Canada fell over 4% to $11.4 billion.

The forecast this year? Another case of red and black. With coronavirus fears spreading across the globe, out-of-home entertainment will likely take a beating—analysts already predict the box office will lose $5 billion in 2020. 

At the same time, in-home entertainment is predicted to skyrocket even further…because we all know “working from home” roughly translates to “rewatching The Sopranos.”


Pepsi can with up arrow

Francis Scialabba

PepsiCo will spend $3.9 billion to buy energy drink brand Rockstarin order to 1) get Nickelback stuck in your head and 2) expand market share in the fast-growing energy beverage space.

This is a familiar strategy for brands that once sponsored games of truth-or-I-dare-you-to-mix-Coke-and-Hi-C. As sodas fall out of favor with sugarphobic consumers, the Pepsis and Cokes of the world are investing in beverage alternatives like teas, waters, and energy drinks.

Big picture: Neither Pepsi nor Coke currently owns a major brand in the energy drink category—which is slated to grow to more than $80 billion over the next five years.

  • Rockstar is the No. 3 contender in the U.S. energy drink market, behind Red Bull, which sold a can for every person on earth last year, and Monster, which counts Coke as an investor.

Pepsi’s distributed Rockstar in North America since 2009, a deal its CFO says limited Pepsi’s abilityto partner with other energy brands. Nearly $4 billion later, it can again target those deals.


  • Harvey Weinstein was sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexual assault.
  • Amtrak said it would lose hundreds of millions of dollars and that bookings have fallen 50% since the beginning of the outbreak. 
  • Coronavirus has disrupted the supply chains of nearly 75% of U.S. companies, per a new ISM survey.
  • Officials banned large gatherings in San Francisco and the Seattle area in an attempt to control the coronavirus.
  • Numerous TV shows, such as Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!, are now filming without live audiences. 


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  • Free WFH Book: Basecamp CEO Jason Fried tweeted that he’s refunding anyone who purchases his book about remote work, REMOTE: Office Not Required. We spoke with the WFH enthusiast about his theories on work on our Business Casual pod

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Picture this: You’re interviewing a promising job candidate on Skype when…your husband walks behind you wearing his boxers. 

The year is 2020, #SocialDistancing is trending on Twitter, and more people are working from home every day. That’s resulted in some strange situations for our friends and colleagues, from finding out your boss has a “Live, laugh, love” poster to realizing your neighbor blasts EDM at 11 in the morning.

Bottom line: If you are working from home and things are getting weird…share your stories here. We’ll pick out a few each day to put in the newsletter.


While most stocks are getting crushed because of the coronavirus, some services are becoming more in demand. Which company’s six-month stock chart is pictured below?

zoom stock chart

zoom stock chart


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Zoom, which makes videoconferencing software. With a market cap of ~$30 billion, Zoom is worth about 2.5x United Airlines.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Spain to become 2nd European Country to issue a Nationwide ban and UK and Ireland added to US Travel Ban List…

Spain is set to join Italy by becoming the second country in Europe to impose a nationwide lockdown as part of its effort to slow the spread of the Covid-19pandemic.

The news came as the UK’s death toll from coronavirus nearly doubled, by rising from 11 to 21, and the UK government was reportedly preparing to ban mass gatherings from next week

Boris Johnson has faced criticism for not taking tougher action against the outbreak and his government’s plan to build up immunity within the population to fight the virus over a prolonged period, rather than introducing mass lockdowns, has been questioned by health experts.

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Coronavirus deaths in Spain rise to 193

Spain’s public broadcaster TVE has reported that the death toll from coronavirus reached 193 on Saturday, up from 120 on Friday.

Health authorities said earlier today that the total number of infections had passed 5,750, with half of them in the capital Madrid.It follows reports that the Spanish government is to put the country under lockdown as part of its state of emergency measures.

According to a draft decree, Spaniards will be ordered to stay at home except to buy food or drugs, go to the hospital, go to work or other emergencies.

Here’s the full story on the US decision to add the UK and Ireland to its travel ban.

onald Trump appeared not to be aware of the measure when asked during the press conference, but minutes later it was confirmed by vice president Mike Pence.

Norway to close all airports

Norway’s prime minister Erna Solberg has announced that all airports will close on Monday to try and prevent the spread of coronavirus, Reuters has reported.

However there are no plans to introduce a curfew and Norwegians will be allowed to return home from abroad, she added.

In a statement posed on the government website, Ms Solberg said: “We are in a serious and increasingly unpredictable situation.

“Our priority is to safeguard life and health. That requires extraordinary steps. The situation is changing rapidly in many countries, which is why we are advising against travel that is not strictly necessary to all countries.

“Norwegian citizens already travelling abroad should consider returning as soon as possible, in a calm and safe manner, and in dialogue with their travel agency or airline.”

According to the Independent. You can see the original story and more by following the link.

For more European News or Coronavirus News please follow the relevant links.

Business and Sports News from Mike Armstrong – See http://mikearmstrong.me

Donald Trump Is Confused By Meaning Of Meme, Happily Shares It Anyway

Image via Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com

On Monday, Donald Trump reposted a meme of himself playing the violin with the words, “My next piece is called… nothing can stop what’s coming.”

The president shared the visual on his Twitter account with the caption, “Who knows what this means, but it sounds good to me!”

The meme ended up with hordes of critics noting the similarities between Trump and Roman emperor Nero, who fiddled as the city was burning down.

One user even deciphered Trump in the image as a modern-day Nero, “[playing] golf and [posting] stupid memes while many Americans are at risk of contracting the coronavirus.”

Eventually, the word “Nero” made it to the list of Twitter’s trending topics for the day. The meme was first shared by White House’s social media director Dan Scavino.

Who knows what this means, but it sounds good to me! https://t.co/rQVA4ER0PV

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 8, 2020

I’m not sure “fiddling” metaphors are what you want right now. pic.twitter.com/dJdEfTBLy4

— Santa Claus, CEO (@SantaInc) March 8, 2020

It means Trump is just like Nero, but instead of playing the fiddle while Rome burns, Trump plays the violin in a stupid meme as our country is engulfed in a coronavirus outbreak.

— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 8, 2020

It means that Nero fiddled while Rome was burning, but you play golf and post stupid memes while many Americans are at risk of contracting the coronavirus.

It means you are clueless.
It means you're an idiot.
It means November is coming.


— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) March 8, 2020

[via People, cover image via Evan El-Amin / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/408989/Donald-Trump-Is-Confused-By-Meaning-Of-Meme-Happily-Shares-It-Anyway/

Twitter Flags Trump-Approved Vid Of Biden Re-Electing Him As ‘Manipulated Media’

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Left image via Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com, right image via Nicole Glass Photography / Shutterstock.com

Twitter has branded a viral clip showing former vice president Joe Biden “endorsing” president Donald Trump with a label reading “manipulated media.”

The abbreviated 13-second clip showed Biden purportedly stating, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump,” before his speech was cut off.

In comparison, the original video showed Biden at a rally in Kansas City, saying, “We can only re-elect Donald Trump if in fact we get engaged in this circular firing squad here. It’s going to be a positive campaign, so join us.”

The edited footage was shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino and retweeted by Trump himself. Twitter quickly added a “manipulated media” tag to the video.

A spokesperson for Twitter has confirmed with The Hill that the tweet violated its “synthetic and manipulated media policy.”

Just in: Twitter applied its new manipulated media label for the first time to a deceptively edited video of Joe Biden. It was shared by White House social media director Dan Scavino, and retweeted by the president. pic.twitter.com/PggcCwMNkx

— Cat Zakrzewski (@Cat_Zakrzewski) March 8, 2020

[via The Hill, opening image via Drop of Light / Shutterstock.com, Nicole Glass Photography / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/408987/Twitter-Flags-Trump-Approved-Vid-Of-Biden-Re-Electing-Him-As-Manipulated-Media/

#LordSugar says you shouldn’t throw your weight around in business like #DonaldTrump – you need to just be nice! #IntrobizExpo


Google co-founder Sergey Brin compares Trump election to the rise of fascism as and vows to thwart populism in leaked video

Google co-founder Sergey Brin compares Trump election to the rise of fascism as and vows to thwart populism in leaked video

— Read on www.thesun.co.uk/news/7252824/sergey-brin-google-trump-voters-fascists/


Zuckerberg Voices Concern About President Trump’s Actions on Immigration

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke out Friday against President Donald Trump’s proposed changes to the country’s immigration and refugee policies. “We need to keep this country safe, but we should do that by focusing on people who actually pose a threat. Expanding the focus of law enforcement beyond people who are real threats would make…


What Twitter Needs to Do in 2017

These are undeniably dark days for Twitter, so when Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey asked users for feedback, he got a lot of impassioned responses. Following in the footsteps of Brian Chesky: what’s the most important thing you want to see Twitter improve or create in 2017? #Twitter2017 — jack (@jack) December 29, 2016 One of…


Mark Zuckerberg Finally Admits Facebook Is a Media Company

It was a small step, perhaps, but still a noteworthy one. After months of denying that Facebook is a media company, Mark Zuckerberg admitted in a recent one-on-one interview with his COO, Sheryl Sandberg, that the social network actually is a media company–although not a traditional one. For years, Zuckerberg has argued that Facebook is…


Tech Employees Vow Not to Help Trump Surveil and Deport Immigrants

More than 100 employees of technology companies including Alphabet‘s Google, Twitter, and Salesforce.com pledged on Tuesday to not help U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s administration build a data registry to track people based on their religion or assist in mass deportations. Drawing comparisons to the Holocaust and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II,…


Trump’s Twitter debate lead was ‘swelled by bots’

Web robots – or bots – posted many more pro-Trump tweets than pro-Clinton ones during and after the first presidential debate. Via Tech Feed http://bbc.in/2dzdK2O


Facebook Still Has a Fake News Problem

If you spend any time on Facebook then you’ve probably seen them, either in your main news feed or in the “trending topics” section–clearly fake news stories, many focused on the latest conspiracy theory about the 2016 election. These are the kind of stories that Facebook’s editors used to weed out, but then the company…