Tokyo 2020 games delay, Australia quits

Majority sporting Nations such as Australia and Canada quit the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Monday as the organizers face the Global pressure to postpone the games due to the coronavirus crisis for the first time in their 124 your history of the Tokyo games.

The huge sum of amount is at stake for sponsors and broadcasters. Athletes are facing huge problems to train in gyms, stadiums swimming pools as they all are closed around the world due to the coronavirus lockdown appears to be leading to the cancellation of other major sports events.

The International Olympic Committee IOC and Japanese Government have decided after weeks of discussion that the games would go ahead, announcing a month-long consultation over other situations, including postponement. The Olympics have never been put to delay, though they were canceled altogether in 1916, 1940, 1944 during the World Wars, and Cold War boycotts disrupted the Moscow and Los Angeles games in 1980, 1984, respectively.

Canada and Australia both made an open announcement, which said they would not participate in the games if the games were not put back in the upcoming year that is 2021. “We are in the midst of a Global Health crisis that is far more significant than sports” was the statement was given by Canada Olympic Committee (COC) and Paralympic Committee (CPC).

The athletes have their positive attitude to train and prepare themselves. Still, the stress and inconvenience faced by them have been extremely challenging, says Australia’s Olympics Chef de Mission Ian Chesterman. Paralympic athletes were considered at particular risk from the epidemic, given some had underlying health problems and issues. More than 14,600 people have died globally due to the spread of coronavirus.

Russia consoled global sporting authorities to not panic over the Olympics, and US President Donald Trump showed confidence in Japan’s government to make the proper call. But a group of other Nations claimed to ask for a quick decision from the IOC which is led by its powerful President Thomas Bach, a German lawyer, and former Olympic fencing champion.

Athletes did support for the postponement but were actually sad too. “Competing in the Olympics has been my main and my number one goal, but I totally support this decision of the postponement, and I commend our leadership for taking a stand,” tweeted by Canadian tennis player Gabriela Dabrowski. A dissented American, 400 meters hurdles champion Sage Watson called Canada’s move premature. Monday’s announcement followed by growing pressure from which stakeholders, including the US Track and Field, UK athletics, and other National Olympic Committees.

Japan’s government has no option except going to be bowing to the inevitable despite the losses and logistics happening through the threat and crisis and the situations it would face. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said to the Parliament that if holding the event was too hard, then we would have no option but to consider postponing. He has staked his legacy on the games and was hoping for a blast in tourism and consumer spending. Both Japan and IOC have stressed that calling off the games entirely is not at all an option, but also finding a new date could be complicated as the summer 2021 calendar is already crowded with a lot many schedules , while 2022 will see the soccer World Cup and the Beijing Winter Olympics.

The postponement could lead major fall to the IOC’s prestige after weeks of saying the Games would go ahead as usual as per the plan. Many athletes already felt disrespected and disappointed during the Russian scandal when Bach ensured Russians could carry on competing.

US banks announce dividend cuts

U.S. banks may cut dividends for political reasons instead of financial as an inflating chorus of lawmakers, former regulators and consumer advocates say it is not appropriate for them to tap emergency funding programs while paying out cash to investors.

US banks announce dividend cuts.docx

The eight most significant U.S. lenders, led by JPMorgan Chase & Co , already paused stock repurchases earlier this month. They said that it was a patriotic move that would allow them to put more capital towards lending to persons and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, which has clogged stock prices and led the Federal Reserve to afford trillions of dollars into the financial system.

“That is not enough,” said Sheila Bair, former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, in an interview on Tuesday. “They should be conserving all available capital. We are in a severe health crisis that is turning into an economic crisis.”

Those eight banks collectively pay about $9 billion in quarterly dividends on common stock, according to Refinitiv data.

Big banks faced similar criticism last week from Democratic lawmakers and groups including the Systemic Risk Council, a global group of influential ex-regulators that counts Bair as a member, and Better Markets, which advocates for Wall Street reforms.

U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, proposed a temporary ban on corporate stock buybacks and dividends.

Cutting dividends at this point would not be a sign that the banks are in financial straits, but rather that they are sensitive to political concerns, analysts said.

Although bank balance sheets are in much better shape than other companies whose dividends are at risk – such as airlines, hotels, automakers and retailers – the industry still faces a stigma from the last U.S. crisis in 2008.

The big-bank bailouts of that era led to the Occupy Wall Street movement and advocacy work that continues today. On Monday, the hashtag #NotDying4WallStreet sprouted up on Twitter, in response to politicians, including Republican President Donald Trump, who have said major cities that have shut down due to coronavirus risks should re-open to help the economy.

The dividend pressure has increased up even more in Europe, where industrial companies have begun cutting payments and Banco Santander SA said it would not issue its next semi-annual dividend despite being able to do so.

Even though U.S. banks keep paying dividends at present levels, they may take decision to cut them for appearance’s sake, some analysts said.

They might trim the dividends back for optics,” said Viola Risk Advisors analyst David Hendler. “But in terms of capital, the U.S. banks are the strongest banks in the world.”

Dividend cutoff is a difficult decision for companies because the payouts are seen as proofs of good financial health and encourage loyalty from shareholders who buy shares or indices expecting that revenue.

“Most companies will view their dividends as sacrosanct,” said Portales Partners analyst Charles Peabody, who expects most big banks to maintain theirs.

But Bair noted that, in addition to Fed programs that have poured trillions of dollars into bond markets in recent weeks, banks have also benefited from expanded deposit insurance and regulatory easing and that their shareholders have gotten generous payouts the past few years.

 

US indicts Maduro for Narco-Terrorism

The U.S. government on Thursday announced that the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and more than other bunch of top Venezuelan officials on the compensation of “narco-terrorism,” the latest exclamation of the Trump administration’s pressure campaign targeted at shooting the socialist leader.

The State Department offered a remuneration of up to $15 million for guidelines leading to the arrest of Maduro, whose country has been crushed and devastated by years of a deep economic crisis and political revolt.

The accusation, a rare U.S. action against a foreign head of state, marks a severe new next process against Maduro at a time when some U.S. officials have privately said President Donald Trump is increasingly annoyed and stressed with the results of his Venezuela policy.

Attorney General William Barr, claiming charges that include narco-terrorism conspiracy, corruption, and drug trafficking, accused Maduro and his associates of collusion with a significant factor of the demobilized Colombian guerrilla group, the

But Trump administration officials are aware that their chances are very less of getting Maduro or the other VIP figures in custody anytime soon, a person familiar with the situation said on condition of anonymization.

“Meanwhile, when the Venezuelan people suffer from this cabal lines their pockets with drug money and the proceeds of their corruption,” Barr said.

You are a horrible person, Donald Trump,” Maduro said in a state television address during which he dismissed the charges as false. Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the compensation was targeted at benefiting Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign.

Trump’s pressure on Venezuela, an OPEC member, has gone satisfactorily well among Cuban Americans in South Florida, a key voting bloc in a significant presidential swing state. The U.S. government has recently filed criminal accusations against members of Maduro’s family. He and people of his community have dismissed such predicted statements as a smothering campaign, and go against the United States is responsible for illegal drug activities, given its part as a most leading consumer.

Maduro is already under U.S. sanctions and has been the competition of a U.S. effort targetted at throwing him away from his power. He took office in before 7 years after the death of his mentor President Hugo Chavez, a staunch foe of the United States.

Other Venezuelan officials whose accusations were bought into existence on Thursday include Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino, senior socialist leader Diosdado Cabello, and the chief justice of the country’s Supreme Court, Maikel Moreno, who was charged from cash laundering. The U.S. government is offering $10 million for information leading to Cabello’s arrest.

The United States and many of the other countries have recognized opposition party leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s legitimate president, regarding Maduro’s 2018 re-election as a shame. But Maduro has remained in power, backed by the country’s military and by Russia, China, and Cuba.

U.S. officials have long accused Maduro and his officials or running a “narco-state,” saying they have used proceeds from drugs transshipped from neighboring Colombia to make up for lost income and losses from a Venezuelan oil sector hit by U.S. sanctions.

Trump rejected that the charges were an attempt to take advantage of Venezuela at a horrific time when it is expected to be hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We don’t look at a disadvantage. This is a serious problem for over 200 nations,” Trump said in response to a reporter’s question. But he added, “Maduro and Venezuela, we’re watching it very focused.”

 

 

$40 billion spent on airlines by house democrats

Democratic U.S. lawmakers on Monday put forward the struggles regarding U.S. airlines and contractors $40 billion on a cash basis that need not be paid back but require significant new environmental and other conditions. The U.S. House of Representatives bill, which provides $2.5 trillion in stimulus and assistance to the U.S. economy in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, would award $37 billion in grants to airlines and $3 billion in grants to employees of ground-support and catering contractors.

Airlines could also receive $21 billion in loans that would be at 0% financing for the first year.

Airlines for America, a trade group representing major airlines, told Congress in a term sheet on Monday seen by news services that if passenger and cargo carriers got $29 billion in grants, it would permit us to save hundreds and thousands of jobs and preserve function to every community currently served in the United States for a specific period.

The term sheet said that if Congress added specific conditions to the government loans, it could provide the loans which are not used because the process contributed to the businesses via U.S. bankruptcy law was more attractive.

Republicans and Democrats were still struggling on Monday to reach the agreement on a far-reaching coronavirus indefinite occurrence, including the airline aid, after failing to reach a deal over this weekend.

Republicans have opposed providing bailouts to the passenger and cargo carriers, proposing help in the form of $58 billion in loans and saying the government could demand stock, options, or other equity as part of those loans.

The House bill would also set aside $1 billion to eliminate high-polluting airplanes. It would cap chief executive pay at no more than 50 times the median salary of employees and bar stock buybacks

It would also require that “no additional aircraft heavy maintenance work is outsourced to repair stations abroad” and require airlines to have a labor union-designated director.

Airlines would have to maintain “at least $15 minimum wage for all employees or contracted workers.”

Airlines receiving assistance would need to fully offset their carbon emissions starting in 2025 and reduce carbon emissions by 25% by 2035 and by 50% by 2050. They would also be required to tell customers the number of carbon emissions attributed to their flights.

Airlines made a plea over the weekend that $29 billion of $58 billion sought in assistance be in the form of cash grants. In return, they offered to make no job cuts through Aug. 31 and to accept curbs on executive pay and forgo paying dividends or stock buybacks.

Airlines, including United Airlines Holdings Inc UAL.N, have also said they are encouraging employees to apply for voluntary unpaid leaves of absence, among other measures aimed at saving costs.

Globally, the number of scheduled flights last week was down more than 12% from a year ago, flight data provider OAG said, and many airlines have announced further cuts to come as demand continues to drop.

Southwest Airlines Co (LUV.N) became the latest U.S. airline to slash its capacity by about 25% on Sunday, bringing forward and increasing cancellations that were initially due to run between April 14 and June 5. The cancellations include the suspension of all international flying until May 4, it said.