Boeing’s share price rose more than 4% in pre-market trading after European aviation regulators signaled an imminent return to the skies for the currently-grounded 737 Max.

On Tuesday morning the EU Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) published its draft approval for an end to the aircraft’s forced hiatus, which has lasted nearly two years—the 737 Max was grounded worldwide in 2019 following a pair of crashes that killed hundreds of people.

The move is now subject to a 28-day consultation period, meaning the plane could be formally ungrounded in mid-January. However, EASA first wants changes made to the aircraft that are mostly in line with those demanded last week by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA also cleared the Boeing aircraft for service, leaving China’s aviation authority as the big hold-out on that front.

“Objective and independent”

“EASA made clear from the outset that we would conduct our own … Read the rest

Cineworld, the world’s second-largest movie chain operator, has secured financial lifelines worth $750m (£560m) to weather the coronavirus pandemic.

London-listed Cineworld, which shut all of its 660 movie theatres in the US and the UK in October, said the financial agreements mean it has enough liquidity to make it through next year – as long as cinemas are allowed to reopen by May.

The company has agreed financial measures with lenders including a new $450m debt facility. Other agreements include a waiver on all covenants on payments on its debt – which stands at $4.9bn – until June 2022 and an extension on its $111m revolving credit facility to 2024. In addition, Cineworld has accelerated the closure of its US tax year which will generate a $200m tax refund early next year.

“The measures we are announcing today deliver over $750m of extra liquidity to support our business,” said Mooky … Read the rest

Last year it was “climate emergency.” The previous year, it was “toxic.” But for 2020, the U.K.’s Oxford University Press (OUP) could not come up with one definitive “word of the year”.

Instead, the venerable publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary has chosen to reflect 2020’s decade-crammed-into-one-year nature by highlighting its rapid and wide-ranging effect on the English language.

The details can be found in a report published Monday by the OUP, but if it’s words you crave, here are some that are unsurprisingly given prominence in that report: coronavirus, lockdown, social distancing, superspreader, mail-in, moonshot, Black Lives Matter, cancel culture, bushfires, impeachment and acquittal.

And, of course, doomscrolling.

“As our Word of the Year process started and this data was opened up, it quickly became apparent that 2020 is not a year that could neatly be accommodated in one single ‘word of the year,’ so we have decided … Read the rest

Marks & Spencer will keep 400 stores open until midnight in Christmas week as desperate high street retailers scramble to recoup billions of pounds of sales lost to lockdown restrictions.

The UK’s biggest clothing retailer said its “longest-ever” store opening hours would kick in on Monday 21 December, with two-thirds of its 600 shops opening until midnight for a run of three days. Unlike many of its rivals M&S’s shops are currently open; however; government rules means it has been forced to close off its clothing floors.

Last year just 15 of M&S’s stores stayed open until midnight. The three midnight shopping days are expected to be the biggest sales days of the year, with the move described as giving customers “extra time to grab groceries and final gifts”.

The current lockdown restrictions have forced non-essential shops to close in England and, from Friday evening, in parts of Scotland. The … Read the rest

Elizabeth Martin is betting on engineers to automate trading but not necessarily to make things faster.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s global co-head of futures and equities electronic trading says that the ‘Flash Boys’ era of the past decade has ceded some ground to customizing trading for clients.

“I’ve never in my career bet against innovation or smart people being able to make things faster,” she says. “There will be some amount of improvement in speed and latency but in terms of the differentiated drivers of what a broad base of clients need in order to deliver execution for them, it’s less important, because most of the big scale providers offer those services.”

Martin, a 20-year Goldman veteran, relocated to London three years ago and oversees the Wall Street bank’s electronic stock trading business. Martin spoke with Bloomberg about the pandemic, the future of finance and zipping around the city in … Read the rest

A UK book publisher says congestion at Felixstowe Port has left it with no books to sell in the lead up to Christmas.

Colin Hoad and Matt Green run a publishing company, Idesine, which has 4,000 books stuck on a ship that has been trying to dock since 31 October.

They are one of many businesses encountering problems importing goods.

Importers say congestion issues at UK ports have led to shipping firms quadrupling their freight costs.

“People are contacting us saying they’ve paid for books on pre-order as gifts, and we ultimately can’t guarantee delivery,” Mr Hoad said.

Delays at Felixstowe have been caused by a surge in import traffic as companies increased orders after the initial lockdown and some looked to stockpile goods before the end of the Brexit transition period.

The pandemic has made matters worse as large orders of PPE added to the backlog of containers on … Read the rest

The recent election gave voice to millions of Americans frustrated with their economic circumstances—a concern that predates the devastation wrought by COVID-19. On one side are the blue-collar victims of deindustrialization who, as in 2016, voted for Donald Trump. On the other side are young college graduates struggling to get ahead who, unable to vote for Bernie Sanders, plumped for Biden. 

Whatever their political leanings, a vast number of Americans have lost faith in capitalism. A May 2020 JUST Capital and Harris poll found that only 25% of those surveyed agreed that “capitalism works for the ordinary American.” Doubts about capitalism are not limited to the U.S. In a 2020, pre-COVID Edelman survey of 34,000 individuals across 28 countries, 56% of respondents agreed with the statement that “capitalism as it exists today does more harm than good.”

Capitalism is charged with being fixated on shareholder returns, myopically short … Read the rest

Some Cineworld cinemas are set to never reopen after the coronavirus lockdown as bosses consider permanent closures and job cuts in a desperate bid to save the struggling cinema chain.

The company has been hammered by the pandemic, which forced industry-wide closures seeing them shut all 128 of its venues earlier this month of its own accord, rather than under government orders – with 5,500 people said to be at risk of losing their jobs.

A lack of new films has meant cinemas have struggled to draw in audiences in recent months, with the postponement of the latest James Bond picture, No Time To Die, cited as the potential final straw for many.

It was reported last night that Cineworld, which owes some £6.2 billion to its lenders, was lining up a rescue package as a result, and that slashing rents and shuttering swathes of sites could be required … Read the rest

With cases of COVID-19 surging across the country, there has been incredible urgency for a safe and effective vaccine. But there are sobering messages from public health officials and vaccine company executives in recent days that the vaccine likely won’t be available to a majority of the U.S. population until well into 2021.

The approval of a vaccine, however, will only be the first step toward restoring the health and security of our nation. There is an important distinction between the creation of a vaccine designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and a successful process of manufacturing, distribution, and administration. 

The development of a vaccine—particularly at the scale of supporting the needs of the entire population—takes time. In addition, manufacturing and distributing this vaccine is a monumental logistical and security challenge. A safe and efficient vaccination effort presents one of the most complex logistical challenges the nation has ever … Read the rest

The role lenders play in enabling SMEs to achieve their potential cannot be overstated. Without their timely and strategic injections of capital, companies would neither be able to get off the ground nor have the necessary funding to grow, expand and invest.

Moreover, with KYC requirements and covenants, lenders play an invaluable role in keeping SMEs on track and focussed on their primary business objectives.

Simon Fry, Partner at ReSolve, the business advisory and restructuring house, said: When a lender is satisfied with its due diligence and signs a loan facility, it is in good faith that the SME it has invested in will achieve what it has set out to do. However, there are extenuating circumstances that can interrupt a business’s trajectory – and COVID-19 is an obvious culprit. The pandemic and ensuing economic uncertainty have rocked many SMEs, leaving them in an unexpectedly difficult position with a weak … Read the rest