Boeing: More delays for troubled 737 Max
Boeing’s flawed 737 Max jets might not return to the skies until 2020, said Aaron Gregg and Douglas MacMillan in The Washington Post. Three U.S. airlines—American, United, and Southwest—announced in recent days that they will cancel 737 Max flights late into the fall, “a significant revision” from earlier estimated timelines. That now looks optimistic. The Federal Aviation Authority has yet to sign off on Boeing’s fix to the software responsible for two fatal crashes, a process that has been “complicated by the discovery of other technical problems.”
Banks: Consumer borrowing drives rising profits
Big banks’ earnings “show American consumers are more upbeat about the economy than businesses and institutional investors,” said David Benoit in The Wall Street Journal. “Low unemployment, rising wages, and the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold interest rates steady prompted consumers to increase their credit-card spending and take out new mortgages,” fueling quarterly profits for JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Bank of America. At JPMorgan, credit-card spending rose by 11 percent, while Citigroup’s customers increased spending by 8 percent and Wells Fargo’s by 6 percent.
Amazon: Planning for an automated future
Amazon announced this week that it will spend $700 million to retrain a third of its American workforce—about 100,000 people—by 2025, said Ben Casselman and Adam Satariano in The New York Times. The initiative “could be a sign that the strong labor market is finally pushing companies to make investments in both workers and technology.” It is an acknowledgement that automation will soon be “remaking jobs in nearly every industry.” By one estimate, automation will force one-third of American workers to switch occupations by 2030.
Scooters: Bird struggles to stop its losses
The e-scooter rental company Bird pitched investors last week, seeking to raise another $300 million after losing nearly $100 million in the first quarter, said Cory Weinberg and Amir Efrati in TheInformation.com. “The company that unleashed the global scooter craze” was valued at more than $2 billion after raising $700 million over a year and a half. But it’s had to “slash the costs it has to pay per ride to repair, charge, insure, and replace its vehicles,” which currently last for only about six months of regular use. E-scooters have also come under scrutiny after high-profile accidents, including the London death last week of a YouTube star.