Knee-jerk omicron shutdown exhibits lack of presidency coordination

The “knee-jerk” reaction from countries imposing border restrictions due to the new omicron Covid variant show that, according to CAPA – Center for Aviation – governments haven’t learned much about how to deal with Covid-19 effectively.

Multiple countries including the USA, Canada, UK and Singapore Postponed last week to restrict travel from southern Africa after the World Health Organization (WHO) flagged Omicron, which was first discovered in South Africa, a Variant of concern.

The newly identified strain has a large number of mutations and worrying properties that health professionals are concerned about.

Israel and Japan led a. a Prohibition for all foreign visitors.

Nearly two years after the pandemic, “we don’t seem to have really learned much,” CAPA chair emeritus Peter Harbison told CNBC “Squawk Box Asia” Thursday.

“There is very little coordination between governments about what we do. It’s like a squat every time,” he said, calling for a “multilateral consensus.”

The Chief Medical Advisor to the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci, on Wednesday defended the U.S. travel restrictions, describing them as a temporary measure designed to buy time for health officials.

The WHO has warned countries against this impose blanket travel bans, argues that it will “worsen inequalities”. The UN health panel called instead for an “evidence-based” approach, including more screenings and possible quarantines.

South Africa has also slammed the travel restrictions as “unjustified”.

From Wednesday, 23 countries worldwide reported cases of the strongly mutated Omicron-Covid-19 variant.

Disastrous prospects for travel

The prevailing disjointed approach is having “catastrophic” effects on global recovery, said Harbison, whose agency provides market intelligence to the aviation and travel industries.

“The industry has to face the fact that it is not going to go away anytime soon and we will inevitably get these reactions every time there is a new burden that it will be very clear,” he said.

A passenger wears a face mask when she saw a coronavirus variant called Omicron on 29. 19.

MOHD RASFAN | AFP | Getty Images

Even before the advent of the Omicron tribe, the outlook for the travel industry – and especially aviation – was bleak.

The International Air Transport Association Forecast in October that next year international air traffic will struggle to approach pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

Asia hardest hit

The Asian aerospace industry is expected to be hardest hit in 2022, only reaching 11% of 2019 levels based on pre-omicron estimates. In comparison, 75% in Europe and 65% on the routes Europe-North America.

Compared to other parts of the world, Asia has so far only slowly opened up and lifted travel restrictions.

Singapore pioneered the resumption of travel in the region and took off bilateral travel agreements – known as vaccinated travel routes (VTLs) – with different countries including several neighboring neighbors.

If Singapore goes like this and really starts to close, then I guess [it] sends a very bad signal.

Peter Harbison

Chairman emeritus, CAPA – Center for Aviation

However, Harbison said the country’s response to the Omicron outbreak is being closely monitored.

“If Singapore goes down this path and really begins to close, I think it sends a very bad signal to the rest of the region,” he said.

However, China – Asia’s largest contributor to international tourism – continues to have the greatest impact on the region’s recovery. With little signs of China’s repeal international border restrictions In the short term, the effects on the industry could still be felt for some time.

“China has a massive impact on this region in terms of travel, so if they don’t move, this region in particular suffers,” said Harbison.

Research: Lack of variety in Hollywood prices trade $10B | Leisure

NEW YORK (AP) – For years, researchers have said a lack of diversity in Hollywood movies not only reflects poorly on demographics, but is bad business too. A new study by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company estimates how much Hollywood is still on the table: 10 billion US dollars.

The McKinsey report released on Thursday analyzes how inequality shapes the industry and how much it ultimately costs its bottom line. The consultancy concluded the $ 148 billion film and television industry is losing $ 10 billion, or 7 percent, each year by undervaluing black films, filmmakers, and executives.

“Fewer black-led stories are told, and when they do, these projects have consistently been underfunded and undervalued, even though they often achieved higher relative returns than other properties,” the study authors wrote: Jonathan Dunn, Sheldon Lyn, Nony Onyeador and Ammanuel Zegeye.

The study, which spans 2015-2019, was conducted over the past six months and was based on previous research from the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, and von Nielsen. The BlackLight Collective, a coalition of black leaders and talent in the industry, works with McKinsey researchers. The company also anonymously interviewed more than 50 executives, producers, agents, actors, directors and writers.

McKinsey attributed at least part of Hollywood’s slow progress to its complex and multi-layered business – an ecosystem of production companies, networks, distributors, talent agencies, and other separate but intertwined areas.

However, the lack of black representation in top positions of power plays a prominent role. The study found that 92% of movie managers are white and 87% are on television. About 90% of the agents and executives of the three largest talent agencies are white – and 97% are partners.

The researchers found that films with a black or co-lead are budgeted 24% less than films that don’t – an inequality that almost doubles when two or more blacks direct, produce, or write.

McKinsey recommends, among other things, the creation of a “well-funded third-party organization” for a more comprehensive approach to racial equality. The film business is less diverse than industries such as energy, finance and transport.

Following protests against Black Lives Matter last year, McKinsey announced that it would allocate $ 200 million to volunteer work promoting racial equality.

Monitoring the cash: Bid to make enterprise rescue extra inclusive undercut by lack of information

“The data gap for PPP loans has been a persistent problem since Congress launched the program almost a year ago,” said House Small Business Chair Nydia Velázquez (DN.Y.) said POLITICO. “The lack of demographics hampers our ability to ensure that money reaches underserved businesses that were originally excluded from the program.”

The lack of data on PPP borrowers is one of the biggest challenges for the administration in reviewing the program. This is extremely popular as the loans can be granted if employers keep payroll but are affected by complaints of unequal access, opaque rules, and fraud. Assuming the PPP hasn’t reached enough underserved businesses, Biden is revising the program to expand access and target the smallest employers. Congress also provided funding for the smallest businesses and PPP lenders targeting low-income and low-income communities.

A bicycle is parked in front of the Artisan Bar and Cafe on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans. | Dorthy Ray / AP Photo

The SBA lacks the power to compel PPP borrowers to disclose demographic information. Agency officials point to the December Economic Facilitation Act, which requires borrowers to report demographic information at their own discretion, as well as fair lending rules designed to deter banks from discriminating against customers. Private lenders are responsible for distributing the loans.

The Trump administration only began voluntarily starting PPP applicants to volunteer demographic information when the program restarted this year. The Biden administration made the questions a more important part of the application process. But most companies still don’t reveal the details even when asked. One challenge cited by lenders is that borrowers fear discrimination in providing the data.

About 75 percent of PPP recipients this year did not indicate their ethnicity, and 58 percent did not indicate their gender, according to SBA data. 65 percent didn’t say they were veterans.

The SBA’s inspector general, who first raised concerns last May, said in a January report that the agency’s efforts to reach underserved markets “may never be fully known” without full data.

“We need more information about these loans so that we can assess the effectiveness of the programs and know where we can better use future relief,” said the chairman of the Senate for banks Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “We need to make sure these programs work for all businesses, including minority and women-owned businesses.”

The data is important in holding government and lenders accountable for the success of a program that has provided more than 7 million government-sponsored loans through private banks. The information is also vital as officials seek to recalibrate the PPP to reach more Americans before it expires in late March.

When the Trump administration rushed to launch the PPP last year, the SBA was criticized for not doing enough to ensure that the smallest businesses had access to the program. Those concerns were fueled by news that big companies like Shake Shack and Ruths Chris were among the first to get credit. Concerns grew after the program’s initial funding ran out in less than two weeks before Congress replenished it.

Access fears were just one of a series of controversies surrounding the program that the SBA and Treasury Department embarked on to save a free-fall economy that hurt minorities the most.

A Federal Reserve poll published in February found that 79 percent of Asian-owned small businesses and 77 percent of black-owned small businesses described their financial situation as “fair” or “bad,” compared with 57 percent of companies as a whole. A survey published by Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable found that the closure rate for small businesses in majority and minority neighborhoods was 36 percent, compared with 22 percent for businesses in non-minority neighborhoods.

“Much damage was done to equitable access at the beginning of the program,” said Michael Roth, who joined the SBA as a senior advisor in January, in an interview. owned business today than you had in March [2020]. We have to make sure that as we continue to build programs in the future, we will center our equity in them. “

Although the iteration of the PPP continued through early August last year, the Trump administration didn’t include a demographic questionnaire on loan applications until it restarted in January at more than $ 284 billion. In May, optional demographic questions were added to the application that businesses must complete in order to issue the loan after they have spent the funds.

“If you’re being generous, you may just not have thought about it,” said Jeannine Jacokes, executive director of the Community Development Bankers Association, which represents lenders who focus on low-income communities. “Or you could say that maybe they didn’t care if it was just about getting the money out quickly.”

Biden administrators, who came to power with a promise to eradicate inequalities in the economy, say they are trying to improve the SBA’s data collection and analysis for PPP loans while targeting the program at underserved businesses. One administration official described the data challenges earlier this year as “dire”.

According to New York University’s assistant professor of finance, only 726,000 of data available as of Feb.7 on just over 6 million loans have reported races Sabrina Howellwho researches how minority companies fared about different types of PPP lenders. She and other researchers working on the project used borrower names to predict the race of business owners.

In the past few days, the SBA has put demographic questions on the first page of the PPP loan application, among other things. In addition, the agency has started publishing more detailed analysis of where the money is going. in the new weekly reportsThe agency recognizes that demographics are limited. The reports provide metrics on the money flowing into low-income, low-income neighborhoods and rural areas for a bigger picture.

According to SBA dates through February 25th92 percent of PPP loans that year went to companies with 20 or fewer employees. Almost 25 percent of approved PPP funds went to low-income and low-income areas and 17 percent to rural areas.

The administration says the proportion of funding going to companies with fewer than 10 employees in the first month of the PPP’s relaunch this year is up 60 percent from the first month of the program last year. The average loan size – one of the administration’s measures of success – fell by 42 percent over the same period. However, the SBA says that the share of aid goes to low and middle income areas has remained “stagnant” compared to the first round of the PPP.

“If you look at the last round and time series, it almost looks like the largest corporations and businesses in high-income neighborhoods got money first, and smaller businesses and businesses in low-income neighborhoods got money last.” said Roth from the SBA. “So we’re trying to reverse that. The only way to reverse these things is to understand the metrics behind them and achieve real goals.”


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