Stocks Stall After Another S&P 500 High: Live Business Updates

The dining room at Swift & Sons is empty. The Chicago restaurant is part of a group co-founded by Kevin Boehm, who said that without help, “we can’t make it to April or May.”

Credit…Lucy Hewett for The New York Times

The challenge facing the United States now is to keep the economy going long enough to prevent irreparable damage to the ecosystem on which a huge share of its activity is built, Neil Irwin reports.

“There are these little land mines across the economic landscape,” said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM, an accounting firm for midsize businesses. “Even if they don’t matter at the macro level, at the local level they can matter a lot.”

Those land mines could hold the national economy back even after a vaccine is widely available.

  • The Independent Restaurant Coalition argues that widespread restaurant failures are inevitable without a major new federal rescue. That could simultaneously mean vacant former restaurant spaces, unemployed restaurant workers, and restaurant entrepreneurs bankrupted and in no position to start over.

  • A wave of commercial foreclosures could create closings and other disruptions as new owners seize control of shopping malls, hotels and other properties. The delinquency rate for mortgage securities backed by retail real estate was 14.3 percent in October, up from 4.6 percent a year earlier. The rate for lodging properties was 19.4 percent, up from 1.5 percent. And those delinquencies reflect missed loan payments before the latest surge in virus cases and renewed lockdowns.

  • State and municipal governments will be forced to reckon with a drop in tax revenue. Projections vary widely by state, but most states expect revenue to fall in the fiscal year ending in 2021, with several projecting 10 percent to 20 percent declines, according to data compiled by the Urban Institute. Without help from the federal government, states and localities would probably need to cut deeper, adding to the 1.3 million job losses since February.

As President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s introduced his nominees for economic positions on Tuesday, they made it clear that they were thinking expansively about how to revive the U.S. economy and looking beyond just restoring lost jobs and livelihoods to finding ways to widen economic wealth, broaden opportunities and repair safety net programs.

Here is more on Mr. Biden’s picks to head the Council of Economic Advisers and for the No. 2 position at the Treasury Department, which will be lead by Janet Yellen.

Credit…Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

Friends and former colleagues say they expect Ms. Rouse to bring a focus on the forces that hold people back in the economy and a degree of diligence to the Council of Economic Advisers if she is confirmed by the Senate to lead it, report Jim Tankersley and Jeanna Smialek.

Austan Goolsbee, who led the council under Mr. Obama when Ms. Rouse was a member, said he expected Ms. Rouse to focus on challenges facing workers in the so-called gig economy — like drivers for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft — and on workers who suffer long spells of unemployment in the crisis.

In recent months, Ms. Rouse has advocated new federal protections for workers in response to the pandemic. In April she called for a law “that mandates (and perhaps subsidizes) paid sick leave, which has been shown to reduce turnover, increase productivity and lower overall health care costs for employers.”

Credit…Kriston Jae Bethel for The New York Times

Mr. Adeyemo, who goes by Wally, brings a mainstream policy perspective with a background that breaks barriers, Alan Rappeport reports. Mr. Adeyemo would be part of a history-making duo at Treasury: He would be the first Black deputy at the Treasury, serving with the first female secretary, Janet L. Yellen.

The soft-spoken and deliberate Mr. Adeyemo’s approach will provide a stark contrast to the Trump administration’s combative tone in economic diplomacy. At the 2016 event sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Mr. Adeyemo described the importance of encouraging China to liberalize its markets by making the case that doing so was in its own economic interests — and in the interests of the United States.

That multilateral approach to dealing with China could be a complication for Mr. Adeyemo at his confirmation hearing, as Republicans have become accustomed to Mr. Trump’s confrontational stance. And Mr. Adeyemo’s work for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, will probably raise questions from some Democrats, as progressives have already expressed their displeasure.

Craig Erwich, the longtime head of original programming at Hulu, will now also oversee ABC Entertainment.
Credit…Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Disney is the latest old-school Hollywood company to make big changes in its executive wing as the entertainment industry shifts its focus from network television and theatrical movies to streaming media.

On Tuesday, the company — home to the streaming platforms Disney+ and Hulu, as well as the ABC network and the 20th Television production studio — announced a shake-up that consolidates its TV operations.

Karey Burke, the head of ABC Entertainment, will leave the network and take over as the president of 20th Television, Disney said. Craig Erwich, the president of Hulu Originals, will keep that job and also take over as president of ABC Entertainment.

Bert Salke, the head of the company’s Touchstone Television studio, is leaving the company, having taken a producing deal. The Touchstone studio will discontinue and be folded into 20th Television.

Dana Walden, the chairman of entertainment at Walt Disney Television, said the changes would help the company deliver new programming to Disney+ and Hulu, as well as rival streaming services and networks.

“I am proud of our exceptional leadership team and all we have accomplished, but the media landscape is changing and this reorganization better positions us for the future,” Ms. Walden said in a statement.

The changes suggest the diminishing importance of what used to be one of the biggest jobs in the entertainment industry: the network head. In the streaming era, that post does not seem quite big enough for a single executive.

In a similar move in October, NBCUniversal gave Susan Rovner creative control over NBCUniversal’s television properties, including the NBC television network, the Peacock streaming service and several cable channels. (Frances Berwick is in charge of business operations at many of NBCUniversal’s television properties.)

Mr. Erwich, who has been at Hulu since 2014, has championed series like “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “Pen15.” Along with continuing to find original shows for Hulu, he will oversee entertainment at ABC. Ms. Burke, who had been the head of ABC for two years, will run a major television studio as the new head of 20th Television.

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