MADD/Ipsos Poll: Consumers Support Drunk Driving Prevention Systems in Cars
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March 15, 2021, 9:20 PM
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77% of Americans back federal action requiring vehicle technology to prevent drunk driving
WASHINGTON, March 16, 2021 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Most U.S. consumers support state-of-the-art technology as standard equipment in all new vehicles to prevent drunk driving, according to a new nationwide poll conducted by Ipsos for Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD).
The survey found that 9 of 10 Americans support technology that is integrated into a car's electronics to prevent drunk driving (89% say it is a good or very good idea). The strength of support cuts across gender, age, income and regional differences.
The Ipsos survey also found:
3 of 4 (77%) back Congressional action to require this technology in all new vehicles.
More broadly, 8 of 10 (83%) believe that new auto safety features should be standard in vehicles as they become available, not part of optional equipment packages.
While drunk driving deaths have been cut by more than 50 percent since MADD was established 40 years ago, fatalities have plateaued at 10,000 annually over the past decade.
Making drunk driving prevention technology standard in every new car could prevent more than 9,400 deaths, according to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study last year.
"Drunk driving is the biggest killer on our roadways, which is why MADD is calling for a technological vaccine," said MADD National President Alex Otte. "The American public gets it, and now it's time for our national leaders and the auto industry to use 21st century solutions to finally solve a century-old public safety crisis."
Such systems include driver monitoring, which can detect signs of distracted, impaired or fatigued driving, and alcohol detection, which uses sensors to determine that a driver is under the influence of alcohol and then prevent the vehicle from moving. Technologies like these would not only prevent drunk driving, but also detect other dangerous behaviors such as drowsy driving, distracted driving and medical emergencies.
Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (Michigan) has pledged to reintroduce legislation this year to advance the use of vehicle technology to prevent drunk driving. The Honoring Abbas Family Legacy to Terminate Drunk Driving (HALT) Act was named in memory of a Michigan family, Issam and Rima Abbas and their children Ali, Isabella, and Giselle, who were killed by a drunk driver in 2019. The HALT Act was a technology-neutral approach adopted by the U.S. House last year as part of the transportation infrastructure bill known as the Moving Forward Act, which was awaiting action in the U.S. Senate when Congress adjourned in December. Similar legislation, the RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone) Act, was also pending in the Senate when the 116th Congress ended. A new Senate measure is expected to be introduced this year as well.
About The Survey
The poll was conducted March 5th to March 7th, 2021 by Ipsos using their KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,016 general population adults age 18 or older, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation's largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit http://www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.
Becky Iannotta, MADD, 202.600.2032, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kathleen Silverstein, On The Marc Media, 410-963-2345, email@example.com
China Mobile Considers A-Share Listing After U.S. Removal
(Bloomberg) -- China Mobile Ltd. is considering an A-share listing after the country’s largest wireless carrier was removed from the New York Stock Exchange under a Donald Trump-era investment ban, according to people familiar with the matter.The state-owned firm has discussed the potential offering with advisers as it looks for new avenues to fund its 5G network development, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the discussions are private. Deliberations are at an early stage and China Mobile hasn’t decided the size and timeline of the listing, the people said.A representative for China Mobile said the company has been monitoring policies relating to A-share listings of red-chip companies, and that if there is any progress, it will make announcements when appropriate. Mainland companies listed in Hong Kong and incorporated internationally are often referred to as red-chip companies.Shares in China Mobile were up 3.3% in Hong Kong trading, after rising as much as 3.8%. They have climbed nearly 22% this year, giving the company a market value of more than $140 billion.The NYSE in January delisted the three major state-owned carriers -- China Mobile, China Telecom Corp. and China Unicom Hong Kong Ltd. -- to comply with an executive order by former president Donald Trump barring U.S. investments in Chinese firms deemed as having links with the military. The firms are appealing the NYSE’s moves.The company’s American depositary receipts accounted for less than 18 billion yuan ($2.8 billion) worth of shares, according to a statement from the China Securities Regulatory Commission in January. All three carriers’ U.S. shares were illiquid and thinly traded, and the delisting would have a limited impact, the Chinese regulator said.China Mobile raised $4.2 billion in an initial public offering in 1997 with its shares listed in both Hong Kong and New York, according to its website. The company had explored a listing on the mainland in 2007 but it didn’t come to fruition in the end.A revival of the planned domestic share sale by the country’s largest carrier would follow that of China Telecom, which announced last week that it’s planning a second listing in Shanghai. The offering will help China Telecom tap diversified financing channels in both domestic and overseas capital markets, the company has said.(Updates with company comment in third paragraph and share price in fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
British Airways Owner Readying Its First Bond With a Junk Rating
(Bloomberg) -- IAG SA has hired four banks to prepare an issue of bonds, its first as a junk-rated borrower since losing its prized investment-grade status in May as the pandemic took hold.The parent company of British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus is seeking funds to strengthen its balance sheet against Covid-19’s impact on international travel, according to a person familiar with the matter.The group appointed Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, Goldman Sachs Bank Europe SE, Morgan Stanley and Banco Santander SA as joint global coordinators, the person said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly.IAG and its bankers will meet potential investors on Tuesday and Wednesday to assess demand and a euro-denominated offering of senior unsecured bonds may follow.The sale will include two maturities of debt and will be benchmark-sized, according to the person. That typically means at least 500 million euros ($597 million). An IAG spokeswoman declined to comment on the plans.IAG and several other carriers saw their credit scores slashed during 2020 following the prolonged collapse in international air travel. Airlines have since become prolific users of capital markets as a source of cash to keep operating through the ongoing drought in ticket sales. A junk rating can make new debt pricier because investors demand higher interest to compensate them for the extra risk.IAG last issued bonds in June 2019, selling 1 billion euros of senior unsecured notes in two parts. More recently, in September, it raised 2.7 billion euros ($3.2 billion) in equity capital via a rights offering. The group had 10.3 billion euros of cash at the start of 2021, it said in a presentation last month.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Depending on where you bank, your stimulus check may not land until at least Wednesday. So be careful and check your account before swiping your card.
'That time delay costs American living on the edge millions, billions in fees,' says Aaron Klein, a former Treasury Department deputy assistant secretary for economic policy.
Nearly 7 million Americans face significant refund delays this tax season as the IRS rushes to send out stimulus checks.
Also, why can’t you withdraw the stimulus payment in your bank account?
Now that the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill has been signed into law, the wait is on for the sweeping package's $1,400 stimulus checks.
Stripe’s Value Jumps to $95 Billion, Becomes Top U.S. Startup
(Bloomberg) -- Stripe Inc.’s valuation almost tripled in less than a year to $95 billion with its latest funding round, making it the most valuable U.S. startup.The online payments processing company drew $600 million in its latest fundraising, Stripe said in a statement.The valuation figure is at the top of the range Bloomberg News reported in November, when Stripe was in talks with investors that would boost its value to more than $70 billion, with the possibility of pushing it to as high as $100 billion. The valuation also overtook billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Instacart Inc., according to CBInsights data.Stripe was founded in 2010 by two Irish siblings: 32-year-old Patrick Collison and his younger brother John, 30. Their net worth surged to $11.4 billion each with the latest valuation, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, up from $4.3 billion in the last funding round.The company’s software, which competes with Square Inc. and Paypal Holdings Inc., is used by businesses to accept payments. Customers include Amazon.com Inc., Salesforce.com Inc., and Lyft Inc.Stripe will invest in its European operations, in particular its headquarters in Dublin, to support surging demand and expand its global payments and treasury network. It also has a dual headquarters in San Francisco, according to its website.Primary investors in Stripe also include the digital investment unit of Allianz Group, Axa SA, Baillie Gifford, Fidelity Management & Research Co., Sequoia Capital and Ireland’s National Treasury Management Agency, the company said Sunday.Stripe didn’t really need the money in spite of the fundraising, Chief Financial Officer Dhivya Suryadevara said. “I view this as a bit more opportunistic,” she said in an interview on Sunday. The company “is highly capital efficient.”Stripe was valued at $36 billion as recently as April, when it raised $600 million from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital.“It will just sit on the balance sheet,” Mike Moritz, partner at Sequoia Capital and a Stripe board member, said in an interview, emphasizing that the money will just be “a rainy day fund -- it pays to have a little more insurance.”Stripe has benefited as some of its customers such as Instacart, which started out small, grew into significant companies. For Stripe, “the growth has been rapid and perhaps more rapid than anticipated,” Moritz said.Both Moritz and Suryadevara said Stripe will continue to seek out acquisitions. The company isn’t focusing on an initial public offering right now, the CFO said, and picked investors who shared its long-term view. “The next 10 years and beyond are even more exciting,” she added.Mark Carney, former governor of both the Bank of England and Bank of Canada, joined its board last month. He will help guide Stripe’s efforts to enable more businesses to bring funding to emerging carbon removal technologies.Stripe, which sells software allowing businesses to accept online payments, has been a beneficiary of the e-commerce boom accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic. The company has recently branched out to offer checking accounts to businesses through e-commerce providers, working with banks including Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Barclays Plc.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Americans intend to plow as much as 10% of the latest round of stimulus checks into bitcoin and stocks, according to a survey by Mizuho Securities, with bitcoin by far the more popular choice.
The biggest divergence between the Dow and the Nasdaq came in the middle of the bear market that was caused by the bursting of the dot-com bubble.
Ray Dalio Says It’s Time to Buy Stuff Amid ‘Stupid’ Bond Economics
(Bloomberg) -- Ray Dalio has long been known for his disdain of holding cash amid rising money printing and inflation, but the billionaire investor now says bonds may be a bad bet as well -- or any-U.S. dollar denominated asset for that matter. “The economics of investing in bonds (and most financial assets) has become stupid,” he said Monday in a post on LinkedIn. “Rather than get paid less than inflation why not instead buy stuff — any stuff — that will equal inflation or better?”Dalio thinks it may even be a good time to borrow cash to buy higher-returning non-debt investment assets in a new paradigm he said could be characterized by “shocking” tax increases and prohibitions against capital movements. With rising amounts of government debt and “classic bubble dynamics” among many different asset classes, Dalio recommends a “well-diversified” portfolio of non-debt and non-dollar assets.“I also believe that assets in the mature developed reserve currency countries will underperform the Asian (including Chinese) emerging countries’ markets,” he wrote, adding that Chinese bond holdings by international investors are rising fast.Other Key Quotes:“I believe cash is and will continue to be trash (i.e., have returns that are significantly negative relative to inflation) so it pays to a) borrow cash rather than to hold it as an asset and b) buy higher-returning, non-debt investment assets.”“There’s just so much money injected into the markets and the economy that the markets are like a casino with people playing with funny money.”“If history and logic are to be a guide, policy makers who are short of money will raise taxes and won’t like these capital movements out of debt assets and into other storehold of wealth assets and other tax domains so they could very well impose prohibitions against capital movements to other assets (e.g., gold, Bitcoin, etc.) and other locations. These tax changes could be more shocking than expected.”“The United States could become perceived as a place that is inhospitable to capitalism and capitalists.”“Because of limitations of how low interest rates can go, bond prices are close to their upper limits in price, which makes being short them a relatively low-risk bet.”“Watch central bankers’ actions—i.e., see if they increase their bond buying when interest rates are rising led by long-term interest rates and when the markets and economy are strong—because that action would signal that they are experiencing supply/demand problems.”“Also, watch the rates of change in the injections of these stimulants in relation to the effects they are having on the economy’s vigor because the more stimulants that are being applied per unit of growth, the less effective they are and the more serious the situation is.”Read More: Ray Dalio Sees 5% of Top U.S. Stocks in Bubble Territory; Ray Dalio Sees ‘Flood of Money’ With Soaring Asset PricesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
China Tycoon Who Lost $32 Billion Tries to Salvage an Empire
(Bloomberg) -- Wang Jianlin used to be Asia’s richest person, busy expanding his Dalian Wanda Group Co. by acquiring trophy assets overseas, all aided by easy credit.Now the 66-year-old doesn’t even figure among China’s top 30 richest people, having lost about $32 billion of his personal fortune in less than six years -- the most for any tycoon in that period. As Wang seeks to cut the group’s total debt from 362 billion yuan ($56 billion) and turn his entertainment-to-property empire around, he’s facing skeptical bond investors.Braced for a wall of maturing onshore notes peaking this year, some of Wanda’s dollar bonds were among the first to tumble earlier this month, when a broader decline hit the Asian credit market. The selloff, partly triggered by concerns over the looming payments, came as a warning from investors eager to see how Wang will manage to steer his group clear of the debt risks that convulsed peers such as HNA Group Co., China Evergrande Group and Anbang Group Holdings Co.“The group’s liquidity is a key consideration for investors,” said Dan Wang, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. A representative for Wanda didn’t respond to requests for comment on the debt risks.Wanda’s Wang, who once purchased Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid as part of the binge-buying and aspired to compete with Walt Disney Co., is still shedding some of those assets. The latest came last week, when Wanda gave up control of AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc., with its stake now representing less than 10% of the world’s largest movie-theater chain. Its chief executive officer said the company would be governed by a wide group of shareholders, and the stock has surged more than 42% in the past three days. Despite the disposals following a government crackdown on credit-fueled expansion, Wanda Group’s debt as of June ballooned to the highest since 2017. The pandemic has only added to the woes, dealing a blow to its cinemas, malls, theme parks, hotels and sports events.As China stabilizes its economy after containing the virus, the reopening of movie theaters and malls is providing Wang the much-needed time to steady his ship. He’s pressing ahead with a strategy he’s advocated for years, called the “asset-light” model, to reduce leverage.That means spending less by cutting back on land purchases. Dalian Wanda Commercial Management Group Co., one of the world’s biggest mall operators that accounts for almost half of the group’s revenue, will stop buying plots starting this year and license its brand to partners instead, the company’s President Xiao Guangrui told mainland media in September.No Alternative“Wanda had no real alternative to its new asset-light strategy,” said Brock Silvers, chief investment officer at Kaiyuan Capital in Hong Kong, who doesn’t hold any Wanda unit shares or bonds. “The company’s debts were unsustainable.”The effect of the pandemic on Wanda has been astounding.Movie producer and cinema operator Wanda Film Holding Co. said it may have racked up a record $1 billion in net loss last year. Despite becoming a favorite in the recent Reddit-fueled share rally, AMC warned several times it was near the brink of insolvency and reported its worst-ever annual loss as revenue plunged 77%. Wanda Commercial Management said sales and profit fell nearly 50% in the first nine months of 2020, while Wanda Sports Group Co.’s American depositary receipts were delisted in January after losing more than two-thirds of their value since they began trading in July 2019. Even if Wanda’s businesses tide over the global health crisis, there’s no certainty creditors will be kind after the developments at other indebted Chinese conglomerates such as HNA, Evergrande and lately at Suning Appliance Group Co.In an offering circular in September, Wanda told investors that the group’s level of indebtedness may “adversely affect” some operations. The conglomerate is also facing tighter credit rules in the real estate sector as Chinese regulators look to curb financial risk.Wanda and its units raised about 48.2 billion yuan in local and offshore debt last year, the most since 2016. A part of it was used to pay older obligations as the group needs to refinance or repay about 32 billion yuan of domestic bonds due in 2021.While the group’s dollar bonds have almost erased their losses since tumbling earlier this month -- their worst week in almost a year -- credit traders cited concerns over the group’s maturing local bonds and a selloff in some of its onshore notes.Wanda Commercial Management’s debt is rated non-investment grade by Fitch Ratings, S&P Global Ratings and Moody’s Investors Service.In his heyday, Wang -- a former People’s Liberation Army soldier -- jetted around in his Gulfstream G550 private plane, paying top prices for assets including a luxury property in Beverly Hills, Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment and One Nine Elms in London, one of Europe’s tallest residential towers.His fortune took a dive as China started to crack down on such expansion and capital outflows. His wealth has shrunk to about $14 billion from a peak of $46 billion in 2015, when he was crowned Asia’s richest person, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.“Wanda gained surprisingly little from its period of unconstrained investment opportunity,” said Kaiyuan Capital’s Silvers. “The company has since been quicker to shed assets than other conglomerates, but it still has far to go.”The asset-light strategy would help generate sustainable recurring rental income for Wanda Commercial Management, the “cash cow” of the group, said Chloe He, corporate-rating director at Fitch. It can also prevent the company from committing heavy capital expenditure and taking on too much debt, she added.“This is going to be very helpful for them to deleverage in the future, provided they don’t invest in something else,” He said.(Updates with AMC stock move in fifth paragraph, Wanda Sports delisting in 11th)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Appears to Have Bought Back $5 Billion of Stock in 2021
(BRKA) continued its strong pace of stock buybacks in the first two months of 2021, repurchasing about $5 billion of stock based on a Barron’s calculation. The repurchases follow the roughly $9 billion of buybacks in both the third and fourth quarter of 2020, as CEO Warren Buffett ramped up the buying. Investors took comfort from the heavy late-year stock buyback as a sign that Buffett viewed the stock as appealing.
Bitcoin wiped out more excess bullish leverage with a drop below $54,000 early today, and is now looking north.
Biden Eyes First Major Tax Hike Since 1993 in Next Economic Plan
(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden is planning the first major federal tax hike since 1993 to help pay for the long-term economic program designed as a follow-up to his pandemic-relief bill, according to people familiar with the matter.Unlike the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 stimulus act, the next initiative, which is expected to be even bigger, won’t rely just on government debt as a funding source. While it’s been increasingly clear that tax hikes will be a component -- Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said at least part of the next bill will have to be paid for, and pointed to higher rates -- key advisers are now making preparations for a package of measures that could include an increase in both the corporate tax rate and the individual rate for high earners.With each tax break and credit having its own lobbying constituency to back it, tinkering with rates is fraught with political risk. That helps explain why the tax hikes in Bill Clinton’s signature 1993 overhaul stand out from the modest modifications done since.For the Biden administration, the planned changes are an opportunity not just to fund key initiatives like infrastructure, climate and expanded help for poorer Americans, but also to address what Democrats argue are inequities in the tax system itself. The plan will test both Biden’s capacity to woo Republicans and Democrats’ ability to remain unified.“His whole outlook has always been that Americans believe tax policy needs to be fair, and he has viewed all of his policy options through that lens,” said Sarah Bianchi, head of U.S. public policy at Evercore ISI and a former economic aide to Biden. “That is why the focus is on addressing the unequal treatment between work and wealth.”While the White House has rejected an outright wealth tax, as proposed by progressive Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, the administration’s current thinking does target the wealthy.The White House is expected to propose a suite of tax increases, mostly mirroring Biden’s 2020 campaign proposals, according to four people familiar with the discussions.The tax hikes included in any broader infrastructure and jobs package are likely to include repealing portions of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax law that benefit corporations and wealthy individuals, as well as making other changes to make the tax code more progressive, said the people familiar with the plan.The following are among proposals currently planned or under consideration, according to the people, who asked not to be named as the discussions are private:Raising the corporate tax rate to 28% from 21%Paring back tax preferences for so-called pass-through businesses, such as limited-liability companies or partnershipsRaising the income tax rate on individuals earning more than $400,000Expanding the estate tax’s reachA higher capital-gains tax rate for individuals earning at least $1 million annually. (Biden on the campaign trail proposed applying income-tax rates, which would be higher)White House economist Heather Boushey underlined that Biden doesn’t intend to boost taxes on people earning less than $400,000 a year. But for “folks at the top who’ve been able to benefit from this economy and haven’t been this hard hit, there’s a lot of room there to think about what kinds of revenue we can raise,” she said in a Bloomberg TV interview Monday.An independent analysis of the Biden campaign tax plan done by the Tax Policy Center estimated it would raise $2.1 trillion over a decade, though the administration’s plan is likely to be smaller. Bianchi earlier this month wrote that congressional Democrats might agree to $500 billion.The overall program has yet to be unveiled, with analysts penciling in $2 trillion to $4 trillion. No date has yet been set for an announcement, though the White House said the plan would follow the signing of the Covid-19 relief bill.An outstanding question for Democrats is which parts of the package need to be funded, amid debate over whether infrastructure ultimately pays for itself -- especially given current borrowing costs, which remain historically low. Efforts to make the expanded child tax credit in the pandemic-aid bill permanent -- something with a price tag estimated at more than $1 trillion over a decade -- could be harder to sell if pitched as entirely debt-financed.What Bloomberg’s Economists Say...“The next major legislative initiative, infrastructure investment, could provide the sort of durable economic gains that not only support higher pay, but promote diffusion of those gains across demographic lines and political persuasions.”--Andrew Husby and Eliza Winger, U.S. economistsFor the full report, click hereDemocrats would need at least 10 Republicans to back the bill to move it under regular Senate rules. But GOP members are signaling they are prepared to fight.“We’ll have a big robust discussion about the appropriateness of a big tax increase,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said last month, predicting Democrats would pursue a reconciliation bill that forgoes the GOP and would aim for a corporate tax even higher than 28%.Kevin Brady, the top Republican on the House Ways & Means Committee, said, “There seems to a be a real drive to tax investment of capital gains at marginal income rates,” and called that a “terrible economic mistake.”While about 18% of the George W. Bush administration’s tax cuts were allowed to expire in a 2013 deal, and other legislation has seen some increases in levies, 1993 marks the last comprehensive set of increases, experts say. That bill passed on a two-vote margin in the House and required the vice president to break a tie in the Senate.“I don’t think it is an understatement to say the current partisan environment is more severe than 1993” said Ken Kies, managing director of the Federal Policy Group, a former chief of staff of the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation. “So you can draw your own conclusions” about prospects for a deal this year, he said.Still, there could be some tax initiatives Republicans could get behind. One is a shift from a gasoline tax to a vehicle-miles-traveled fee to help fund highway projects.Read More: By-the-Mile Vehicle Tax to Help Fund Infrastructure Gains SteamAnother is more money for Internal Revenue Service enforcement -- a way to boost revenue without raising rates. Estimates have found that for every additional $1 spent on IRS audits, the agency brings in an additional $3 to $5.Democrats are also looking to revise tax laws that they say don’t do enough to stop U.S. companies from shifting jobs and profits offshore as another way to raise revenue, one aide said. Republicans could potentially support incentives, though it’s unclear whether they’d back penalties.White House officials including deputy director of the National Economic Council, David Kamin -- who wrote a 2019 paper on “Taxing the Rich” -- are in the process of fleshing out the Biden tax plans.As for timing, if passed, tax measures would likely take effect in 2022 -- though some lawmakers and Biden supporters outside the administration have argued for holding off while unemployment remains high due to the pandemic.Lawmakers have their own ideas for tax reforms. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden wants to consolidate energy tax breaks and require investors to pay taxes regularly on their investments including stocks and bonds that have unrealized gains.“A nurse pays taxes with every single paycheck. A billionaire in an affluent suburb on the other hand can defer paying taxes month after month to the point where their paying taxes is pretty much optional,” Wyden told Bloomberg in an interview. “I don’t think that’s right.”Warren has pitched a wealth tax, while House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters has said she would like to consider a financial-transaction tax.Democratic strategists see the next package as effectively the last chance to reshape the U.S. economy on a grand scale before lawmakers turn to the 2022 mid-term campaign.“Normally, the party in power gets one or two shots to do major legislative packages,” said Chuck Marr, senior director of Federal Tax Policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “This is the next shot.”(Updates with White House economist comments in first paragraph after bullet-pointed section.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
AMC’s Chinese Owner Gives Up Control Over World’s Largest Cinema Chain
(Bloomberg) -- Dalian Wanda Group Co., the conglomerate founded by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin, has given up its majority control over AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. after the world’s largest cinema chain reported a record loss of $4.6 billion for 2020 amid repeated warnings of insolvency.Wanda, which bought AMC in 2012 for $2.6 billion, cut its stake and voting power in the company to 9.8% as of March 3, AMC said in its annual report. The group continues to be AMC’s largest shareholder, the cinema chain’s Chief Executive Officer Adam Aron said in an earnings call. As of October, Wanda had held 37.7% of the Leawood, Kansas-based company and 64.5% of its voting power.Wanda’s dwindling holdings in AMC marks further contraction of the group’s operations outside of China after it sold its last overseas real estate project in Chicago last year. The company, spanning malls, films, sports and theme parks, was among Chinese conglomerates that accumulated some of the world’s largest debts after paying top prices for overseas trophy assets. The conglomerate has been slimming down aggressively since 2017 to pare debt.“With no controlling shareholder in place, now, AMC will be governed, just as most other publicly traded companies, with a wide array of shareholders,” Aron said during the call.The core businesses of Wanda have been hit by lockdowns and other pandemic-induced restrictions. AMC racked up the record loss after theater attendance plummeted over 90%. The cinema chain has raised more than $1 billion since December to keep itself afloat and has cut all non-essential spending.Wanda cut its stake in AMC to 23.1% by the end of December, with a voting power of 47.4%. In February, the group converted all outstanding Class B common stock to Class A common stock, resulting in further downsizing of its holdings, according to the annual report.The group may still have significant influence over AMC’s management because it sill has two board seats, according to the statement and Aron.AMC’s stock has surged more than fivefold this year to $11.16, fueled by an investment frenzy led by Reddit users.At the height of its overseas expansion, Wanda bought landmark assets including Spanish soccer club Atletico Madrid, Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment and luxury real estates in Beverly Hills and London. Most of these assets have been disposed of. Last year, Wanda also sold its Ironman triathlon business for $730 million.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.