Tuesday, 13 Apr 2021

Goldman Sachs reportedly set to make $200M off Texas winter storm

Best Buy Recently Laid Off 5000 Employees

Electronics retailer Best Buy says it laid off 5,000 full-time store workers earlier this month, despite the company recording strong sales growth during the COVID-19 pandemic as people bought laptops, TVs and other electronics items due to being stuck at home.

The company said it cut those jobs as more and more shoppers are choosing to shop online instead of going to its brick-and-mortar stores. Best Buy said it will replace the 5,000 full-time employees with 2,000 part-time workers.

CEO Corie Barry told analysts that starting earlier this month, Best Buy had been adjusting the mix of full-time and part-time employees in stores, due to “having too many full-time and not enough part-time employees.”

Best Buy expects 40% of its sales to come from online purchases this year, up from 19% two years ago. The company said it had to make changes in its workforce in response to this change.

Best Buy’s workforce has dropped by 17%, or down by 21,000, from last year to about 100,000 worker.

‘Pandemic ate up ₹13-lakh crore household income’

Consumption drag likely: UBS unit

Households have lost a whopping ₹13 lakh crore of their incomes from the pandemic-induced job losses, according to a report that also warns of the economy losing momentum by mid-2021 on a likely slowdown in consumption demand that has propped the economy in recent months.

‘Could slow by mid-2021’

Describing the growth momentum seen in the second and third quarters of FY21 as a positive surprise, economists at UBS Securities India led by Tanvee Gupta Jain said the economy could slow by mid-2021 as households that lost incomes during the pandemic to the tune of ₹13 lakh crore could drag consumption with a lag.

In the second quarter of the current financial year, the GDP contraction narrowed to 7.5%, while in Q3, it grew 40 basis points (bps).

Given this, sustainability of the recovery seen in the second and third quarters and also the growth outlook are dependent on the revival in new investment intentions and easing of financial sector stress.

Girl, 7, raises thousands for her own brain surgery by running lemonade stand

Taking a halftime look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the NBA season

The 2020-21 NBA season is unlike any other.

Fanless games.

Postponed games.

Some fans at games.

Stringent health and safety protocols for players, coaches and staff.

A December start. An All-Star game in March.

At the midpoint of the NBA season, it’s usually the appropriate time to offer evaluations. Who is playing well? Who is not? Unlike in previous years, the analysis this season goes beyond a team’s success or shortcomings.

With the COVID-19 still altering our lives, the critiques have to keep in mind the strangeness of the season.

USA TODAY NBA writers Jeff Zillgitt and Mark Medina offer a first-half season in review on matters both on and off the court.

Horse racing: Irish trainer Gordon Elliot banned over dead horse photo

LONDON (REUTERS) – Irish trainer Gordon Elliott has been banned for 12 months, six months of that suspended, the Irish Horseracing Regulatory Board (IHRB) said on Friday (March 5), after a photo circulated of him sitting on a dead horse.

“The photograph shows the most appalling bad taste on the part of Mr Elliott,” the judgement from the IHRB read.

“It demonstrates a complete absence of respect for the horse at a time when he still remains in his charge.”

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Berkshire Q4 Profit Up 23%

Billionaire Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK.A, BRK.B) reported that its fourth-quarter net earnings attributable to shareholders rose about 23 percent to $35.84 billion from last year’s $29.16 billion, with earnings per share improving to $23,015 per Class A share from $17,909 per Class A share in the prior year.

Operating earnings for the fourth-quarter grew to $5.02 billion from $4.42 billion in the previous year.

Total revenues for the fourth-quarter declined to $64.38 billion from $65.37 billion in the prior year.

Warren Buffett said in a letter to the company’s shareholders that the company has repurchased more shares since year end and is likely to further reduce the company’s share count in the future.

Berkshire said it repurchased about $9 billion of stock during the fourth quarter, and about $25 billion of stock in 2020. “That action increased your ownership in all of Berkshire’s businesses by 5.2% without requiring you to so much as touch your wallet,” Buffett said Saturday in his annual letter.

On December 31, 2020, there were 1.54 million Class A equivalent shares outstanding. Insurance float was approximately $138 billion at December 31, 2020, an increase of $9 billion since year end 2019.

Buffett admitted in the letter that he made a mistake in 2016 in acquiring Precision Castparts. “I paid too much for the company. No one misled me in any way – I was simply too optimistic about PCC’s normalized profit potential,” Buffett said.

Goldman Sachs reportedly set to make $200M off Texas winter storm

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Traders at Goldman Sachs may reap huge profits from the winter storm last month that left many across Texas and other Southern states without electricity, clean water and heat, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

The Wall Street bank could make up to $200 million from the physical sale of power and natural gas and from financial hedges after spot prices jumped, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Goldman did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Bloomberg reported that while the bank could make $200 million on paper, the actual profits collected are likely to be less, as regulators and consumers intervene with legal challenges in the aftermath of the energy crisis and some companies go bankrupt.

Bank of America also stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars from trades related to Texas’ energy market, the Financial Times reported Friday.

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