2021 is NOT messing around
Insurrectionists stormed the Capitol… and the market is doing well?
We explain how that happened
As you may have heard, this week was a hard one for American democracy.
It started at a Trump rally (typical) held not far from Capitol Hill, where he encouraged his supporters to march down Pennsylvania Avenue and “help the weak Republicans” by giving them the “pride and boldness they need to take back the country.”
Meanwhile, Congress was certifying the Biden/Harris victory, one of the last things that needs to happen before they can take power on January 20th.
Fast-forward a few hours, and lawmakers had been evacuated, Trump supporters were storming the Capitol, and neo-Nazis and far-right extremists had broken into the Senate chambers, Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office, and were clamouring through the hallways. Five people, including a police officer, were left dead.
But a pretty critical event was glossed over on Wednesday, due to the chaos occurring on Capitol Hill. The Georgia runoff elections determined the last two Senate seats – and both Democrats won, each unseating the incumbent Republican candidate. This means the Senate is tied at 50-50 Democrats-Republicans, and a tie is broken by the VP. Because VP-elect Harris is a Democrat, Democrats control the Senate – in addition to the Congress, and the Oval Office.
So how did the markets react?
We know markets hate instability, and the insurrection was, well, basically a huge mob of unstable people (terrorists). But despite this, the markets fared well. In fact, the S&P 500, the Dow Jones, and Nasdaq all close at all-time highs.
While we were busy tuning into insurrection coverage, investors were focused on the Georgia runoff elections.
Now, with Democrats controlling the Presidency, Congress, and the Senate, there is nothing stopping Biden’s fiscal stimulus package. As you may recall, Biden promised $1 trillion in stimulus funding during the election campaign.
He has recently promised $2,000 in stimulus payments for Americans, along with billions to city and state governments — all of which will provide a huge boost to the economy.
Breaking News: ELON MUSK IS F*CKING LOADED
Last week, one mega-rich white man (Elon Musk, Co-founder and Chief Exec of Tesla) usurped another mega-rich white man (Jeff Bezos, Founder and Chief Exec of Amazon) to become the wealthiest person in the world.
Now topping the list on the Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Musk’s fortune has topped a whopping $185 billion USD, thanks in part to some share gains made by the electric vehicle and clean energy company on Thursday. Tesla’s stock increased 4.8%, enough to tip Musk into the top spot.
Musk co-founded Tesla 17 years ago and holds 20% ownership of the company, which is now worth more than $700 billion USD – that’s more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, GM and Ford combined. Musk’s net worth grew by over $150 billion in the last year alone, a year in which Tesla returned strong profits, saw their share price surge by 743%, and joined the S&P 500 Index.
Look, it’s kind of difficult to be happy for a ludicrously wealthy billionaire who is becoming even wealthier. However, what you CAN be at least a little happy about, is the fact that Musk is allegedly planning to do some good with a portion of his fortune.
In a tweet published on Friday, Musk said:
“Btw, critical feedback is always super appreciated, as well as ways to donate money that really make a difference (way harder than it seems)”
However, Musk’s isn’t particularly known for his philanthropy. In the past, he has made donations amounting to more than $257 million USD to his self-founded Musk Foundation (somehow still literally only .001% of his net worth ), and has indicated in the past that he intends to use half of his wealth to build an actual colony on Mars.
Anyways, congrats to Elon Musk for being very rich.
2021 off to a bad start for airlines…
As if it couldn’t get worse than 2020…
It’s a brutal time to be an airline right now.
Just this week, WestJet cut over 1000 jobs in a combination of layoffs, unpaid time off, and furloughs. WestJet also had to cancel 11 flight routes after the Government of Canada implemented the negative Covid-19 test policy for travelers coming from outside of Canada.
This new policy caused an unprecedented number of trip cancelations. Airline executives claim to be frustrated with the way the government is treating them, but it’s a tough line to walk for legislators – airlines add $36 billion in GDP and create jobs across multiple sectors. All of which could see consequences of decreased air travel.
Air Canada has tried to adapt- rebranding and relaunching their Aeroplan rewards program in November to align with best-in-class rewards programs (think visa, PC Optimum Points, etc). So far, the reviews have been pretty good – updates include all seats eligible for points, fewer surcharges, and the ability to purchases trips, upgrades, free wifi with a combination of points and cash.
After an expensive rebrand, Air Canada is hoping to get customers flying. Hence a bold marketing strategy involving social media influencers. The influencers were paid to post material of them traveling with Air Canada and highlighting safety procedures. As one can imagine this, caused a bit of backlash considering non-essential travel is still highly discouraged by the Canadian government.
All of this to say, we’re glad we’re not working PR for an airline this week.