Posts tagged with "economics"

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THE ECONOMIC SUPER BOWL

In midst of a pandemic that devastated society, including sports, the total wealth of 64 billionaire sports barons shot up by $98.5 billion, or over 30 percent. Taxpayer subsidies for stadiums of 26 billionaire team owners have totaled $9 billion since 1990, with most in last decade.

We won’t know the winner of this year’s Super Bowl till Sunday, but we already know the big winners in our COVID-ravaged economy include dozens of billionaire sports barons.

On the eve of the big game, and after 10 plus months of the pandemic, 64 billionaire owners of major league sports franchises—including the AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs’ Hunt family and the NFC champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Glazer family—have enjoyed a $98.5 billion rise in their collective net worth, a 30 percent increase, as millions of fans have fallen ill, lost jobs, neared eviction, gone hungry and died due to the coronavirus.

The 64 billionaires, who together own or co-own 68 professional sports franchises, had a combined wealth of $426 billion on January 29, 2021. This number is up from $326 billion on March 18, 2020, roughly since the start of the pandemic lockdowns, according to a new analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF), and data analysis from Forbes and Wealth-X. (Note: The increase in total billionaire wealth from March to January was $100 billion, but has been adjusted to $98.5 billion because an additional billionaire reached that status in January 2021.)

The sports billionaires’ private gain in the midst of so much public pain is particularly galling since many of their franchises have been the beneficiaries of taxpayer handouts. Over the past several decades, according to data maintained by Field of Schemes, 28 pro sports teams owned by 26 billionaires have received $9 billion in taxpayer subsidies (see Table here) to help build or update stadiums and arenas and make other investments that billionaires could presumably afford on their own. These publicly subsidized team owners have seen their wealth increase $45 billion since mid-March.

For the full report go to Pandemic Super Bowl 2021: Billionaires Win, We Lose.

Over the past five years—when a lot of sweetheart tax deals were cut—the collective wealth of sports billionaires shot up $165 billion, or 67 percent. Their combined wealth of $247 billion in March 2016 had grown to $426 billion by January 29 of this year. (Nine billionaires on the list in 2021 were not billionaires in 2016, accounting for the $14 billion discrepancy.)

The $98.5 billion wealth gain by 64 sports franchise billionaires since March 2020 could pay for:

  • A stimulus check of $1,400 for over 70 million Americans—almost half of the 153 million people who likely will be eligible under the pandemic relief plan proposed by President Biden based on the 2020 stimulus payments.
  • More than one-third of the $290 billion cost of providing $400-a-week supplements to existing unemployment benefits through September, as proposed by President Biden in his COVID rescue plan.

March 18 is used as the unofficial beginning of the pandemic because by then most federal and state economic restrictions responding to the virus were in place. Moreover, March 18 was also the date on which Forbes estimated billionaire wealth for the 2020 version of its annual report. That report provided a detailed baseline that ATF and IPS have been comparing periodically with real-time data from the Forbes website. [See past reports here] This methodology has been favorably reviewed by PolitiFact.

Last March is when the nation’s emergency response to the deadly virus threw professional sports, along with the rest of society, into turmoil. Thousands of low-paid stadium and arena workers lost their jobs as sports seasons were cancelled and curtailed.

The long winning streak of America’s billionaire sports owners is just part of the dominance of a national dynasty of 661 U.S. billionaires whose wealth has grown by $1.2 trillion, or 40%, during the pandemic. The number has climbed from $2.9 trillion on March 18 to $4.13 trillion, as of January 29, 2021 (see link here for all data).

Though only one of their teams will lift the Lombardi Trophy as Super Bowl champs this year, both the Chiefs’ Hunt family—specifically, Ray Lee Hunt and W. Herbert Hunt—and the Bucs’ Glazer family will continue their long reigns among the nation’s biggest economic winners. The Hunts’ net worth is estimated by Forbes at $6.3 billion, up $482 million during the COVID crisis. The Chiefs received $250 million in taxpayer subsidies for stadium renovations in 2006.

The Buc’s Glazer family is worth an estimated $1.7 billion, according to Wealth-X. Taxpayers provided a total of $218 million in subsidies for construction and renovation of the Buccaneer stadium in 1998 and 2015.

Sixty U.S. billionaires—roughly one in ten of the country’s 661 total billionaires—own one or more major league professional sports teams in the National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MBL), and National Hockey League (NHL). Four other billionaires—three from Canada and one from Germany—own four additional teams.

“These billionaire sports barons have seen their wealth rise as their fans lose their lives, livelihoods, health and wealth,” said Chuck Collins, director of the Institute for Policy Studies, Program on Inequality.  “As a country, we should be investigating pandemic profiteering and taxing windfall gains during these extraordinary times.”

“The Super Bowl brings the whole nation together, but we have not come together as a country to beat the pandemic,” said Americans for Tax Fairness executive director Frank Clemente. “Billionaire sports owners have continued their long winning streak of ever-growing fortunes while fans at home are losing their lives and livelihoods. Real team work would require billionaires to pay their fair share of taxes so we can get the whole U.S. back to its winning ways.”

“Every year, wealthy sports team owners rake in more than two billion dollars in taxpayer subsidies for new stadiums and arenas that, according to innumerable economic studies, provide zero measurable economic benefit to the public,” said Neil DeMause, co-author of Field of Schemes: How the Great Stadium Swindle Turns Public Money Into Private Profit, and editor of the stadium news site. “Letting billionaire owners socialize their costs and privatize their profits has allowed the rich to get richer, while starving local governments of revenue to pay for schools and other genuine public needs.”

Tax reform that ensures the wealthy pay their fair share—the principle President Biden’s tax plan is built on—would transform a good chunk of those huge billionaire gains into public revenue to help heal a hurting nation. But getting at that big boost in billionaire fortunes is not as simple as raising tax rates: tax rules let the rich delay, diminish and even ultimately avoid any tax on the growth in their wealth. What’s needed is structural change to how wealth is taxed.

The most direct approach is an annual wealth tax on the biggest fortunes, proposed by Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, among others. Another option is the annual taxation of investment gains on stocks and other tradable assets, an idea advanced by the new Senate Finance Committee chair, Ron Wyden. Even under the current discounted tax rates for investment income, if Wyden’s plan had been in effect in 2020 America’s billionaire sports owners would be paying billions of dollars in extra taxes this spring thanks to their gargantuan pandemic profits last year. Another reform is needed to significantly strengthen the estate tax so that the riches accumulated by these ultra-wealthy sports franchise owners pay their fair share of taxes when these dynasties get passed onto their heirs.

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Top Five Tech Billionaires Worth More Than 80 Poorest Countries Combined

The COVID-19 has played a significant role in wealth redistribution, with tech companies and their founders emerging as the biggest winners. While aviation, real estate, and hospitality industries have been pushed to the bottom of the global rich list, the tech industry billionaires have witnessed the largest wealth gains in the last year.

According to data, the combined net worth of the five wealthiest people in the US tech industry hit $567 billion in February, more than the gross domestic product (GDP) of the 80 poorest countries combined.

Jeff Bezos’ Wealth Surged by 65% Year-Over-Year (YoY) and Hit $187 billion in 2021

As the COVID-19 spread, the world has relied on many technological tools across different sectors­–from business and education to commerce and health care. Tech companies that have provided the best solutions amid the pandemic witnessed the most significant revenue surge, while their founders got richer, to the tune of billions.

Amazon products have become one of the most demanded in the world during the pandemic, as it keeps providing tech items, groceries, and entertainment to people amid lockdown. Because of the high demand for its services, the company had to hire an additional 175,000 workers to keep up with surging demand.

According to the Forbes billionaire list, the COVID-19 has helped Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos to grow his wealth by $74 billion in the last year, with his net worth reaching $187 billion this month. The International Monetary Fund data shows this figure is closest to New Zealand and Iraq’s GDP, which ranked 52nd and 53rd globally with $193.5 billion and $178.1 billion, respectively.

Bill Gates, the Microsoft founder, is the second wealthiest person in the US tech industry, and globally. The net worth of the billionaire working with the WHO and drug makers to defeat the coronavirus is currently standing at $120billion. Statistics show Gates’ wealth grew by $22billion in the last year and is now closest to Morocco’s GDP, which ranked 59th globally.

As the fifth-largest tech company globally, Facebook has also witnessed impressive growth in 2020. The Facebook shares rose by 26% in the last year, pushing its CEO’s fortune up by $39 billion to $93.7 billion. This figure means that Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth is $700 million above Puerto Rico’s GDP, which stands at $93.9 billion.

The chairman, chief technology officer, and co-founder of software giant Oracle, Larry Ellison, and co-founder of Google, Larry Page, ranked as the fourth and fifth tech billionaires globally, with $84.9 billion and $80.4 billion in net worth as of this month. Their wealth is the closest to Sri Lanka and Dominican Republic’s GDP, which ranked 66th and 67th globally, with $81.1 billion and $77.8 billion, respectively.

Top Five Tech Billionaires Worth more than GDP of Sweden, Thailand or Belgium

According to Forbes and International Monetary Fund data, the cumulative wealth of the top five tech billionaires also surpasses the GDP of several countries considered to be economic powerhouses. For example, their combined net worth is bigger than the GDP of Austria, Norway, or United Arab Emirates, which ranked 28th, 33rd, and 35th globally with $432.8 billion, $366.3 billion, and $353.9 billion, respectively.

Statistics show that the five tech billionaires’ wealth is the closest to Poland and Sweden’s GDP, which ranked as the 23rd and 24th economies globally. The two countries’ gross domestic product stood at $580.9 billion and $529 billion in 2020.

360 Magazine, Business

COVID-19 Shifted Modern Business

COVID-19 and the global pandemic has presented a significant and unforeseen challenge to many businesses. The government and public health restrictions have meant closures for some, and the economic impacts have meant customers are more nervous than ever before. As a business, managing through this pandemic means shifting the fundamental way you see your business. To better understand how COVID-19 has shifted the perspective of modern business, consider these points.

Managing the books

Prior to the pandemic, businesses could be excused for not being across the minutia of detail when it came to their day to day finances. Managing inventories, purchasing and other key accounting tasks may have been considered handled in a lot of circumstances. With the pandemic taking force, it’s been crucial to shift that perspective and consider online accounting software. As businesses shift operations away from bricks and mortar style offices, to working from home, online software is key. Businesses need to be able to manage and keep an eye on all finances in real-time. Making critical accounting decisions remotely could make or break the business, so your business needs to be agile in the way it operates. Traditional businesses could get away with quarterly reporting or even monthly, but the modern business will need to be much more focused on the numbers week to week or even day-to-day. Online software can keep you up-to-date with the accounting details you need to make smarter decisions.

Smart tooling

Previously, businesses considered tools which would allow their employees, customers and competitors to connect a nice service to have. Since COVID took hold, it’s been crucial for the modern business to adapt and offer a range of tools to help create those connections. In lieu of seeing people face-to-face, businesses needed to find ways to create virtual collaboration and avoid an over-reliance on traditional communication methods, like email. 

The modern business has shifted its perspective on these tools and some are now even seeking to find ways to create these virtual connections, similar to the water cooler type conversations you’d see in a physical office. This pandemic has created a divide in project teams, product teams and many other teams where close collaboration was a key to success. Modern businesses, rather than abandoning these ways of working, have adapted and found tools that help them connect better in a separated world.

Productive home workers

Prior to the pandemic taking hold, a lot of traditional business managers held the belief that working from home was unproductive. With public health advice all but demanding businesses have employees work from home, this perspective has certainly changed. Many businesses experienced a changing of the guard, albeit through a transition period. But as time goes by, the modern business is realising that expensive leases and large tenancy are simply not necessary. Employees have proven that productivity will go on, and that business output doesn’t suffer simply because staff are at home. 

Without commutes, some staff even prefer to work longer hours. The pandemic has offered the modern business an advantage to be taken. Allowing staff to become flexible with work arrangements both now and into the future can help build a more engaged and focused workforce. The caveat to this is ensuring staff have the appropriate setups and systems access to do their jobs effectively.

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COVID-19 has challenged many widely held beliefs about the way a traditional business needs to run. From managing the day to day to allowing staff the freedom to work from wherever they are most productive. Modern business perspectives have changed and a lot of managers would argue it’s about time too.

Billionaires Gain, Workers Feel Pain

Half a year into a paralyzing pandemic that has cost millions of Americans their livelihoods and lives, the nation’s 643 billionaires have racked up $845 billion in collective wealth gains, a 29% leap since March 18. America’s billionaires reached this startling milestone of wealth accumulation even as special federal relief was drying up for millions of unemployed workers and for hard-pressed state and local governments struggling to provide vital services. Billionaire figures are from Forbes analyzed in a new report by Americans for Tax Fairness (ATF) and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS).

Between March 18—the rough start date of the pandemic shutdown, when most federal and state economic restrictions were in place—and Sept. 15, the total net worth of the nation’s billionaires rose from $2.95 trillion to $3.8 trillion (see table below and this spreadsheet of all billionaires). That works out to gains of $141 billion a month, $32 billion a week, or $4.7 billion a day. Forbes’ annual billionaires report was published March 18, 2020, and the real-time data was collected Sept. 15 from the Forbes website.

Needless to say, ordinary workers did not fare as well. From mid-March to mid-August, the collective work income of rank-and-file private-sector employees—all hours worked times the hourly wages of the entire bottom 82% of the workforce—declined by 4.4.%, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

In fact, this billionaires’ bonanza occurred against a general backdrop of working-class pain:

The stock market in which billionaires have much of their money invested dropped sharply in the month before the pandemic lockdown. But the six months of gains that followed were not merely a reversal of those losses: billionaires are also $680 billion, or 22%, richer today than they were in February 2019, the release date of the most recent previous Forbes annual report (see table below).

“Every candidate in this campaign season, from presidential hopeful down, who’s pledging to lead us out of the coronavirus crisis must address this stark divergence between the nation’s wealthiest elite and their struggling fellow citizens,” said Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness. “The answer starts with creating a fair share tax system that narrows obscene wealth gaps and raises the trillions of dollars needed to address the present emergency and invest in our families and communities over the long-term.”

“The billionaire economy has been turbocharged by policymakers who are now stalling on relief for the real economy,” said Chuck Collins, director of the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program on Inequality and co-author of the report “Billionaire Bonanza 2020.” “The difference is stark between profits for billionaires and the widespread economic misery in our nation. Clearly, the priorities of our elected officials in Washington, DC are completely upside down.”

DATA ON THE WEALTH OF U.S. BILLIONAIRES AT 6 MONTHS & 20 MONTHS AVAILABLE HERE

Even among billionaires, wealth is highly concentrated. Roughly $400 billion, or only a little less than half of the total gains, were captured by just the 15 wealthiest on the billionaires list. The top three gainers alone—Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk—enjoyed fully 16% of the spoils, or a collective wealth surge of $137 billion. The total wealth of these three—$403 billion today—is nearly three times the $1.5 trillion in total wealth held by the bottom half of the population, or 165 million Americans. One billionaire from Michigan, Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans, saw his wealth increase an astonishing 672%, growing from $6.5 billion to $50.2 billion.

The $845 billion wealth gain by 643 billionaires over the past six months far exceeds the:

Low-wage workerspeople of color and women have suffered disproportionately in the combined medical and economic crises because of long-standing racial and gender disparities. Billionaires are overwhelmingly white men.

House Democrats passed a relief bill back in May that offered a lifeline to Americans not sharing in the billionaires’ good fortune during the pandemic. Among its provisions:

All of the above data is available in one table here.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) have introduced legislation for a 60% tax on the pandemic wealth gains of billionaires between March 18 and the end of the year and use the proceeds to help working Americans cover healthcare costs.

Digital illustration for 360 Magazine

Brand Building In A Recession

Building Your Brand During A Recession

By Lauren Howe and Teri Uyovbievbo, co-founders of up-and-coming South Bay marketing start-up, The Social Block

The onset of COVID-19 has ultimately ended a decade-long trend of economic growth in the United States. In it’s place, we now have the highest rates of unemployment since the Great Depression. The unprecedented economic downturn has also ushered in the swift demise of formerly successful corporations.

Although COVID-19 has brought difficulty to many businesses, the high rate of unemployment has left many to focus on what was previously their side-hustle or freelance work. A small percentage of job prospects has left us with gig work, using our marketable skills and furthering our educations.

While this is a difficult time to build a brand, it isn’t impossible. In lieu of attending meetings, speaking on panels and networking in the community, placing the focus instead on the company’s current messaging, graphics, website, public relations, social media and marketing efforts is essential. In order to get your brand in the spotlight, you’ll need to create a memorable logo so that people recognize your brand as soon as they see your awesome logo. COVID has thrust the world into a work-from-home, online shopping, and food delivery reality. Building your brand during this time is not only the smartest move for your start-up or business – it is the only move that will keep you competitive in a post-COVID world. The following steps are what we at The Social Block do for ourselves to build our brand, as well as what we would always suggest to clients.

Take relationship building digital

We know that nothing can replace face-to-face interactions and networking, but in a digital world, it’s not enough to just do one. Looking out for media opportunities, offering discounted services to local non-profits to support your community, participating in roundtables, panel discussions and curating a well-managed social media presence are all essential ways to build your brand online.

Social media has been, and is continuing to be, a method of providing customer service and increasing brand loyalty. Although the recession may be limiting those buying or product or using your service, communicating with your target audience, asking for their success stories or feedback, and showing that you listen, care and are engaged, will keep your business top of mind and keep business flowing when the economy stabilizes.

Don’t stop marketing

Depending on your product or service, you can choose from email or mail campaigns, utilizing ad space in relevant publications, or targeting your audience directly through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn ads. It’s not enough to leave your growth to organic views, shares and customer/client reviews. Getting new traffic in the door and fresh eyes on your business will increase your brand awareness.

Even if COVID may cause a delay in conversions or results, you want to be one of the services or products on your target audience’s list to try after your area has reopened and the economy begins to repair itself.

Assess where your brand is at currently

It may be time to take a hard look at what branding you had going on before COVID, and determine if it is time to make a change. Is your website difficult to navigate wit outdated items? Is your social media active, and is it used to build relationships with potential clients or customers, or is it used almost as a “personal” account, full of successes and company outings? Are you participating in speaking engagements and interacting in you community? Are your graphics, presentations, business cards and logo truly representative of what you do?

Take a hard look at where each area stands, and be honest about what could change. At first glance, are you truly giving off the impression you want?

Times are tough, but it’s an opportunity to pause, reflect and rethink the way you do business.

Graph illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

Economic Devastation From Uncoordinated Reopenings

New, peer-reviewed research published today by the Social Analytics Lab at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows the devastating cost of the current chaotic and uncoordinated reopening of states and cities across the US. The study, which used data from mobile phones, network connections through social media and census data, estimates that total welfare is reduced dramatically when reopening is not coordinated among states and regions.

The study showed, for example, that the contact patterns of people in a given region are significantly influenced by the policies and behaviors of people in other, sometimes distant regions. In one finding, it showed that when just one third of a state’s social and geographic peer states adopt shelter in place policies, it creates a reduction in mobility equal to the state’s own policy decisions. When states fail to coordinate in the presence of spillovers as large as those detected in the analyses, total welfare is reduced by almost 70 percent. 

As federal, state and local governments continue opening businesses and relaxing shelter-in-place orders nationwide, policymakers are doing so without quantitative evidence on how policies in one region affect mobility and social distancing in other regions. And while some states are coordinating on COVID policy at the level of “mega regions,” most, unfortunately are not. This lack of coordination will have devastating effects on efforts to control COVID-19, according to the study.

“There have been many calls for a coordinated national pandemic response in the U.S. and around the world, but little hard evidence has quantified this need,” said Sinan Aral, Director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy and a corresponding author of the study. “When we analyzed the data, we were shocked by the degree to which state policies affected outcomes in other states, sometimes at great distances. Travel and social influence over digital media make this pandemic much more interdependent than we originally thought.” “Our results suggest an immediate need for a nationally coordinated policy across states, regions and nations around the world,” he added.

Governors from all states and territories will convene virtually for the Summer meeting of The National Governor’s Association on August 5. The MIT study not only assesses the impact of an uncoordinated reopening, but also gives governors a map with which to coordinate in the absence of national guidance. The research shows for all fifty states, which states affect each other the most and thus maps the states that should be coordinating. These maps are sometimes surprising because, as a result of digital social media, each state’s success with social distancing is impacted by the policy decisions not just of geographically proximate states, but also of socially connected, but geographically distant states. For instance, Florida’s social distancing was most affected by New York implementing a shelter-in-place policy due to social media influence and travel between the states, despite their physical distance. New Hampshire had a strong influence on adjacent Massachusetts, despite being a small state.

As the Governor’s Association convenes, this research highlights the need for states across the country to coordinate, even if they are not near one another and the results suggest which states should be coordinating with which other states based on the strength of the spillovers between them.

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Lebanon illustration by Rita Azar

Lebanon Currency Crisis

By Rita Azar

The Lebanese currency has severely depleted in value during the last few months. Although many politicians claim that the lira will stabilize at 3000 to a dollar, the currency crisis continues to rock the finances of Lebanon. Ever since 1990, 1500 liras have always equaled a dollar. Although this is a far cry from 1980 when three liras equaled one dollar, the instability of the lira from 1990 on is treacherous to the economy. The worst the conversion rate has ever been was when the dollar reached a staggering 12000 liras.

One must grasp the country’s financial decisions to understand what led to the economic collapse. Lebanon’s broken electricity, water, and waste collection systems has cost the country billions of liras of debt. Before the early 2000s, most of Lebanon’s debt was local; this means that, theoretically, the debt could be paid off by simply printing more lira, which the central bank has the power to do. But after the former prime minister, Fouad Siniora, took billions of dollars worth of foreign loans in 2007, Lebanon needed to collect foreign currency to pay for the debt debt. On top of this, Lebanon’s economy damaged by an immense decrease in tourism and foreign investments. Due to this, Lebanon has used the little foreign money that still exists in the central bank to pay off its foreign debts which leaves the citizens and companies of Lebanon unable to withdraw dollars from their bank accounts.

Due to foreign currencies being rare to find in Lebanon’s economy, they have become far more expensive. In addition, because of the abundance of Lebanese liras, the lira has fallen dramatically in value. This has led to massive gouging by all types of businesses that need to import with foreign currencies that are no longer accessible. In response, the government and central bank have taken measures to stop the massive inflation of the lira. One method is keeping the official rate, 1500 lira to one dollar, from small scale transactions and being a little more lenient with larger transactions by offering a rate of about 4000 lira to a dollar.

But, this means that the Lebanese people are losing money when exchanging foreign currency into lira. This has led many people living in the country to go to the black market to exchange money with rates other than the governmental regulations. While the black market approach has allowed many Lebanese people to get their money’s worth, it has caused the government to enforce stricter exchange rates to control inflation and ban the black market. 

 

https://www.france24.com/en/20200612-lebanon-pound-economic-crisis-protests-imf-aid-bailout-hassan-diab

https://aawsat.com/home/article/2356311/ذعر-في-لبنان-بسبب-تدهور-الليرة

https://www.alhurra.com/lebanon/2020/04/23/يسقط-حكم-المصرف-تدهور-الليرة-اللبنانية-يشعل-الاحتجاجات-مستقبل-مجهول

https://www.tayyar.org/News/Lebanon/358134/دياب–سلامة-مسؤول-عن-أزمة-الدولار

 

Basketball illustrated by Mina Tocalini for 360 MAGAZINE.

Projected NBA Revenue 

Data gathered by Safe Betting Sites shows that the NBA sponsorship revenue over the past decade amounts to about $9.24 billion. According to the data, the revenue is projected to grow by 159.33% between 2010 and 2020. 

Sponsorship revenue to peak during 2019/20 season. The revenue will be highest during the current 2019/20 season at $1.39 billion while during the 2009/10 season the revenue stood at $536 million. 

The revenue surpassed the one billion mark during the 2017/18 season when it stood at $1.12 billion and later grew by 15.89% to 1.29 billion in the 2018/19 season. 

From the data, the biggest growth was between the 2016/17 and 2017/18 season with a percentage increase of 30.08%. 

The coronavirus pandemic might impact the current season’s sponsorship revenue. According to our research report: “It is important to note that the NBA’s unprecedented move to suspend its season early this year due to the coronavirus had an immense cost as the league’s clubs collectively lost millions in game-day revenue for games canceled. This move might significantly impact the 2020 figures. However, the league is expected to resume later this month.”

Our research also overviewed sports sponsorship spending in the United States from 2014 to 2024. By 2024, the spending will grow to $19.8 billion, an increase of 27.74% from the estimated 2020’s figure of $15.5 billion.

By next year, the spending will stand at about $16.4 billion, which will later increase by  6.09% to $17.4 billion by 2022. In 2023, the spending is projected to stand at $18.5 billion.  Between 2014 and this year, the sponsorship has grown by 28.09%. From the data, the lowest spending was registered six years ago at $12.1 billion.

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Syria illustration

Lebanese Crisis: How it Happened

By Rita Azar

Lebanon today can be summed up to bread lines, a devalued currency, no clear system for clean water, and a garbage crisis. To understand how the country that was called “Paris of the East” for nearly 40 years in the 20th century has now became widely known as a failed state, one must understand how post-civil war Lebanon was built.

During the 1990’s through the early 2000’s the countries leaders notably Rafic el Hariri stared privatizing previously government owned facilities for his own companies. These leaders did this by creating systems that were made to fail by being a burden on the state. Where this proved successful for politicians was when Rafic el Hariri privatized Lebanon’s internet department. In other words, Hariri made the internet department his own company, free of the state, named “Ogero.” With “Ogero,” politicians would be able to buy failed government facilities for cheap and benefit financially whilst the country only would soon after claim debt.

Of course, not all of these government facilities were privatized and stolen. Due to opposition forces that came after the Syrian withdrawal of 2005, the states had some protection to protect their assets from being stolen. These facilities include: the electricity sector, which only provides 8 hours of electricity daily and costs the government billions of dollars in yearly debt, and the Ministry of Water and Environment, which, despite also costing the government billions in debt, is unable to supple citizens with clean water. Despite all of these characteristics of a failed state, Lebanon has been able to survive with generous amounts of foreign aid. But now, due to the more recent politicians, Lebanon has been stripped of its American and Saudi financial aid. Some of these politicians include the new prime minister, Hassan Diab, and leader of the largest political bloc fpm, Gebran Bassil, and the president, Michel Aoun. All this has led to complete economic collapse.

This economic collapse caused the currency being inflated and around half of Lebanese citizens being under the poverty line. This collapse hasn’t been unfelt by the Lebanese people. Senior citizens have seen their savings destroyed. Young adults, adults, and older adults have all came up with one solution, the solution being emigration.

An important fact to consider is that more than 15 million Lebanese that live outside and only 5 million inside the country, so immigration is nothing new, but the fact that millions of young Lebanese people will leave their country, their home, their families and their friends is not being celebrated or ignored. As the economy crumbles in the once celebrated city, Lebanon’s fate is more blurry than ever.

More sources about the Lebanon Crisis:

NC state University- “Why Did They Leave”

Al Jazeera- “Plotting Our Escape”

Al Jazeera- Who is the One to blame for Lebanon’s crisis

Annahar- Lebanon crisis brings mixed legacy for central bank governor

BBC- Lebanon protests escalate as currency dives

CNN- Michele Aoun’s presidency ends 29-month leadership vacuum in
Lebanon

Unemployment and Voter Turnout

The “angry voter hypothesis” is a popular narrative that many voters are driven to the polls by economic anxiety. But a new study shows that hundreds of thousands of Americans hit by the 2008 recession actually avoided participating in subsequent elections.

The same phenomenon could happen this November as the United States experiences historic levels of unemployment, said the study’s author, Ben McCartney, an assistant professor of finance at Purdue University and an expert in household finance and voter participation. With so much financial distress on their plate, voting could be the last thing on their minds. “My concern going forward is that this story is going to repeat itself,” he said.

McCartney found that a 10% decline in local home prices decreased the participation rate of an average mortgaged homeowner by 1.6%, amounting to 800,000 potential votes over the course of the 2010 and 2012 national elections. The effect was less intense for renters and particularly severe for homeowners with little to no equity in their homes. He estimated that financial distress from the economic downturn was to blame.

McCartney used North Carolina voter files, housing data and Zillow home values for his analysis. His findings were recently published online as an accepted manuscript in The Review of Financial Studies.

“It’s a case where the opportunity costs now of voting are very high for some people,” he said. “It’s relatively easy for people to say, ‘I’m not going to worry about it this cycle. How do I figure out if I’m registered to vote? Where’s my polling place? Who is running for the various offices? I’ve got too much stuff on my plate, the economy is collapsing and I’m trying not to foreclose. Maybe now I’m taking care of the kids myself instead of sending them to day care, maybe I’m working more hours or working overtime.’ That is the story that I find fits the data better than this angry voter hypothesis.”

Fortunately, home prices have remained stable during the recent economic downturn due to high demand and low housing stock. But Zillow estimates prices to drop by 2%-3% and rebound by next year.

Four of 10 states that held their primary elections on June 2 saw a decline in voter turnout compared with 2016, according to analytics website FiveThirtyEight.com. The expansion of mail-in voting could have contributed to higher turnout in the six other states, according to the report.

McCartney said that potential voters could be more concerned about recovering from closures, furloughs and layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Households hit hard by this crisis are going to turn to credit cards and short-term loans,” he said. “Even if the economic ship is somewhat righted by November, a lot of households’ financial situations will have really deteriorated. And, for financially distressed households, voting is something easy to just drop from the to-do list. The implications for voter turnout are worrying.”

Ben McCartney (Courtesy photo)

McCartney is a faculty affiliate in the Purdue University Research Center in Economics. His research was supported by Purdue’s Krannert School of Management and Duke University.

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