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Business news and updates: Former Netflix staffers charged for alleged insider trading

Dynamic Business brings you a daily rundown of the most recent business news and developments from Australia and around the world. Here’s the roundup for August 20: 

Sydney lockdown extended to 30 September

Gladys Berejiklian, Premier of Further South Wales, has announced new Covid-19 restrictions, including mandatory outdoor mask wearing in Greater Sydney, including regional NSW and a curfew in ‘local government areas of concern.’ 

Exercise has also been restricted to one hour per day in those LGAs. The lockdown in Greater Sydney has been extended until September 30, however Shellharbour and the Central Coast are now deemed regional NSW.

Extended lockdowns threaten to push Australia into double-dip recession

Lockdowns that continue into the fourth quarter of 2021 might send the Australian economy into a double-dip recession. 

Independent economist Saul Eslake believes Australia may enter a technical recession if shutdowns continue until November, when the country is projected to hit its vaccination target of 70%, which is supposed to put an end to hard, extended lockdowns. 

A technical recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth, but Mr Eslake feels the phrase is arbitrary and that Australia is currently experiencing a real-time economic slowdown.

SA unemployment hit a 12-year low

South Australia’s unemployment rate has dropped to a 12-year low, placing the state on the edge of “effective full employment” for the first time in a generation, according to the state government. 

The unemployment rate in South Africa was 4.7 percent in July, somewhat higher than the national average of 4.6 percent but much lower than the rate of 5.4 percent in June. 

Last month, around 10,700 positions were added, bringing overall job growth to 32,800 since the beginning of the year.

U.S. to review climate impact from coal sales 

As the Biden administration widens its inspection of government fossil fuel sales that contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, US officials initiated a review of climate damage and other repercussions from coal mining on public lands. 

According to a federal register notice describing the administration’s intentions, the assessment would also consider whether firms are paying fair value for coal removed from public reserves in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah, and other states. 

Even though numerous power plants were closed down during the last decade due to pollution concerns, coal burning for electricity remains one of the leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

3 per cent of SME owners will face tax rise: U.S. Treasury

According to a new US Treasury analysis, only 3% of the nation’s small businesses would face a tax rise under US President Joe Biden’s plan to tax the nation’s highest earnings to help fund a $3.5 trillion spending bill.

Fed sharpens antitrust attack against Social media giant Facebook

Federal antitrust officials have escalated their antitrust attack on Facebook, charging in a revised complaint that the social media behemoth adopted a laser-focused plan to “buy or bury” rivals in order to stifle competition. 

In June, a federal judge dismissed antitrust complaints filed against Facebook by the agency and a broad coalition of state attorneys general, as part of a growing campaign by federal and state regulators to limit the market clout of internet titans. 

The FTC is seeking remedies once more, which may include a forced spinoff of Facebook’s lucrative Instagram and WhatsApp messaging services, as well as a restructure of the company. 

Former Netflix staffers charged for alleged insider trading

The Wall Street watchdog has prosecuted three former Netflix software engineers in connection with a $3 million insider trading ring. 

According to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the scam made advantage of sensitive Netflix membership growth data. 

The data was allegedly used to trade the streaming company’s stock ahead of earnings announcements. According to the SEC, Sung Mo Jun, a former Netflix software engineer, was at the centre of a long-running plan to fraudulently trade shares based on insider information about the company’s subscriber growth.

According to the complaint, while working for Netflix in 2016 and 2017, he transmitted non-public information to his brother and a close friend, both of whom used it to trade ahead of successive Netflix earnings announcements.

Air India disinvestment is on track: minister

The disinvestment of national carrier Air India is on the “correct track,” according to the Union Civil Aviation Minister. The UDAN initiative is democratising air services in the country, and attempts are underway to meet the aim of establishing 1,000 airways and 100 airports by 2025.

“Air India’s disinvestment process is on the correct track. Financial bids for this should be submitted by September 15, following which the next step would be taken,” the minister said.`       

IMF blocks Afghanistan’s access to funds

Afghanistan will no longer be able to access the lender’s resources, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The action comes in the aftermath of the Taliban’s takeover of the country last Saturday. 

The IMF’s resources totaling more than $370 million (£268 million) were scheduled to arrive on August 23. These funds were part of the International Monetary Fund’s global reaction to the economic crisis. 

Access to the IMF’s reserves in the form of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) assets, which may be converted into government-backed money, has also been restricted. SDRs are the IMF’s currency and are based on sterling, dollars, euros, and yen.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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