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[阅读小分队] 【Native Speaker 每日训练计划】No.2784【经管】

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发表于 2020-5-19 21:39:22 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
内容:Morgan Hu  编辑:Yong
Wechat ID: NativeStudy  / Weibo: http://weibo.com/u/3476904471
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Part I: Speaker
Small Banks' Corona Crunch
Adrian Ma & Stacey Vanek Smith , May 2020


Source:NPR
https://www.npr.org/2020/05/15/857212304/small-banks-corona-crunch
[Rephrase 1, 08:58]
Part II:Speed

Should I Furlough? 5 Things Business Owners Should Know First
Desmond Lim, MAY 18, 2020

[Time 2]
The term "furlough" comes from the dutch word verlof, which originally referred to the leave given to soldiers. So it’s fitting that during this global health war, furloughing is top of mind for many business owners.

Clearly, both employers and employees are interested in learning more about what it means to furlough employees, or be furloughed. But before leveraging this particular leave on your employees, here are some key legal aspects to furloughs that you should know.

1. Furloughed employees can’t be “engaged to wait”
Furloughed employees can actually still work for your business; you just need to pay them for their time worked. For example, some employers might furlough on a two weeks on, two weeks off schedule. But what employers must be careful of is having furloughed employees specifically wait on work. This is called “engaged to wait,” and is considered working.

For example, asking someone to stay by their computer “just in case I need you to do something,” can be considered engaged to wait. After all, the furloughed employee is basically being asked to “be on call.” Even if the employee has been furloughed, and even if the task takes only a small amount of time, they are being engaged to wait and must be compensated for the time worked.
This is why it is important to be very clear with furloughed employees that when they are off, they should not work at all, unless it is the employer’s specific intent to pay them. In light of this, managers should consider restricting any remote access to work email or files, in order to prevent any work from being conducted during this time.
[290 words]

[Time 3]
2. Furloughed employee health benefits depend on your company’s policy.

Many recent articles say that furloughing employees is a good way to keep them on your company’s benefits plan including health insurance, but that’s not necessarily true. Your specific policy dictates whether that is the case or not.

Key point: Many health insurance plans will only fully cover “full time employees,” and depending on your furloughing situation, employees may no longer have enough hours in a month, quarter, or year to qualify as full time. Business owners should check with their health insurance provider to see if furloughed employees can be covered at their reduced hours.

Furthermore, if a group of employees are furloughed and no longer meet the requirements of your health insurance plan to stay covered, this most likely triggers a COBRA qualifying event.

Depending on each business's benefits package, owners might be on the hook to subsidize
COBRA for furloughed employees, which can be a hefty expense. So before furloughing, review your company’s policy on whether the employer or employee or both subsidizes COBRA.

Side note: under the Affordable Care Act, employers must offer health insurance that is affordable to 95% of their full time employees, or face a penalty. So as long as any furloughed employees are considered full time, your business has an obligation to provide health insurance. More information here.

3. Furloughed employees could see 100% vesting of 401k plans
This is a good one to ask your 401k plan provider: Does furloughing X percent of my employees trigger a termination event that causes full vesting? According to IRS rules, a 401k plan becomes “partially terminated” when 20% or more of plan participants are terminated from employment (ie. laid off). This means the 401k plan will fully vest for the affected employees, including any and all employer contributions made.
[317 words]

[Time 4]
While a furloughed employee is not a terminated employee, a mass and prolonged furlough could trigger partial termination of the plan. This is why employers should inquire about this with the 401k plan provider.

Why does this matter? Well the entire point of a 401k vesting period is to incentivize employees to stay loyal to a business for years. If the plan vests overnight due to partial termination, then some tenured employees have less reason to return when the furlough ends.
It’s also worth noting that 401k plans usually need to see 1,000 hours worked by an employee to be considered a participant for that year. In case of a long furlough, that might be impossible. Check in with your plan provider to see if they can make an exception during this crisis if your business expects a lengthy closure.

4. Furloughed employees can work temp jobs in the meantime
Just because they’re not working for you doesn’t mean they can’t work somewhere else. Furloughing your employees always comes with the risk of them finding new full time jobs, but they can also find temporary work during the furlough period without violating the furlough (unless you have a prior agreement in place, such as a noncompete). Additionally, they are not required by law to tell you about it.

Performing other work will affect furloughed employees’ unemployment benefits status, of course. They will have to report earnings which might offset or entirely cancel any unemployment checks. While this is up to the individual employee, business owners might want to inform them of this.

When the furlough ends, employees are expected to return. At this time, managers are allowed to make sure they don’t somehow have two jobs if disallowed by company policy. But until then, you don’t have any say in any employment they may engage in.
[319 words]

[The Rest]
5. Furloughed employees might have to be paid overtime if they work
Remember the two weeks on, two weeks off furlough scenario above? There are many ways to furlough, and certain combinations may turn salaried (exempt) employees into hourly (non-exempt) employees. And that means they might be entitled to overtime pay where you must pay them more for hours worked.

The Department of Labor doesn’t want employers to try and be sneaky by “furloughing” employees to just certain days or weeks they are needed. So if they see salaried employees who all of a sudden have a changing amount of pay week-to-week (and if its also under $684 per week), they will consider them hourly and subject to overtime pay laws.

So if your business has some furloughed employees working here and there during this time, it’s best to have them work full weeks at a constant pay rate. Even reduced, as long as the pay rate is constant throughout, and above $684, they will not be considered non-exempt.

It’s not at all a bad idea to furlough employees during this economic shutdown. It’s a smart way to retain good talent, keep up morale, and keep employees on important benefits. Just make sure you do your HR due diligence before furloughing in case of any unexpected business ramifications.
[228 words]

Source: Entrepreneur
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/350278



How a Montana Microdistillery Pivoted to Make Hand Sanitizer for NYC
Cheryl Snapp Conner, MAY 18, 2020

[Time 5]
The world of business in the age of COVID-19 is new for all of us, but it also carries some familiar refrains. As with every era, risk tolerance and disruption is the name of the game. Every line of work is being disrupted.

I spoke this week to Troy Downing, a serial entrepreneur involved in multiple companies, including WildRye Distilling in Montana, which is currently producing hand sanitizer by the thousands of gallons for companies like AT&T, BNSF, USPS and the National Guard. Downing is also a political candidate, running for Montana State Auditor this fall.

Downing's experience mirrors that of many entrepreneurs I’m hearing from right now. Upheaval is everywhere. There is no comfort zone. Despondence abounds as April’s unemployment report hits 20.5 million. And yet, thousands of entrepreneurs are energized by the challenge to dig deeper and think more creatively than ever before.

There is no playbook
In Montana, as in many U.S. states, restrictions are lifting to allow most businesses to re-open, with care. But the process is anything but simple.

“There’s a drive-in movie theater near Billings that was given the okay to open up, but with the requirement that people stay in their cars,” Downing told me. “Then somebody complained to the County Health Department.”

So, the permission was retracted, and the business had to shut back down.

“There’s a lot of yoyo-ing. Bureaucrats running the show who aren’t thinking … just rushing, and that’s where problems happen,” Downing continued. “I would think it’s an order of magnitude safer being in your car in a drive-in theater than going into Costco.”

As a state with a low population that spans a high geographic area, Montana has lost hundreds of millions of dollars from cancellation of elective surgeries and critical care, Downing says, making it a struggle to keep rural hospitals alive. What it would take to bail them out is unknown.
[338 words]

Roll up your sleeves and take a risk
Like many American businesses, WildRye had to close its doors — which included a popular tasting room — in mid-March. But one of the WildRye partners has a PhD in organic chemistry, and as he examined the World Health Organization’s recommended formula for hand sanitizer, he realized it was 80 percent ethyl alcohol, which is a core element the distillery produces. He made a small batch with intentions of giving it to employees and customers in need.

Then the shutdown began, and it became difficult for anyone in the U.S. to get hand sanitizer.
Gallatin County, where WildRye is located, needed 50 bottles for its search and rescue team. So of course, WildRye obliged. Word got out and the orders poured in. The company felt an obligation to continue supporting frontline responders and citizens at risk, so they donated bottles to anyone in the community who asked. But ultimately, they knew they’d have to start charging to avoid going bankrupt.

Then a sanitation company called and wanted two 55-gallon drums, followed by orders for 50 and 110 gallons. It turned out the company supported porta johns at construction sites. By law, if sites didn’t provide sanitizer, they would need to shut down, which would leave 800 construction employees without work.

So the company doubled down on production to keep the sanitation company afloat.

Then the City of New York called.
“We’re a bourbon micro-distillery,” Downing said, “And now we’re getting orders for tens of thousands of gallons of sanitizer. How do we proceed?”  
It's all about risk tolerance and disruption

“It’s the familiar feeling of that ball in the pit of your stomach,” Downing says. “How far over my skis do I want to get, and how much is it going to hurt if this doesn’t succeed?”
Very often, he notes, this is the kind of incentive that pushes entrepreneurs to the point where they simply have to make a plan work, which helps to propel their success against impossible odds.

Navigating risk is one of the universal conditions of being an entrepreneur, Downing says, noting that more than half of the Fortune 500 and of the S&P companies began in a downturn.
So far, the pivot has proven to be a risk worth taking so far. But how it plays out for WildRye’s future has yet to be seen. Downing is predicting many businesses will not re-open their doors. But he sees opportunities, too.  

“There is opportunity whenever you have a setback like this,” he concludes. “Hopefully, you keep at least a little bit of your powder dry and can take advantage. But regardless, you roll up your sleeves and you make things happen.”
[481 words]
Source: Entrepreneur
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/350426

Part III: Obstacle


Why Economic Forecasting Is So Difficult in the Pandemic
ARNE POHLMAN and OLIVER REYNOLDS, MAY 18, 2020

[Paraphrase 7]

The coronavirus pandemic has introduced extreme uncertainty into nearly every aspect of society. Will health care systems hold up? Will scientists develop a vaccine? Are essential workers safe? When can regular employees go back to the office? The answers to these questions — when there are answers — seem to change daily. And with each change the stock market (and our hopes) rises or falls.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, we’ve seen pervasive uncertainty manifest in a sudden and massive divergence in macroeconomic projections. For example, in early February, the spread among economic growth forecasts for Q2 in the U.S. was 3.5 percentage points according to FocusEconomics data. By April 29, the most optimistic forecast among the 28 institutions in our weekly coronavirus survey saw the U.S. economy contracting 8.2%. The most pessimistic projected a huge 65.0% contraction — a spread of 56.8 percentage points — with an average of -31.4%. While most institutions expected a rebound in Q3, some saw further declines. And in Q4, although all economists projected growth of some form, forecasts ranged from a minimum of +1.1% and a maximum of +70.0%. The spreads observed in recent weeks are by far the widest recorded since we started covering the U.S. a decade ago.

Looking at countries with a longer time horizon, the current forecast spread among analysts is far larger than at any point during the past 20 years, and significantly above that seen during the height of the financial crisis — the last period of extreme, prolonged global uncertainty. For example, during the 2008 financial crisis, both Brazil and Mexico saw the spread for annual GDP forecasts widen to close to six percentage points, before returning to under three for most of the 2010s. The percentage point spread is now well over seven percentage points.

Why So Much Divergence?

The short answer to why there is so much divergence is because no one knows for sure what is going to happen. Digging deeper, three key factors are causing forecasters particular difficulties.

First, the economic impact and speed of policy changes have never been higher. In normal times, most governments can be relied on to at least attempt to encourage economic growth and preserve employment. Today, however, they are deliberately provoking recessions to save lives, and containment measures are crushing domestic activity. Simply miscalculating the end date of a nationwide lockdown by a couple of weeks throws annual GDP forecasts completely off-kilter.

Moreover, bills which generally endure months of parliamentary ping-pong are being rushed through legislatures in days as governments and central banks race to respond to the rapid advance of the virus. Many governments have adopted emergency powers allowing them to rule by decree. What’s more, the fiscal and monetary stimulus being announced to palliate the downturn dwarfs that seen during the financial crisis. For economic forecasters, keeping up with the constant flurry of measures and correctly incorporating them into models poses challenges.

Second, the pandemic is undermining the reliability of economic data — the bedrock of any good macroeconomic model. In particular, survey-based data of businesses and households is suffering as lockdown measures reduce response rates, amplifying sampling error. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data for March, for instance, saw establishments’ and households’ response rates fall by nine and 10 percentage points respectively relative to their recent average.

Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Global Wealth Management, explained the problem this way: “If you are filling in survey forms in a lockdown, you are likely to be an unusual person, and possibly not representative. Sentiment affects answers to surveys. Data, like consumer price inflation, includes restaurant prices, but restaurants are closed. What happens when you survey something that is not there? Online spending is likely to have increased in lockdowns. Online spending may stay higher after the lockdowns end. It may not be properly captured in official data.”

The third reason the models are diverging so much is because economic forecasters are having to delve into the unfamiliar world of epidemiology to better understand the likely evolution of the coronavirus outbreak in each country. However, this is a challenge even for health experts. Predicting the scope and effectiveness of future public health interventions, or how health care systems will respond under pressure, is tough — particularly for countries at early stages of their epidemics. There is no firm timeline for the arrival of game-changing treatments or vaccines, or clarity over the likelihood or severity of a second wave of cases.

Handling Uncertainty
The divergence in economic forecasts should narrow somewhat going forward. Greater clarity will emerge on the effectiveness of recent stimulus, and any further fiscal or monetary measures will likely be more modest in scope. The gradual lifting of lockdowns will facilitate the collection of economic data. Our knowledge of the virus and its spread will improve. But a return to pre-virus levels of economic uncertainty will have to wait until a lasting solution to the pandemic — likely in the form of a vaccine — is found.

While the coronavirus pandemic poses a unique challenge to macroeconomic forecasters, the profession has faced similarly profound shocks in the past and emerged fortified. The global financial crisis of 2008 caught most economists napping. But the insights gained in areas such as the economics of financial contagion and the impact of unconventional monetary measures have improved the quality of today’s forecasting models. In the same way, Covid-19 will shine new light on areas such as behavioral economics — how consumer spending is affected by fear of contagion for instance — and the economic effects of radical fiscal policy. The knowledge gained could make the uncertainty of future economic crises, whenever and however they come, that bit less extreme.
[964 words]
Source:Harvard Business Review
https://hbr.org/2020/05/why-economic-forecasting-is-so-difficult-in-the-pandemic


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发表于 2020-5-19 21:56:22 发自手机 Web 版 | 显示全部楼层
OB:8:11
发表于 2020-5-19 22:07:02 | 显示全部楼层
time 2: 1'35"
time 3: 2'02"
time 4: 2'01"
time 5: 1'15"
time 6: 2'02"
OB: 5'11"
发表于 2020-5-19 22:46:27 发自手机 Web 版 | 显示全部楼层
T2: 48"
T3: 1'42
T4: 2'16
T5: 2'12
T6: 56"
发表于 2020-5-19 23:02:54 | 显示全部楼层
full vesting?  401k plans?  retracted
00:00

Furloughed employees can actually still work for your business; you just need to pay them for their time worked.  Furloughed employees can’t be “engaged to wait” ;when they are off, they should not work at all.
02:07
Furloughed employee health benefits depend on your company’s policy.  Business owners should check with their health insurance provider to see if furloughed employees can be covered at their reduced hours.  Review your company’s policy before furloughing.
01:09
Ask your 401k plan provider: Does furloughing X percent of my employees trigger a termination event that causes full vesting?  If the plan vests overnight due to partial termination, then some tenured employees have less reason to return when the furlough ends.

Furloughed employees can work temp jobs in the meantime. When the furlough ends, employees are expected to return. At this time, managers are allowed to make sure they don’t somehow have two jobs if disallowed by company policy.
01:25

Furloughed employees might have to be paid overtime if they work.
So if your business has some furloughed employees working here and there during this time, it’s best to have them work full weeks at a constant pay rate.


02:09
There is no playbook for business and  hospitals; what it would take to bail them out is unknown.

00:58

Trying to meet the greatcdemand of hand sanitizer,  the company doubled down on production to keep the sanitation company afloat.


The company are getting orders for tens of thousands of gallons of sanitizer.  Risk tolerance and disruption is the key to their success.

02:55
发表于 2020-5-19 23:06:41 发自手机 Web 版 | 显示全部楼层
time 2: 1'25"
time 3: 2'22"
time 4: 2'01"
time 5: 1'15"
time 6: 2'32"
发表于 2020-5-19 23:31:41 发自手机 Web 版 | 显示全部楼层
T2: 1’00
T3: 1'22
T4: 2'10
TR:0‘55
T5: 2'19
T6: 0’59
OB 9’01
发表于 2020-5-20 00:04:10 | 显示全部楼层
【2分26秒】
leave 假期
forlaugh( furlough) means leave to soldiers
introduction of 5 legal tips concerning furlough
1. wait counts work

【2分44秒】
2. depends on policy, the company may don't need to pay for insurance
3. 401k plan

【2分24秒】
4. you should say nothing about employees finding new jobs

【1分56秒】
5. overtime pay

【7分19秒】
a company turns to produce sanitisers. Risk Management issue
发表于 2020-5-20 00:21:35 | 显示全部楼层
OB:8‘45[964W]
发表于 2020-5-20 00:40:54 | 显示全部楼层
T2 1'18
T3 1'51
T4 1'20
The rest 1'00
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