News Roundups

Exxon Booted, Demystifying America's Bailout, and More

Daily stimulus and recovery news headlines from August 25, 2020.

Exxon Booted from Dow Industrials in Major Embrace of Tech

The dominance of technology companies has eclipsed every other story in 2020’s pandemic-upended stock market. Now it’s helping speed changes to the world’s most famous equity benchmark.

In the biggest reshuffling in seven years, Exxon Mobil Corp, Pfizer Inc. and Raytheon Technologies Corp. were kicked out of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, making way for Salesforce.com, Amgen Inc. and Honeywell International to enter the 124-year old equity gauge a week from today.

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This watchdog wants to 'demystify' America's COVID-19 bailout

A blunt observation captures the essence of Bharat Ramamurti’s career as a dogged corporate watchdog.

America’s economic troubles, he says, “come down to this question about the role of corporations and the rules that they play by.” As a member of the COVID-19 Congressional Oversight Commission, Ramamurti today helps Congress oversee the allocation of billions of dollars by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve aimed at stabilizing the economy during the worst health crisis in a century.

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Trump Promised a Coal Comeback But America’s Miners Need an Energy Revolution

Bobby Stevens’s backup plan for his backup plan encountered an obstacle a few months ago. In March the coronavirus pandemic closed the Kentucky government building where he was set to take his commercial driver’s license test, which he started studying for after he got dismissed by his second coal company in a year, where he’d started working after the first one went bankrupt.

The bankruptcy of coal giant Blackjewel LLC, which terminated Stevens and about 1,700 other workers in four states, made international news last summer when some of them blocked railroad tracks in Harlan County, Ky., over unpaid wages. It didn’t take long for Stevens’s next employer, Perry County Coal LLC, to start making its own cuts. “I guess we’re going to be like a dying breed,” says Stevens. The son of a coal worker, he got his first mining job when he was 18 years old. Now, at 30, he’s leaving the industry.

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The End of Oil Is Near

THIS PAST SPRING, coastlines around the globe took on the feel of an enemy invasion as hundreds of massive oil tankers overwhelmed seaports from South Africa to Singapore. Locals and industry analysts alike used the word armada—typically applied to fleets of warships—to describe scenes such as when a group of tankers left Saudi Arabia en masse and another descended on China. One distressed news article proclaimed that a “floating hoard” of oil sat in tankers anchored across the North Sea, “everywhere from the UK to France and the Netherlands.” In April, the US Coast Guard shared an alarming video that showed dozens of tankers spread out for miles along California’s coast.

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