fb-pixel Skip to main content
TALKING POINTS

Baker administration hires McKinsey to study work post-pandemic

Matthew J Lee/Globe staff

WORKPLACE

Baker administration hires McKinsey to study work post-pandemic

The Baker administration has tapped consulting giant McKinsey & Co. to study the “future of work” following the COVID-19 pandemic. McKinsey is charged with studying how changes in one sector will impact others, identifying significant trends driven by the pandemic, and forecasting the likely short- and long-term impacts of those trends, according to a spokeswoman for Governor Charlie Baker. McKinsey will incorporate employer and individual surveys along with other previous work by the firm. Baker wants this information to get a better picture of how substantial the remote-work trend will be once the pandemic is over — including the shift to hybrid models that blend remote and in-person days — and what that could mean for state policy decisions. McKinsey has already been engaged on this front in Massachusetts, most notably with a series of discussions hosted by the Massachusetts High Technology Council; many of McKinsey’s efforts with local nonprofits are done pro bono. Baker first hinted at his future-of-work study in a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce last month. He is among the bosses who are trying to cut back on office real estate: His administration has made it clear that state workers will collectively occupy considerably less space once the pandemic is over. — JON CHESTO

AVIATION

Advertisement



Ryanair prepares for travel rebound this summer

Ryanair is planning for a rapid return to air travel in Europe this summer, even as rising coronavirus cases and a flawed vaccine rollout threaten to slow the recovery. Europe’s largest discount carrier expects to be flying at about 50 percent of its pre-pandemic capacity at the start of summer, with the figure reaching 80 percent in the July-September time frame, chief executive Michael O’Leary told reporters in an online briefing on Wednesday. The Irish airline is adding flights in the UK, where the vaccine rollout is going more quickly than in European Union members like Germany and France, and in sunny destinations like Italy, Spain, and Greece. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

Advertisement



MUSIC

KKR and BMG team up to acquire song catalogs

Private equity firm KKR and music company BMG Rights Management GmbH are teaming up to acquire song catalogs, following blockbuster deals by artists such as Bob Dylan, Stevie Nicks, and Neil Young. The two parties will search for deals together and can invest as each side sees fit, according to a statement Wednesday. The firms didn’t disclose the financial terms of their arrangement, which they are dubbing an alliance. KKR isn’t buying a stake in BMG, nor did the two form a joint venture or fund. KKR announced a deal earlier this year to buy a stake in OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder’s catalog, valuing his nearly 500 songs at $200 million. BMG has largely sat out the recent boom in song rights, having already completed more than 100 deals between 2009 and 2017. But the latest frenzy has been hard to ignore. In December, the 79-year-old Dylan sold his entire songwriting catalog to Universal Music Group Inc. for more than $300 million. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

CYRPTOCURRENCY

Tesla will accept bitcoin for car purchases in the US

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla who recently added the title “Technoking,” said Wednesday that the company would accept Bitcoin as payment for cars in the United States. Tesla will hold the digital currency, rather than convert payments to dollars, and handle the crypto transactions internally, Musk said. “Bitcoin paid to Tesla will be retained as Bitcoin, not converted to fiat currency,” Musk explained in a tweet. That means when someone buys a Tesla with Bitcoin, the price of the car could well rise — or fall — over time. In other words, Tesla is turning one-time payments into assets with shifting value, or, essentially, investments. — NEW YORK TIMES

Advertisement



CREDIT CARDS

Mastercard chief executive Michael Miebach said the payments giant will link bonuses for top executives to many of its key environmental, social, and corporate-governance initiatives. Executive vice presidents and above will be evaluated on how they contributed to progress on efforts to curb the firm’s use of carbon, improve financial inclusion, and reach gender-pay parity, Miebach said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TRADING APPS

Robinhood files for an IPO

Robinhood Markets Inc. said it filed confidentially for an initial public offering, in what will be a highly anticipated listing among investors — including the trading app’s own customers. The company said in a statement Tuesday that it had submitted its filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, confirming an earlier report by Bloomberg. Robinhood, which said it hasn’t set terms for the offering yet, became immensely popular during the coronavirus pandemic, particularly as homebound young people turned to online trading to pass the time and make money. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

TRAVEL

CDC says cruises cannot resume until November

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said an order that limits the cruise industry’s activity and creates a phased approach to returning to operations will stay in place until Nov. 1. Cruise Lines International Association, the main lobbying group for cruise companies including Carnival Corp., issued a statement Wednesday calling for the CDC to drop the order and agree to let US sailings resume by July. But in an e-mailed response to questions, the CDC said the so-called Framework for Conditional Sailing Order, or CSO, remains in effect. “Returning to passenger cruising is a phased approach to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19,” the CDC said. “Details for the next phase of the CSO are currently under interagency review.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS

Advertisement



BANKING

UBS says workers want changes regarding diversity, workplace flexibility

UBS’s business in the Americas is weighing some workplace changes following feedback from employees on issues such as diversity, job flexibility, and community engagement. The bank is seeking to improve its engagement in underrepresented communities following requests from staff, said Tom Naratil, co-head of wealth management at UBS globally. It plans to deepen efforts through initiatives such as the financial literacy program it currently conducts in low- to moderate-income communities, he said. Staff have also indicated to the bank that they want more personal time and women in particular have sought greater flexibility to work from home, according to Naratil. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

Chinese Internet users call for boycott of H & M

Chinese Internet users have called for a boycott of H & M because it won’t use cotton from Xinjiang, thrusting the world’s second-largest clothing retailer into the Asian nation’s human rights controversy. Users of China’s Twitter-like Weibo platform singled out the Swedish multinational after finding a statement on its website saying it has stopped sourcing cotton from the far western region. The undated statement said that H&M is “deeply concerned by reports from civil society organizations and media that include accusations of forced labor and discrimination of ethnoreligious minorities.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS

Advertisement