Netflix’s Hastings donates $120m to fund Black education efforts

Associated Press


Netflix’s Hastings donates $120m to fund Black education efforts

Reed Hastings, the co-founder of Netflix, and his wife, Patty Quillin, donated $120 million to the United Negro College Fund, Spelman College, and Morehouse College, the largest-ever individual gift to support scholarships at historically black colleges and universities. The record donation comes amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd and the national conversation about how to end systemic racism. That conversation has included discussions about how to provide more education and job opportunities for Blacks. Unlike the Ivy League universities that have endowments in the tens of billions of dollars — Harvard University’s endowment tops $40 billion — the top historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, have endowments that are the hundreds of millions of dollars. Spelman College’s endowment, for example, is around $390 million. Hastings said he and Quillin want to help change that. They have made education a primary focus of their philanthropy and have given smaller amounts in the past several years to the same institutions. “I think white people in our nation need to accept that it’s a collective responsibility,” Hastings said. Floyd’s killing and the emotional outpouring that followed were “the straw that broke the camel’s back, I think, for the size of the donation,” he added. — NEW YORK TIMES


European banks restart moves to cut jobs

Europe’s largest banks are resuming plans to cut thousands of jobs after putting dismissals on hold to show support for employees affected by the coronavirus outbreak across the continent. HSBC became the latest lender to restart reductions with a plan to eliminate as many as 35,000 positions. Chief executive Noel Quinn put the plans on hold in April, just two months after announcing the initiative. Europe and the United States are expected to face the brunt of the cuts. Deutsche Bank last month became the first major bank to resume job cuts that were halted because of the pandemic. CEO Christian Sewing has vowed to slash the workforce by another 12,000 over the next 30 months, with most reductions expected in Germany. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Home construction makes a comeback

US home construction rebounded 4.3 percent in May after steep declines caused by shutdowns due to the coronavirus. The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that new homes were started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 974,000 last month after steep declines in April and March. Compared with last year, however, construction activity remains 23.2 percent below last year’s pace. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Norwegian cancels some voyages, extends suspension

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. extended a suspension of global cruising through the end of September, dashing the stock market’s hopes for a return to service months after the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered the industry. The company said the few exceptions were Seattle-based Alaska cruises set to sail in September. The company also is canceling some voyages in October, including Canada and New England trips. Cruise stocks had been staging a remarkable recovery in recent weeks on prospects that the industrywide shutdown could come to an end as soon as August. The capital-intensive companies have raised billions of dollars from stock and high-interest-rate debt offerings to weather months without customers. But a resurgence of COVID-19 cases in places such as South Florida, home of the world’s largest cruise port, could be weighing on prospects for a return. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Target makes wage increases permanent

Target Corp. says it’s permanently increasing starting hourly wages for its workers to $15 beginning July 5, several months ahead of schedule. In 2017, the Minneapolis-based company had set a goal to gradually increase hourly wages from $10 to $15 by the end of 2020. The last time Target permanently increased pay was in June 2019 when it raised hourly pay to $13. But starting in mid-March, Target gave a temporary $2 wage bump to part-time and full-time workers as a reward for working under the crush of orders from stay-at-home shoppers. The pay hike affects roughly 275,000 Target workers, the retailer said. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Low rates spur refinancing

More and more Americans are looking to take advantage of mortgage rates hovering near record lows. The Mortgage Banker Association’s purchasing index rose 3.5 percent in the week that ended June 12, hitting the highest level since January 2009. It was the ninth straight gain in applications for loans to purchase homes, which have surged in recent weeks after cratering in early April. The housing market froze as the coronavirus spread across the United States and battered the US economy. But demand has held up better than expected, despite social-distancing guidelines. Americans stuck at home are looking to upgrade their properties and, in some cases, move away from cities. Low inventory has propped up prices in some markets. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Air France to offer buyouts to staffers

Air France plans to offer about 8,300 staff incentives to leave in a bid to cut costs without stirring a political backlash after receiving a massive state bailout, people familiar with the proposal said. The Air France-KLM unit will seek the voluntary exit of around 300 pilots, 2,000 cabin crew, and 6,000 ground staff, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the plans aren’t public. The cuts could affect roughly 17 percent of workers, though that may change after union and management talks, they said. Europe’s second-biggest airline is preparing to unveil the plan in coming weeks as part of a strategic review ordered by chief executive Ben Smith. The cuts will add to thousands of jobs on the line in the sector in Europe. British Airways created a political firestorm with moves to scrap 12,000 posts, while Lufthansa may have 22,000 surplus staff as it shrinks operations. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Bain Capital raises $3.2b for latest distressed fund

Bain Capital Credit has closed a new distressed debt and special situations fund, with more than $3.2 billion in commitments, according to Jeff Robinson, one of the firm’s heads. About 50 percent of that total has been invested and committed, with the majority being deployed in the last three months, Robinson said. “While we do this in all market environments, now is one of the most attractive ones we’ve seen,” Robinson said in an interview. “On the distressed side, in any 10-year period, there are maybe two great years to be a distressed investor, and we’re in the midst of those two great years.” The firm raised capital from existing and new investors for the program called Bain Capital Distressed and Special Situations Fund 2019. It invests globally, including in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. — BLOOMBERG NEWS