Business Briefs – November 25, 2020

Sunbeam Recalling Faulty Cooking Devices

(Hamodia) – Sunbeam products is recalling nearly a million Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers due to a burn risk, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has announced.

The recalled Crock-Pot multi-cooker can pressurize when the lid is not fully locked. This can cause the lid to suddenly detach while the product is in use, posing burn risks to consumers from hot food and liquids ejected from the product. Sunbeam Products has received 119 reports of lid detachment, resulting in 99 burn injuries ranging in severity from first-degree to third-degree burns.

This recall involves Crock-Pot 6-Quart Express Crock Multi-Cookers, Model Number SCCPPC600-V1, which is shown on label on bottom of unit. The multi-cookers were manufactured between July 1, 2017 and October 1, 2018, with date codes K196JN through K365JN and L001JN through L273JN.

Note: This is NOT the type of utensil typically used in Jewish homes on Shabbos.

El Al Considers Public Bond Sale in Fight for Survival

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) – El Al airlines is considering a bond sale to the public as it fights to stave off collapse after failing to reach a deal on a state-backed loan to help it recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Israel‘s flagship airline, which also reported a third-quarter loss on Wednesday, had secured government backing for 75% of a $250 million loan conditional on the group slashing expenses and issuing $150 million worth of new shares.

The company held the share sale last month, resulting in the 27-year-old son of a U.S. nursing homes tycoon taking a controlling stake. It also agreed with unions to cut 2,000 jobs and reduce the salaries of the highest paid.

But El Al said on Wednesday it had failed to reach an agreement for a loan with a financial entity and so was “considering an alternative of raising the loan by issuing bonds to the public.”

Picture of US Economy Is Worrisome As Virus Inflicts Damage

WASHINGTON (AP) — Gripped by the accelerating viral outbreak, the U.S. economy is under pressure from persistent layoffs, diminished income and nervous consumers, whose spending is needed to drive a recovery from the pandemic. A flurry of data released Wednesday suggested that the spread of the virus is intensifying the threats to an economy still struggling to recover from the deep recession that struck in early spring. The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose last week for a second straight week to 778,000, evidence that many employers are still slashing jobs more than eight months after the virus hit.

U.S. Mortgage Rates Stay At Record Low 2.72% For 30 Years

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. long-term mortgage rates remained at record lows this week as the coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten the economy. Mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac reported Wednesday that the average rate on the 30-year fixed-rate home loan was unchanged this week from a record low 2.72%. A year ago, the benchmark rate was 3.68%. The rate on 15-year fixed-rate loans stayed at 2.28%. It was 3.15% a year ago. Interest rates have fallen this year as the virus batters the economy and the Federal Reserve pours money into the financial system to support a recovery. Low rates have encouraged Americans to buy homes or refinance existing mortgages.

Delta Won’t Furlough Pilots; Job Cuts Possible At Southwest

DALLAS (AP) — Pilots at Delta Air Lines have accepted concessions on pay in exchange for protection against furloughs through next year. The pilots voted to accept the agreement as Delta deals with a sharp downturn in travel caused by the pandemic. The airline had threatened to furlough more than 1,700 pilots this weekend if an agreement wasn’t reached. The pilots’ union said Wednesday that 74% of workers who voted on the deal agreed to ratify it. The deal doesn’t cut pilot pay rates, but it indirectly lowers their pay by reducing guaranteed monthly working hours by up to 5%.

As Economy Struggles, Fed Weighs Boosting Bond Purchases

WASHINGTON (AP) — At their meeting earlier this month, Federal Reserve officials discussed possible future adjustments to the central bank’s monthly bond purchases to boost the economy. The Fed’s minutes of the Nov. 4-5 meeting released on Wednesday revealed that while officials believed that no changes were needed to the bond purchase program they recognized that circumstances could shift, warranting adjustments. The Fed since June has been buying $120 billion in bonds each month to keep downward pressure on long-term interest rates as a way of boosting the economy as it struggles to emerge from a deep recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Penguin To Buy Simon & Schuster, Create Publishing Giant

BERLIN (AP) — German media giant Bertelsmann says that its Penguin Random House division is buying rival Simon & Schuster. The megadeal would reshape the U.S. publishing industry. Penguin Random House is already the largest American publisher. It will buy the New York-based company for $2.17 billion in cash. The transaction would close in 2021 subject to regulatory approval. No U.S. publisher in modern times would approach the power of the new company. Bertelsmann was founded in 1835 and owns a broad portfolio of broadcast, music and online businesses.