Rex banked on Virgin collapse in investor pitch
- Regional Express (Rex) told potential investors it expected Virgin Australia to collapse completely, allowing the rural carrier to grab a third of the domestic air travel market as it sought a $200 million capital injection last year.
- In a confidential 2020 presentation obtained by The Australian Financial Review, Rex said it had considered buying Virgin out of administration but decided not to as it did not believe the administrators had tackled the troubled airline's "chronic problems".
- Rex said it would compete as a mid-tier carrier without major competition as it expected Virgin 2.0 to take on Qantas in the full-service arena.
- Yet new Virgin chief Jayne Hrdlicka plans to pivot the relaunched airline into the same mid-tier market as Rex, and has negotiated less onerous pay deals with most of the carrier's 6000 workers.
- The investor presentation said Rex expected to make $100 million of before-tax profit in the first two years of operating the domestic capital city flights.
Netflix Tops 200 Million Subscribers for the First Time
- ended last year with more than 200 million subscribers, a milestone powered by consumers left homebound by the coronavirus pandemic and rising demand in international markets where the streaming giant has a head start over many rivals.
- Netflix on Tuesday said it added more than 8.5 million subscribers on a net basis in the fourth quarter, a gain that surpassed its forecast for the period.
- Overall, Netflix signed up what it said was a record 37 million subscribers in 2020 and had a total of 203.7 million users when the year finished up.
- The company’s subscriber count has roughly doubled since the third quarter of 2017, when it first exceeded 100 million paying customers.
- The Los Gatos, Calif., company said it generated $6.64 billion in fourth-quarter revenue, up from $5.45 billion for the year earlier and exceeding analysts’ forecasts.
Biden administration expects early focus on domestic extremism threat
- President-elect Joe Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, is expected to conduct an early, comprehensive assessment of the threat to develop strategies for countering it, another source familiar with the plans told CNN.
- News that the Biden team plans to make this a significant area of focus early on comes as DHS, the FBI and other agencies are warning that domestic extremists pose the most likely threat to the presidential inauguration, particularly those who believe the incoming administration is illegitimate.
- CNN previously reported that federal law enforcement officials are warning that domestic extremists are likely more emboldened to carry out attacks on Biden's upcoming inauguration and throughout 2021 after seeing the success of the siege on the US Capitol.
The Debt Question Facing Janet Yellen: How Much Is Too Much?
- A big question hangs over Janet Yellen this week at her confirmation hearing to become U.S. Treasury secretary: How much debt is too much?
- When Ms. Yellen served in the Clinton administration as Chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, she was among those who pushed for a balanced budget.
- The Biden administration will now contend with progressives who want even more spending, and conservatives who say the government is tempting fate by adding to its swollen balance sheet.
- Ms. Yellen, who will be a top economic adviser to Mr. Biden, is scheduled to testify Tuesday before the Senate Finance Committee, which will vote on her nomination.
- She served as chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers in the 1990s and Federal Reserve chairwoman in the 2010s.
- Confirmation of Ms. Yellen as Treasury secretary would make her the first person to achieve such a trifecta of economic leadership roles.
Top 10 Global Consumer Trends for 2021
- Many of the new habits consumers formed during the coronavirus pandemic are here to stay, market researcher Euromonitor International predicts.
- In 2021 consumers will be demanding, anxious, and creative in dealing with change, Euromonitor forecasts in its annual trend report.
- Though some of this year’s trends are directly related to Covid-19—like heightened safety concerns and demand for more open-air spaces—these shifts will continue after the pandemic wanes, says Alison Angus, Euromonitor’s head of lifestyle research.
- Euromonitor, a global market-research firm based in London, has released its forecasts since 2010.
- Last year, just three months after publishing its January 2020 predictions, it revised its expectations to reflect dramatic shifts in consumer behavior spurred by the pandemic, flagging new trends like the home’s transformation into a multifunctional refuge used for work, school, leisure and exercise.
Jayne Hrdlicka rings changes at Virgin Australia as CFO Keith Neate exits
- In addition to Mr Marr and Ms Schneider, a2 Milk chief people officer Lisa Burquest, International Airlines Group strategy director Alistair Hartley, Jetstar Japan co-chief executive Nick Rohrlach and Arnott's Group corporate affairs vice-president Moksha Watts have joined the carrier.
- The appointments virtually complete Ms Hrdlicka's reshuffle of the company's executive ranks since she took over the business last year.
- The new-look executive team will face the daunting task of rebuilding Virgin in some of the toughest times ever for the aviation sector, and amid more intense domestic competition as country carrier Regional Express attempts to muscle in on the lucrative "golden triangle" routes over the east coast.
- Virgin Australia has punted three key executives, including CFO Keith Neate, virtually completing Jayne Hrdlicka's reshuffle of the company's executive ranks since she took over the business last year.