Welcome to today’s business and media intelligence, with insights collected over the past 24 hours.

International news

  • If recessions bring automation anxiety that often ends in war, what will be the longer- term impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, which has been described as a warlike event that may well tip the world into an economic depression? The Financial Times looks at what we could expect post Covid-19 when it comes to automation. Read the full article here. (Subscriber access)
  • More than 80 U.S. publicly listed companies have dipped into the US Treasury’s latest bailout fund for small businesses, worth USD350 billion. It means many small entrepreneurs were unable to secure funding before the first allocation was taken up. According to the US Small Business Administration, the average loan was just US$200,000. Read The Financial Times article here. (Subscriber access)
  • As with Australia, the UK is questioning the introduction of contact tracking apps. Clare Collier, director of advocacy at lobby group Liberty said: “Any State surveillance introduced in response to the pandemic will have severe implications for our privacy and our relationship with the State, both in the current crisis, and potentially in the long-term.” Read The full FT article here. (Subscriber access)

Australian company news 

  • Bank dividends in the spotlight
    • The RBA has said that banks are strong enough to pay dividends – an interesting shift from earlier on in the crisis when APRA warned banks to reduce dividends. Read the full AFR article here. (Subscriber access)
  • Virgin Australia on the block
    • There is plenty of media coverage surrounding the decision by Virgin Australia to go into voluntary administration – and efforts by the administrators to find a new owner or owners. The good news: the administrators say they have had “at least 10” expressions of interest. And Virgin staff remain on the payroll for now. Meanwhile, Richard Branson, whose company owns about 10 per cent of Virgin Australia, has taken to Twitter in a letter to staff, which you can read here.
  • Voluntary pay cuts accepted by KPMG
    • As we continue to see companies making cuts to salaries and working weeks, KPMG chief executive Gary Wingrove has thanked his firm’s employees for helping offset the loss of business, saying that over 50 per cent of staff opted in to proposed pay cuts. Read The AFR article here. (Subscriber access)
    • Professional services firm LEK has also slashed partner income and asked staff to take unpaid leave. The changes, which the firm has labelled its “Resilience Plan”, have been pitched to staff as a period of leave to pursue a passion. You can read The AFR article here. (Subscriber access)

Australian markets 

  • RBA: Australia to experience the biggest contraction since the 1930s Depression era
    • The central bank expects the economy to shrink by 10 per cent in the first half of the year. Governor Philip Lowe said it was likely to be “the biggest contraction in national output and income that we have witnessed since the 1930s”. Read the full AFR article here. (Subscriber access)
  • Australia leads equity capital raisings
    • Relaxing the capital raising rules and regulations has had an impact: New figures show more than 20 equity raisings by companies in the S&P/ASX 300 index – a level of activity not seen since the crisis of 2008-09, The AFR reports. (Subscriber access)
  • Applying COVID-19 lessons to leadership
    • British PR veteran Julietta Dexter has released a book on leadership and, according to the AFR, some of the lessons in her book could be useful in how organisations manage business during and post Covid-19. Read the full article here. (Subscriber access)

Now that those of us working from home have mastered baking banana bread and virtual yoga, The Economist provides some great apps for mastering the art of a new language. Read here (Subscriber access)

Our daily briefing is not meant to be a summary of media coverage but rather, insights that may be helpful in understanding how organisations are communicating with stakeholders in a time of crisis – and what comes next. Sign up via email