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A sitting area in the main atrium of Microsoft’s renovated offices in Redmond, Washington, in 2017. linked to credit Stuart Isett for The New York Times.

Microsoft announced Monday that it would begin offering the 29. March will admit more employees to its headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

In this rediscovery phase, which Microsoft calls phase 4 of a series of six phases, the Redmond campus will give non-essential on-site employees the choice of working from an office, at home or a combination of both. Microsoft will continue to ask its employees to wear masks and maintain a social distance.

Microsoft does not plan to open its office without restrictions until the virus behaves more like an endemic virus like seasonal flu, wrote Kurt DelBene, executive vice president of the technology giant. Still, daily office life for Microsoft’s 160,000 employees probably won’t be the same as it was before the pandemic.

Once we reach a point where Covid-19 is no longer a significant burden on our communities and our sites move to open enrollment, we consider it normal to work some of the time (less than 50%) from home, DelBene wrote in a company blog post.

Microsoft on Monday also released the results of a survey that the company says shows the workforce has changed after a year of remote working. In a survey of more than 30,000 full-time employees and self-employed workers, 73% of respondents said they wanted the flexibility of telecommuting, and 46% said they planned to move this year now that they can work remotely.

Some companies think we’re going back to the status quo, said Jared Spataro, vice president of Microsoft 365, in an interview. However, the data shows that they do not understand what has happened in the last 12 months.

Jerome H. Powell in 2020. He said Monday that cryptocurrencies are more of a speculative asset, essentially a replacement for gold rather than the dollar. linked to credit Anna Moneymaker/New York Times.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell said the Fed’s investigation into central banks issuing digital currencies is still in its infancy and that U.S. officials would consider issuing a digital dollar only if they believe the idea has clear application and broad public and political support.

You can expect us to proceed with great caution and transparency, Powell said Monday at a Bank for International Settlements event on central bank innovation. Without the support of Congress we would not have been able to continue this work.

Powell said the Fed is currently considering whether to create a central bank digital currency, a technological tool with official government backing. Payment systems have already gained momentum and banks are offering electronic money in the form of bank deposits, so the need for a central bank version is an open question.

Does the public want or need a new digital form of central bank money to complement an already highly efficient, reliable and innovative payments industry?” he said.

Powell said digital currencies could provide benefits for the central bank – perhaps laying the groundwork for a more efficient and inclusive payments system and keeping the dollar competitive as the world’s leading currency. But there are also significant risks. Digital currencies can lead to cyber security vulnerabilities and money laundering opportunities, and can disrupt stable relationships between customers, banks and the Fed.

We are the stability providers, so to speak, Powell said Monday.

The Fed’s board of directors in Washington, D.C., has begun experimenting with the central bank’s digital currencies, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston is working with researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on new research.

The focus is really on developing and understanding the capabilities and limitations of the technologies involved, he said. This is not an attempt at prototyping.

Lord. Powell said regulation is not where it should be when it comes to stablecoins – a type of cryptocurrency whose value is tied to an external asset. He ruled out the possibility of stable private currencies replacing the central bank’s currency.

And when it comes to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which are not backed by a value anchor, they are risky assets, unlike dollar cash, according to Powell.

Crypto assets are highly volatile – see bitcoin – so they’re not very useful as a store of value, Powell said. It is more of a speculative asset, essentially a substitute for gold in place of the dollar.

A group of junior bankers at Goldman Sachs put together a presentation on the bank’s working conditions on Wall Street, which was shared on social media.Credit…Emon Hassan for The New York Times.

Last week, a presentation by a group of junior bankers at Goldman Sachs went viral on social media. They complained about what they considered to be abusive workplace practices, including a 100-hour work week.

The DealBook newsletter mailbox is overflowing with responses, mostly from current, former and aspiring investment bankers. This is what some wanted to say – most of them asked for anonymity so they could speak freely about their experiences – edited and abridged for clarity:

  • What I mean is, if you don’t like it, leave and find another job. It doesn’t pay as well, but you might not learn as much. I continue to reap the benefits of what I have learned. – Anonymous in Sydney
  • I had heard about the long hours, but once I got there, I underestimated myself. I threw in the towel and left the bank because no money in the world was worth that horrible lifestyle. – Anonymous in New York.
  • I knew I was working like a fool, but for a favor. I could quit my job, work fewer hours and make less money. But I wasn’t interested. – Anonymous in London
  • In our day, we might complain to our friends or family, but we knew that short-term pain was good for long-term gain. I now live the comfortable life that my early years at Goldman Sachs provided. – Anonymous in New York.
  • We calculated the salary and discovered that we were making less than minimum wage per hour. It wasn’t worth the torture. My health is still suffering from my years on Wall Street. – Anonymous in New York.
  • The learning experience has been incredible and has put me on the right track in terms of my career. Looking back, I could have killed myself, but I was too young to realize it. – Anonymous in Dubai
  • Yes, we were scolded and scolded, but we expected it and so we learned. My message to these analysts: If you can’t stand the heat, leave the kitchen. – Anonymous in New York.
  • There is no money that rewards the mental and physical damage that the investment bank inflicts on you. Sure, it’s great, Excel and PowerPoint. – Anonymous in Sao Paulo.
  • I spent many late nights in the office at the request of staff and vice presidents, usually for no reason, but they needed me. I then joined the military, where I found a better work-life balance and more respectful leadership than in the banking industry. – Anonymous in New York.
  • I’m here for an internship at Goldman Sachs. I knew the working conditions before I applied. Anyone who has had a career at a major investment bank knows this, or they applied for the wrong reasons. – Anonymous in Europe

Turkish lira banknotes are exchanged in Ankara. An unexpected change in the head of the Turkish central bank led to a sharp fall in the value of the lira. Credit…Murad Sezer/Reuters

Turkey’s currency fell in value on Monday after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired the head of the central bank, which had been in office for only four months and had pursued a policy of fighting inflation. The Turkish lira has fallen by 10% against the US dollar.

The resignation of Turkey’s central bank governor, Nach Agbal, marks a return to unorthodox policies that Erdogan has long supported, such as cutting interest rates to reduce inflation, but which most economists consider counterproductive. Mr Erdogan has repeatedly interfered in the affairs of the central bank and over the years traders have dumped the lira.

Since his appointment in November, Mr. Agbal has raised the central bank’s benchmark interest rate from 10.25% to 19% in an effort to slow the economy’s overheating, control inflation and attract foreign investment. He managed to pull the lira out of a record low. His last interest rate hike was on Thursday, and he was fired on Friday.

The annualized inflation rate officially stood at 15.6% in February, but it will likely be much higher.

The new head of the central bank, Saap Kavcioglu, a university professor and former member of the Turkish National Assembly, said in a statement that he would continue to fight inflation. But the lira was trading at around 7.93 per dollar on Monday, down from 7.22 on Friday. The drop in value is a sign that traders expect the country to succumb to Mr Erdogan’s pressure to cut interest rates, exacerbating the inflation problem and pushing the country of 82 million people towards economic collapse.

We have abandoned our cautiously optimistic view on the lira, Peter Mathis, strategist at Rabobank, wrote in a note. Kavcioglu’s comments suggest he is clearly in favor of lower interest rates to stimulate growth, he added.

Elsewhere on markets

  • Monday afternoon, the S&P 500 was up 0.9 percent, the Nasdaq Composite was up about 1.6 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up about half a percent.
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell to about 1.69%.
  • European indices showed a mixed picture. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2% and London’s FTSE 100 gained 0.3%. The French CAC 40 was down about 0.5%.
  • Shares in IAG, the airline group that owns British Airways, fell 8 percent after the British government’s scientific advisers warned this summer that travel abroad would be banned. A minister also hinted Sunday that travel restrictions could be expanded. Shares of easyJet and Ryanair also fell.
  • Meal delivery service Deliveroo started taking orders for an IPO on Monday. The sale of the shares would have cost the company up to 8.8 billion pounds ($12.2 billion). The company is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is the largest I.P.O. on the exchange this year.

An Upper East Side mansion owned by Jeffrey Epstein has been bought by a former Goldman Sachs executive for $51 million….. Kirsten Luce for The New York Times…

A longtime Goldman Sachs executive and his wife are the buyers of Jeffrey Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion. They paid $51 million for the former home of the discredited financier.

Michael D. Duffy, a former Goldman executive, and his wife, Blake Duffy, obtain Mr. Epstein’s seven-story Manhattan mansion at a substantial discount. The original asking price was $88 million, but no buyer was found. The estate of Mr. Epstein – who committed suicide in 2019 while incarcerated and accused of sex trafficking – put the house up for sale less than a year after his death.

Mr Duffy has worked at Goldman Sachs for nearly three decades, and his retirement was announced in February. He was an early investor in Bitcoin.

Although the sale was announced earlier this month, until recently it was not known where the buyers would be located. The sale was officially announced on the 8th. The March closure, Vivian Marino reports for the Times, became one of the largest closures in New York.

Epstein’s mansion is just one of the places he is accused of running his sex trafficking operation. The money from the sale will be put into a victims’ compensation fund.

Carlos Ghosn, the former head of Nissan, is on the run from the law after fleeing Japan, where he has been charged with alleged financial misconduct, which he has denied. credit linked Hussein Malla/Associated Press

Prosecutors in Tokyo on Monday accused two Americans of helping former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn escape on bail pending his trial for four financial crimes.

In the indictment, Japanese prosecutors say the two men, Michael Taylor, 60, a former Green Beret, and his son, Peter Maxwell Taylor, 27, helped Ghosn flee the country by helping him escape to Turkey and then Lebanon, where he was beyond the reach of Japanese law.

US authorities arrested the men last May in Massachusetts. Earlier this month, they were extradited to Japan, where they were held in a Tokyo detention center while they were questioned by prosecutors. The third man, who allegedly helped Mr. Gosn escape, is still at large.

Japanese authorities have accused Michael Taylor of helping Ghosn travel by train to the western city of Osaka, get through security checks at a private jet terminal and then board a plane to Turkey. Once there, Mr. Ghosn was transferred to a flight to Beirut. Peter Taylor helped plan the escape and visited Mr. Gon several times before he escaped, authorities said.

Mr. Ghosn and his son, Anthony Ghosn, paid more than $1.3 million to the Taylors and the company they controlled, U.S. prosecutors said in court documents.

The Ghosn case has raised international concerns about what some critics call Japan’s hostage system, in which criminal suspects are held for long periods of time without being charged. While in the United States, the Taylors waged a protracted legal battle to prevent their extradition, with their lawyers arguing that they would be subjected to harsh conditions in a Japanese prison.

Jesse Astbury Allen with his daughters May, 7, and Livia, 12. They left China more than a year ago, Mrs. Astbury Allen’s husband is still there. with credit from Francesca Jones for The New York Times.

Last year, people wanting to travel to China faced some of the biggest obstacles in the world. To curb the coronavirus, China completely bans tourists and short-term business travelers and imposes strict standards on all other foreigners, even those who have lived in the country for years.

The restrictions have hampered many businesses, separated families and darkened the lives of thousands of international students, Sue-Lee Wee and Keith Bradsher report for the New York Times. International companies claim that the number of their foreign workers in the country has dropped drastically.

As more deadly and infectious variants of the virus have emerged in other countries in recent months, China has imposed strict new requirements.

  • Late last year, it effectively ended the ability to bring a spouse or child into the country.
  • Since January, travelers arriving in Beijing from countries with severe epidemics must undergo weekly anal swabs during quarantine, where feces are examined for traces of the virus.
  • Last month, the government announced that travelers from more than two dozen countries would have to spend two weeks in quarantine abroad before being allowed to fly to China. After landing, they had to spend two more weeks in a government quarantine facility.

The authorities believe that travel restrictions are essential to successfully contain the virus. Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 101,000 cases of covidia have been reported in China. While questions have arisen about the accuracy of these figures, they are much lower than in the United States, where 29.8 million people have tested positive for the virus.

China’s harsh restrictions, including the recent ban on family members, have had an emotional impact on some families forced to live separately for months.

Last February, Jessie Astbury Allen took her two young daughters to England in anticipation of an outbreak in China, hoping to be reunited with her husband in Shanghai before Easter. It was a plan she would regret.

I knew what we were doing was wrong, but it was too late, she said tearfully, describing her feelings upon landing at London’s Heathrow Airport.

  • Italian unions said Monday that they have organized a 24-hour strike against Amazon over failed negotiations on working conditions. Unions representing delivery drivers and warehouse workers said they were taking to the streets for a day to protest excessive workloads as Amazon made huge profits during the pandemic. Three groups – Filt-Cgil, Fit-Cisl and Uiltrasporti – reported that on average 75% of their members participated. An Amazon spokesman said only about 10 percent of the company’s 9,500 Italian employees participated in the strike and that the strike did not cause any delays in deliveries, orders or shipments. According to him, Amazon already offers a good salary, good benefits and great career opportunities.
  • Leon Black, the Wall Street billionaire who was a top client of financier Jeffrey Epstein for the last 10 years of his life, is stepping down as CEO and chairman of Apollo Global Management with a few months to go, the company announced in a statement Monday. Jay Clayton, the former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission who recently joined the company as an independent director, will serve as chairman. Sir, I want to thank you for your support. Mr Black said he had decided to leave now to focus on his family and his and his wife’s health. In January, the company announced that he would retire before his 70th birthday. He will step down as CEO on his 60th birthday in July, but will retain his role as chairman.
  • On Sunday, Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern announced plans to join forces in a $29 billion deal that would create the first rail network connecting the United States, Mexico and Canada. As the three countries emerge from the pandemic, these efforts to manage trade flows should be stepped up. The Boards of both companies have unanimously approved the cash and equity transaction, which is expected to close in mid-2022, subject to customary approvals.
  • Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company, announced Sunday that its net profit fell 44% to $49 billion last year. The company’s profit margin fell $1.5 billion as the pandemic-induced drop in oil prices led to lower profits. In a statement on the results, CEO Amin H. Nasser called 2020 the most challenging year in recent history. But Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, said it would stick to its pledge to pay $75 billion in dividends. Almost all of the payment goes to the Saudi Arabian government, which owns about 98% of the company.


CreditCredit… By Alexis Jamet.

In today’s On Tech, Shira Ovide talks to Ben Sisario of the Times about why music streaming has become a source of frustration for many musicians.

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