Boeing blues, YouTube triumphs and French unrest

Planet Business: Dreaming of a prosperous Christmas

The Eiffel Tower, pictured on Tuesday, has been closed a result of French public sector protests. Photograph: Christophe Ena / AP

The Eiffel Tower, pictured on Tuesday, has been closed a result of French public sector protests. Photograph: Christophe Ena / AP

 

Image of the week: City of Unrest

Never mind “où est la gare?”, in France this month, confused tourists will more likely be wondering where the trains are. Public sector workers have been on strike for much of December in protest against a proposed series of changes to the pension system by “business-friendly” French president Emmanuel Macron, with the disruption spreading to attractions such as La Dame de Fer, aka the Eiffel Tower – though it’s always possible workers there just want a break from the endless stream of marriage proposals they’re forced to witness. There is a great deal of public support for the protests, which involve hundreds of thousands of workers, as well as a not insignificant amount of anti-Macron feeling, so nobody is pinning much hope on a Christmas truce.

In numbers: Boeing woes

400 Number of 737 Max aircraft that are now in storage, Boeing said on Monday, as it confirmed it would temporarily halt production on the troubled aircraft.

$188 million Sum that Dublin-based aircraft leasing company Timaero Ireland is seeking in damages from Boeing. It is suing the US company as a result of the 737 Max aircraft fiasco.

$9.2 billion Estimated cost to Boeing of the 737 Max grounding, as of October, and the crisis is far from over yet.

Getting to know: Ryan Kaji

At the ancient age of eight, Texan child Ryan Kaji is already something of a veteran of the YouTube world. He began featuring in toy unboxing videos when he was three after asking his mother why he wasn’t on the Google-owned platform/babysitter like all the other kids. One quit teaching post later, Ryan’s mother Loann was working full-time to produce videos for YouTube channel Ryan’s Toy Review, now known as Ryan’s World – a venture that led to merchandising deals, a clothing line, a show on Nickelodeon and a tie-up with Hulu. According to wealth experts Forbes, in the year to June 2019, Ryan was the highest-paid YouTube star, with earnings of $26 million (€23.4 million). He does, however, face rising competition from Russian-American five-year old Anastasia Radzinskaya, better known to other children as Nastya.

The list: Wobbling retailers

After a year of profit warnings, emergency finance raising and other downbeat pronouncements, there are some big names in the retail sector that need a great Christmas quarter to avoid a serious chill come January.

1. Superdry. The one-time golden child of fashion retail has warned of a “considerable risk over the peak trading period” amid a “highly promotional” retail sector.

2. Ted Baker. The fashion chain has been haemorrhaging executives as well as profits.

3. House of Fraser. It was bought out of administration by Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct this year but that hasn’t been the end of the problems for its surviving stores.

4. Debenhams. Last Christmas was a bad one for the department store chain, forcing it into a battle for fresh funding. It had a “pretty good” Black Friday, but could do with an even better December.

5. Macy’s. With three profit warnings to its name, the US department store chain hasn’t had a 2019 it will want to remember.

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