Law firm sued for unpaid rent in Chicago's first big office space leasing lawsuit of pandemic
CHICAGO — One of Chicago’s largest law firms is itself getting sued after skipping rent payments on its sprawling riverfront office during the coronavirus pandemic.Jenner & Block failed to make April 1 and May 1 rent payments and is in default on its lease at 353 N. Clark St., alleges a lawsuit filed by its landlord, an affiliate of Chicago-based real estate investment manager Heitman. The suit seeks to collect more than $3.8 million.The lawsuit, filed May 20 in Cook County Circuit Court, is the first known major legal spat between commercial landlords and tenants in Chicago since companies be...
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in shareholder meeting rejects notion that workers were fired in retaliation
SEATTLE — Jeff Bezos rejected the notion that Amazon has fired employees in recent weeks for speaking about working conditions.“We support every employees’ right to criticize their employer’s working conditions, but that also doesn’t mean they’re allowed to not follow internal policies,” the Amazon founder, chairman and CEO said in response to a question during the company’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday. “But for sure, your rights to protest working conditions, we take that super seriously, and we have no problem with that at all.”That has been the company’s official line in recent wee...
The Seattle Times
Real estate Q&A: Ask a real estate pro: Now that we're divorcing, what can I do to force the sale of our home?
Q: My husband just filed for divorce. We both own the house, but I was the only borrower on the loan. I would like to sell it and get something that I can afford on my own, but he is not cooperating and is no longer kicking in toward household expenses. What should I do? — KellyA: When multiple people own a property, they all have to agree to sell a house. If any owner refuses, you will need to go to court to get it done. This is no different in a divorce.Fortunately, your husband already took that first step for you and filed a lawsuit. I know it seems to be counter-intuitive to use the words...
Susan Tompor: Can coronavirus comeback story continue for the stock market?
As we spot more “curbside pickup” and “open for business” signs along Main Street, investors are wondering what’s next on Wall Street as we edge closer to reopening the U.S. economy after COVID-19 shutdowns.Our 401(k) plans clearly took a nasty turn down a road packed with potholes in late February through March.By the day after Memorial Day, though, Wall Street had regained some stability, far more than many expected in the darkest days in late March.The Dow was only a few points shy of the 25,000 mark — right around where it was on March 10 before the market would tumble to coronavirus-lows ...
Detroit Free Press
Susan Tompor: How to hit pause button on mortgage payments during the coronavirus crisis
Disheartening levels of jobless claims will likely drive more homeowners to seek mortgage relief in the weeks ahead.Already almost 4 million homeowners were on forbearance plans as of May 3, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act — or CARES Act — provides borrowers with home loans the right to request a temporary suspension of payments on federally backed mortgages.Forbearance is a temporary fix but it may be worth exploring in order to avoid a foreclosure down the road.In March, lenders might have initially offered to let homeowners...
Detroit Free Press
Corn prices keep slumping, and farmers keep planting more
MINNEAPOLIS — Corn farmers are throwing another government-backed Hail Mary this year, planting more of the crop than in 2019 even though prices are near the bottom of a six-year slump.“They call it plant and pray,” said Al Kluis, a commodities broker in Wayzata. “What you want is a disaster in some other part of the Corn Belt or some other country.”Favorable weather in April helped most Minnesota farmers get corn in the ground faster than last year, when a wet spring kept them out of some fields until June and some cornfields were never planted.But despite all those problems, the 2019 crop yi...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
The Week Ahead: Settling into a longer recovery
The snap-back economic theory is quickly breaking. Investors will witness a legislative admission in the week ahead that it will take longer for the economy to recover than hoped for just a few weeks ago.In the spasm of government stimulus plans passed in the throes of stay-at-home orders, the goal of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was to keep working Americans on company payrolls even as business came to a sudden stop. There was such demand for the dollars that Congress eventually OK’d a second round of the forgivable loans to companies if they spent most of the money to pay workers fo...
Adult businesses suing to get PPP loans. So far, the nightclubs are winning
CHICAGO — The federal Payroll Protection Program has hit a few bumps in the road since its rollout last month, from blowback over alleged preferential treatment for larger businesses to growing concern over loan forgiveness requirements.Now it’s navigating a legal challenge from adult nightclubs including Chicago’s Admiral Theatre alleging the Small Business Administration shut them out of PPP funding.At issue is a long-standing SBA restriction on loans to businesses that present live performances of a “prurient sexual nature.” Lawsuits brought by adult clubs in Illinois, Wisconsin and Michiga...
Target sees biggest sales jump in 15 years, but profits take a big hit
MINNEAPOLIS — Target saw its biggest quarterly sales jump in 15 years as the pandemic spurred millions of consumers to order items online and to use its curbside pickup service for the first time.The pandemic also took a bigger-than-expected toll on its profits as sales of higher-margin apparel declined 20% and it had to write down mountains of unsold clothing as consumers dramatically shifted spending to groceries and household supplies.But CEO Brian Cornell said the Minneapolis-based retailer saw a big uptick in apparel sales in mid-April as consumers received stimulus checks.“Apparel certai...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
San Diego biotech raises $90 million to treat infections in people with weak immune systems
SAN DIEGO — San Diego biotech company Amplyx Pharmaceuticals announced Tuesday that it has completed a $53 million extension to its Series C funding round, bringing the total for the round to $90 million.Sofinnova Venture Partners led the round, with participation from more than seven investment firms that had contributed in earlier rounds. Pfizer and Adage Capital Management joined the mix as new investors.The funds will mainly go toward testing two experimental drugs central to Amplyx’s mission — treating microbes that are usually harmless, but which can kill a person without a healthy immun...
The San Diego Union-Tribune