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COVID-19 case may derail JPMorgan’s back-to-work push

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COVID-19 case may derail JPMorgan's back-to-work push

Jamie Dimon’s back-to-the-office push despite the pandemic has already run into trouble.

JPMorgan Chase was forced to send some workers its New York City headquarters home this week after an employee in the bank’s equities trading and sales division tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, sources told The Post.

An insider said the banking giant  — whose senior managers last Thursday told locked-down employees at its sales and trading divisions should start coming back to the office later this month — notified staff of the positive COVID test on Sunday.

A JPMorgan spokesman declined to comment on the positive test, but said in a statement that JPMorgan has been “managing individual cases across the firm over the course of the last few months and following appropriate protocols when they occur.”

While the outbreak seems to be limited to just one case, it’s still a setback for Dimon, who has been pushing to get bodies back into the office. That includes the megabank’s temporary headquarters at 383 Madison Ave., where the infected employee had been working, according to sources.

JPMorgan’s move to get senior traders back in the office had been met with praise from the Oval Office. President Trump tweeted on Friday “Congratulations to JPMorgan Chase for ordering everyone BACK TO OFFICE on September 21st. Will always be better than working from home!”

In a Friday interview with analysts, Dimon cited a study showing that workers were less productive at home, especially on Mondays and Fridays. Dimon also told analysts at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods he is worried about how prolonged working from home will affect the development of junior staff.

And on Tuesday, Dimon’s enthusiasm was apparently not dampened by the bad news. During a virtual panel discussion at The Singapore Summit, Dimon pressed his case for getting his bankers and traders out of their pajamas and back into their cubicles, saying “Going back to work is a good thing.”

JPMorgan’s investment banking chief Daniel Pinto told his staff in late August that he would be adopting a rotational approach to get back into safer, less-crowded office. JPMorgan’s respective head of trading and sales had delivered last week’s back-to-work order in a morning conference call but vowed to offer wiggle room for execs dealing with medical or child-care issues.

Wall Street has been cautiously following Dimon’s lead on making “return to office” plans. Goldman Sachs notified employees on Sept. 9 that it will begin to reopen its offices on a rotational basis.

Goldman declined to comment directly on what JPMorgan’s new COVID case means for its plans, referring back to the Sept. 9 statement from CEO David Solomon which read, in part, “As we look ahead, the future remains uncertain, requiring us to stay nimble and pivot as needed.”

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John is a well experienced hockey player and has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on NHL.

John is a well experienced hockey player and has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on NHL.

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Facebook bans political profile pictures on internal network

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Facebook bans political profile pictures on internal network

Facebook has reportedly banned its employees from using political images as their profile pictures on its internal social network.

The policy is one of several new rules Facebook instituted this week governing how staffers communicate on its Workplace platform amid concerns that discussions there were getting too political, according to reports.

Facebook workers will now be required to use a photo of themselves or their initials as their Workplace profile picture, CNBC reported Thursday. That reportedly means they can no longer display images to express support for political candidates or causes such as the Black Lives Matter movement.

Staffers will still be able to modify their profile pictures with pre-approved frames, including a Black Lives Matter-themed one, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Facebook will also require employees to moderate Workplace discussion groups dedicated to politics, social issues and other topics unrelated to their jobs, the paper reported. And the Silicon Valley giant has expanded its definition of harassment to ban “insensitive, degrading or derogatory” communications that could create a hostile work environment for protected groups, according to CNBC.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday. But company spokesman Joe Osborne told outlets the changes are meant to “make sure our people have both voice, and choice.”

“We deeply value expression, open discussion, and a company culture built on respect and inclusivity,” Osborne told CNBC in a statement. “What we have heard from our employees is that they want the option to join debates on social and political issues rather than see them unexpectedly in their work feed.”

Facebook’s move to control contentious discussions followed a series of leaks from within the social-media titan. Reports in BuzzFeed News and The Verge have detailed Facebook staffers’ criticisms of CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the company’s handling of President Trump’s inflammatory posts, among other issues.

Facebook is also under pressure to crack down on disinformation on its public platform ahead of the November presidential election. The company announced a slate of new initiatives earlier this month aimed at doing that, including a ban on new political ads in the week before Election Day.

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John is a well experienced hockey player and has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on NHL.

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Feds fine BMW $18 million for allegedly inflating sales numbers

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Feds fine BMW $18 million for allegedly inflating sales numbers

The feds slapped German automaker BMW with an $18 million fine for allegedly inflating its sales figures while raising billions of dollars from investors.

The Munich-based company’s North American unit juiced US sales numbers from 2015 to 2019 to close the gap between its actual performance and internal targets, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.

The scheme involved a “bank” of unreported vehicle sales that BMW of North America used to meet its monthly goals regardless of when the sales actually occurred, officials alleged. The luxury automaker also paid dealers to inaccurately label cars “loaners” or “demonstrators” so it could falsely claim they had been sold to customers, authorities said.

BMW used these practices while raising about $18 billion through several corporate bond offerings, officials said. The information BMW gave investors for those offerings contained “material misstatements and omissions” about its US retail vehicle sales, according to the SEC.

“Companies accessing US markets to raise capital have an obligation to provide accurate information to investors,” Stephanie Avakian, director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a statement.

BMW and its American subsidiaries involved in the case, BMW of North America and BMW US Capital, agreed to the $18 million penalty without admitting or denying any of the SEC’s findings, the agency said.

The fine was less than 1 percent of the amount of money BMW allegedly raised from the bond offerings. But the SEC said it accounted for BMW’s cooperation with its probe even as the coronavirus pandemic forced companies around the world to close their offices.

BMW said most of the sales inflation happened more than three years ago and claimed it was the result of negligence rather than “intentional misconduct.”

“The BMW Group attaches great importance to the correctness of its sales figures and will continue to focus on thorough and consistent sales reporting,” the company said in a statement.

With Post wires

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London gaining on New York in financial centers ranking

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London gaining on New York in financial centers ranking

Wall Street is barely hanging onto its title as the global financial capital.

A new ranking of the world’s top finance centers placed New York City only slightly ahead of London, suggesting the British hub could soon retake the crown.

The cities’ rankings on the latest Global Financial Centers Index, released Friday, were unchanged from the March edition of the twice-a-year survey. But London’s score — based on a wide range of financial, social and economic metrics — jumped 24 points to 766, while New York’s only rose a single point to 770.

The gap has narrowed significantly since the last ranking, which had the Big Apple 27 points ahead of the UK capital. The list is compiled by Z/Yen Group, a London-based commercial think tank, in partnership with the China Development Institute.

Shanghai, Tokyo and Hong Kong rounded out the top five on Friday’s ranking, followed by Singapore, Beijing, San Francisco, Shenzhen and Zurich.

The top 10 cities all saw their scores increase from the March survey even though the average rating of the 111 ranked cities fell by more than 41 points. That could be a sign of “increased confidence in leading centers during the COVID-19 pandemic,” researchers said.

“Uncertainty about trade, political stability, and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has injected more volatility into the index results,” Michael Mainelli, Z/Yen Group’s executive chairman, said in a statement. “New ways of working are challenging the concept of a traditional financial center.”

The ranking suggests London has made something of a comeback since New York booted it from the top spot in September 2018 amid uncertainty about the UK’s impending exit from the European Union. That was the first time since 2015 that New York had topped the list, according to the Financial Times.

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John is a well experienced hockey player and has won many championships. He intends to build a bright career in the media industry as well. He is a sports freak who loves to cover the latest news on NHL.

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