Southwest Airlines tries to return to normal but some flight cancellations persist.

The airline and its pilots union denied that the cancellations were related to the company’s decision to require employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

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A Southwest Airlines plane at Hollywood Burbank Airport in California on Sunday.Credit…Robyn Beck/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Southwest Airlines canceled several hundred flights on Monday as it worked to resolve the problems that led it to strike more than a quarter of its scheduled flights last weekend.

Over 1,800 Southwest flights were canceled on Saturday and Sunday, accounting for more than 28 percent of its flights over the weekend, according to FlightAware, a tracking service. By noon on Monday, Southwest had canceled about 10 percent of the flights scheduled for the day, just over 360 flights.

The cancellations wreaked havoc on travel plans for thousands of passengers, many of whom vented their frustrations on social media. At least some were trying to make it to the Boston Marathon, which was canceled last year and delayed by six months this year.

The airline and the union that represents its pilots, the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, said the disruption was not caused by protests over the airline’s recently announced vaccination mandate, denying an idea that had gained traction online among conservatives and anti-vaccination activists. Conservative lawmakers pointed to Southwest’s cancellations as evidence that vaccine requirements could harm the economy.

“Joe Biden’s illegal vaccine mandate at work!” Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, said Sunday night on Twitter. “Suddenly, we’re short on pilots & air traffic controllers.” Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, echoed those comments on Monday.

Southwest blamed the cancellations on several causes, including problems with the weather, air traffic control and inability to get flight crews and planes to where they were needed.

“We experienced weather challenges in our Florida airports at the beginning of the weekend, challenges that were compounded by unexpected air traffic control issues in the same region, triggering delays and prompting significant cancellations for us beginning Friday evening,” the airline said in a statement. “We’ve continued diligent work throughout the weekend to reset our operation with a focus on getting aircraft and crews repositioned to take care of our customers.”

The Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged that some flights were delayed or canceled on Friday because of severe weather, military training exercises and a brief staffing shortage at one air traffic control center, but it said the disruption only lasted a few hours.

“Some airlines continue to experience scheduling challenges due to aircraft and crews being out of place,” the agency said in a statement.

Casey Murray, the president of the Southwest pilots union, said pilots called in sick at a normal rate this weekend.

The widespread cancellations, he said, were instead caused by technological issues and problems with how pilots are reassigned and rerouted during disruptions, a process complicated by Southwest’s uniquely large, point-to-point network. In a typical day, about 10 percent of pilots are reassigned from the flights they were scheduled to operate. That figure was 71 percent on Saturday and 85 percent on Sunday, according to Mr. Murray.

“That is unsustainable,” he said. “The domino effect continues, and what we see, due to some internal failures, is it’s happening so many times that they just can’t move everyone.”

The union also said in a statement on Sunday that its members are barred by federal law from using a strike to resolve a labor dispute without exhausting other options first.

While the union, which says it does not oppose vaccination, denied that its members were calling in sick to protest the mandate, it did ask a judge on Friday to stop the airline from enacting the vaccine mandate and other policies. The request is part of a broader lawsuit that predates the mandate and centers on the union’s assertion that Southwest has taken a number of “unilateral actions” in violation of labor law.

Southwest isn’t alone in seeing pushback from employees over a vaccine mandate. Last week, hundreds of American Airlines workers and supporters protested its new mandate outside that airline’s Fort Worth, Texas, headquarters, according to The Dallas Morning News.

But many others have voiced support for such requirements. United Airlines, the first large U.S. airline to impose a mandate, has said that nearly all of its 67,000 employees had been vaccinated, with the exception of about 2,000 who had applied for religious or medical exemptions. United said it expects to have to fire fewer than 250 employees for failing to comply. The airline’s executives had expected some blowback but were surprised by the positive reaction, noting that it had received many more applicants for open flight attendant positions than it used to before the pandemic.

“I did not appreciate the intensity of support for a vaccine mandate that existed, because you hear that loud anti-vax voice a lot more than you hear the people that want it,” United’s chief executive, Scott Kirby, told The New York Times this month. “But there are more of them. And they’re just as intense.”

Delta Air Lines has not imposed a vaccination requirement, but it said it will charge unvaccinated employees $200 more a month for health insurance.

The construction site of an Evergrande development in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China.Credit…Alex Plavevski/EPA, via Shutterstock

Evergrande, the teetering Chinese real estate developer, has three more payments due Monday on its dollar bonds. It’s been about two weeks since the company, which has $300 billion in liabilities, missed a Sept. 23 bond payment, starting the clock on the 30-day grace period before it formally defaults.

Cracks are beginning to appear across China’s real estate industry, as the government weighs bailouts of over-indebted developers against a push to curb speculation. Developers have amassed more than $5 trillion in debt, and buyers are wary of high prices, denting sales and forcing sellers to cut prices. Evergrande isn’t the only developer struggling with its debts, including those owed to international creditors; collectively, Chinese real estate companies have more than $28 billion in dollar bond payments due in 2022.

Evergrande’s offshore creditors are beginning to make noise, amid fears that China will prioritize onshore creditors in any potential restructuring. Last week, Moelis and Kirkland & Ellis, the advisers representing a number of offshore bondholders, said they were concerned about a lack of information from China, including details about Evergrande’s potential sale of a stake in one of its divisions. (Trading in the company’s shares has been halted since Oct. 4.)

Creditors also questioned whether a deal announced by Evergrande last month to sell a $1.5 billion stake in a bank to help settle debts amounted to preferential treatment that kept offshore creditors out of the loop. Creditors are looking for recourse in Cayman law, which governs Evergrande’s offshore bonds. On Saturday, Evergrande said it had punished six executives who redeemed company investment products early, forcing them to return the funds.


The 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences honored the work of David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens, which changed the way that labor markets in particular are studied.CreditCredit…Claudio Bresciani/TT News Agency, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

David Card has made a career of studying unintended experiments to examine economic questions — like whether raising the minimum wage causes people to lose jobs.

Joshua D. Angrist and Guido W. Imbens have developed research tools that help economists to use real-life situations to test big theories, like how additional education affects earnings.

On Monday, their work earned them the 2021 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

All three winners are based in the United States. Mr. Card, who was born in Canada, works at the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Angrist, born in the United States, is at M.I.T., and Mr. Imbens, born in the Netherlands, is at Stanford University.

“Sometimes, nature, or policy changes, provide situations that resemble randomized experiments,” said Peter Fredriksson, chairman of the prize committee. “This year’s laureates have shown that such natural experiments help answer important questions for society.”

The recognition was bittersweet, many economists noted, because much of the research featured in the prize announcement was co-written by Alan B. Krueger, a Princeton University economist and former White House adviser who died in 2019. The Nobels are not typically awarded posthumously. Despite that note of sadness, the economics profession celebrated the news, crediting the winners for their work in changing the way that labor markets in particular are studied.

“They ushered in a new phase in labor economics that has now reached all fields of the profession,” Trevon D. Logan, an economics professor at Ohio State, wrote on Twitter shortly after the prize was announced.

Mr. Card’s work has challenged conventional wisdom in labor economics — including the idea that higher minimum wages led to lower employment. He was a co-author of influential studies on that topic with Mr. Krueger, including one that used the border between New Jersey and Pennsylvania to test the effect of a minimum wage change. Comparing outcomes between the states, the research found that employment at fast food restaurants was not negatively affected by an increase in New Jersey’s minimum wage.

Mr. Card has also researched the effect of an influx of immigrants on employment levels among local workers with low education levels — again finding the impact to be minimal — and the effect of school resource levels on student education, which was larger than expected.

“I’m sure that if Alan were still with us, that he would be sharing this prize with me,” Mr. Card said in a news conference, after recognizing Mr. Krueger’s contributions. He also noted that initially, when it came to the minimum wage study, “quite a few economists were quite skeptical of our results.”

David Neumark, an economist at the University of California, Irvine, who co-wrote a paper contesting Mr. Card and Mr. Krueger’s findings in the minimum wage study, said he still thought the work had data issues — but added that there was no doubt that the methodology was important.

“They’ve all done great work, they’ve changed the way that labor economists do research,” Mr. Neumark said of the three winners.

Mr. Angrist and Mr. Krueger tried in the early 1990s to gauge how much benefit people derive from extra years of education. To figure it out, they took advantage of the fact that students born earlier in the year can legally leave school earlier than those born later in the year. Those born earlier tended to get less education and also earned less later on. The effect of an additional year of education, they estimated, was a 9 percent increase in income.

That study helped to spur the additional work on research methods Mr. Angrist and Mr. Imbens later carried out. That contribution has reshaped the way researchers think about and analyze natural experiments, according to the Nobel committee.

The pair showed that it was possible to identify a clear effect from an intervention in people’s behavior — like a subsidy that might encourage people to ride bicycles to work — even if a researcher could not control who took part in the experiment, and even if the impact varied across individuals. They also came up with a transparent framework for such research that has increased trust in it.

“The challenge, for me, has always been trying to understand, when people do empirical work, what exactly the methodological challenges are,” Mr. Imbens said, speaking via telephone in a news conference for the announcement.

Two American economists affiliated with Stanford University, Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, won the 2020 Nobel in economics for improvements to auction theory. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of M.I.T. and Michael Kremer of Harvard won in 2019 for their experiment-based research in development economics.

The award, formally called the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, has been given out since 1969.

Because the award is announced in the middle of the night on the United State’s West Coast, two of this year’s recipients were woken up by phone calls from Sweden informing them of their prize.

Mr. Imbens said he was asleep when he received the call from the prize committee — around 2 a.m. — and was “absolutely stunned” to hear the news. He said he was pleased to win it alongside friends, noting that Mr. Angrist was the best man at his wedding.

Mr. Card thought that a friend of his — whom he identified only as Tim — was pulling a prank on him, he said.

“But then the phone number actually was a Swedish phone number,” he said.

Henry Kravis, a co-founder of K.K.R., at an event in New York in 2019.Credit…Krista Schlueter for The New York Times

Henry Kravis and George Roberts, the private equity titans who founded K.K.R. with Jerome Kohlberg Jr. in 1976, are handing over the keys. They defined the 1980s leverage buyout boom with the firm’s acquisition of RJR Nabisco.

Joe Bae and Scott Nuttall are taking over as co-chief executives, effective immediately, the firm announced on Monday. Mr. Kravis and Mr. Roberts will remain “actively involved” as executive co-chairmen of the board.

The private equity firm has about $430 billion in assets under management, with operations that span the globe. K.K.R.’s shares are up 65 percent so far this year.

The succession plan was set in motion in 2017, when K.K.R. named Mr. Bae and Mr. Nuttall co-presidents and chief operation officers. Both joined the firm in 1996. Mr. Bae helped oversee its expansion in Asia and its private markets business, while Mr. Nutall guided the firm’s initial public offering in 2010 and its public markets business. They played a significant role in “shaping the firm, its culture, and our market leading businesses into what they are today,” Mr. Kravis and Mr. Roberts said in a statement.

George R. Roberts in 2015. One of the co-founders of K.K.R., he will step down as co-chief executive of the private equity giant.Credit…Toshifumi Kitamura–AFP, via Getty Images

Mr. Kravis and Mr. Roberts are also ceding voting control. Alongside the management moves, K.K.R. is simplifying its corporate governance and will eliminate preferred shares for Mr. Kravis and Mr. Roberts, moving to one-vote-per-share on all matters — including board elections — at the end of 2026. That is in contrast to rivals like Blackstone, where its founder, Steve Schwarzman, maintains significant control. Apollo said earlier this year that it would move to a one-share-one-vote structure after revelations about ties its founder, Leon Black, had to Jeffrey Epstein, which led Mr. Black to step down earlier than expected.

Other leadership transitions are afoot at buyout groups. Carlyle’s co-founders, David Rubenstein and William Conway, appointed Glenn Youngkin and Kewsong Lee as co-chief executives in 2017. (Mr. Youngkin resigned last year and is running for governor of Virginia.) Mr. Schwarzman is still at the helm of Blackstone, with an heir apparent, Jonathan Gray, serving as the firm’s chief operating officer. TPG has been reshuffling its ranks in advance of an expected I.P.O.

A Chevron production platform off the coast of Southern California.Credit…Frederic J. Brown/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HOUSTON — Chevron on Monday announced an “aspiration” to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 for its operations in a response to growing public and investor concern about climate change.

The goal covers only the direct emissions of its oil and natural gas businesses and not the emissions that are caused when Chevron’s products are used by drivers, businesses and other customers, which are far larger.

Chevron’s announcement is unlikely to assuage environmentalists who have for years been calling on oil and gas companies to commit to eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from their operations and the use of their fuel. U.S. companies like Chevron and Exxon Mobil have been much more reluctant to make firm commitments to reduce emissions compared with European energy companies like BP and Royal Dutch Shell, which have done a lot more to transition their businesses away from fossil fuels and toward areas like renewable energy and electric vehicle charging stations.

Chevron, which is based in San Ramon, Calif. is the second-largest U.S. oil and gas producer after Exxon Mobil. On Monday, it also set a goal of reducing the carbon emissions intensity for the entire life cycle of its products by 5 percent by 2028 from its 2016 levels.

“Solutions start with problem solving, which is exactly what the people of Chevron do,” Michael Wirth, Chevron’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.

U.S. stocks fluctuated in midday trading on Monday, with the S&P 500 little changed. The index was down slightly after spending much of the morning in positive territory, while the Nasdaq was up less than 0.1 percent.

Major indexes dropped on Friday after the government reported that U.S. employers added far fewer jobs in September than expected.

Oil prices rose on Monday, with West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. crude benchmark, 2.3 percent higher. Crude futures are hovering above $81 a barrel, their highest price since October 2014. Shares of Diamondback Energy rose 1.6 percent.

“Surging commodity prices amid the ongoing energy crisis, labor shortages and supply chain bottlenecks mean costs pressures are rising,” Fiona Cincotta, a senior analyst at, wrote in a note. “Investors are fretting over how this will feed into the inflation outlook.”

Investors are also bracing for a string of quarterly earnings reports this week as they watch closely for executives’ outlooks on the economy and signs that higher prices will lead to longer-lasting inflation. Banks such as JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs are scheduled to report their financial performance on Wednesday.

Shares of Southwest Airlines fell 2.9 percent after the company canceled hundreds of flights over the weekend. The airline said the cancellations were because of weather challenges in Florida and unexpected air traffic control issues.

Wall Street’s biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase, will release quarterly financial reports starting on Wednesday.Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times


I.M.F. and World Bank meetings: Finance ministers and central bank governors are set to gather for International Monetary Fund and World Bank annual meetings in Washington D.C. to discuss the global economic outlook. The event, which runs through Oct. 17, will include the release of the I.M.F.’s global growth forecast in its latest World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday.


Job openings: Data from the Labor Department will show whether job openings in the U.S. continued to rise in August. The number of open positions has climbed to record levels in recent months as businesses have struggled to hire workers.


Consumer Price Index: The Labor Department is set to publish its report on prices in September. In August, the Consumer Price Index dipped slightly from the month before.

G-20 meeting: Finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations are set to meet in Washington to discuss how to continue to sustain the economic recovery. Ministers and governors are expected to endorse an agreement for a 15 percent global minimum tax and other changes aimed at cracking down on tax havens that have drained countries of much-needed revenue.

Fed meeting minutes: The Federal Reserve will publish minutes from the September meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. Investors will be looking for indications of policymakers’ thinking about when the central bank should begin winding down some of its efforts to support the economy.

Bank earnings: Wall Street’s biggest banks, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, will release quarterly financial reports starting on Wednesday. Analysts are forecasting strong profits growth and will be listening for executives’ outlook on the economy amid the deteriorating market sentiment. Morgan Stanley and Citigroup will release their earnings reports on Thursday.

Delta Air Lines earnings: The airline is expected to publish its financial performance report for the three months ending in September, a period during which a surge in coronavirus cases stifled momentum for the travel industry.


Retail sales: The Commerce Department will publish data on spending for the month of September. In August, retail sales rose slightly, highlighting the uneven pace of the economic recovery.

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Conventions are facing smaller crowds and stricter safety protocols, and the president of the company that produces New York Comic Con noted that “it’s going to look a little different this year.”

The mask mandate game some fans, eager to strut around dressed as favorite characters, pause. Most simply wore a medical mask, but a creative few found ways to use masks to complement their cosplay. SEE THE PHOTO ESSAY ->

Daniel Craig, left, and Rami Malek, the stars of “No Time to Die,” made a surprise appearance on Thursday at a movie theater in Burbank, Calif.Credit…Philip Cheung for The New York Times

The latest James Bond spectacle, “No Time to Die,” gave Hollywood its third box office success in the span of a month.

But the pandemic-era box office is still extremely fragile, analysts say, and the only movies attracting sizable attention in cinemas are big-budget franchise films, Brooks Barnes reports in The New York Times. The audience for smaller dramas and comedies seems — at least for now — to be satisfied with home viewing, either buying films through video on demand or watching them on streaming services.

“Superhero, action and horror movies are performing well in theaters, particularly when they are offered exclusively and not simultaneously available to stream,” said David A. Gross, who runs Franchise Entertainment Research, a film consultancy.

“No Time to Die” gave Hollywood hope that the worst times of the pandemic are in the past. Billed as the 25th installment in the Bond franchise and with Daniel Craig in his fifth and final turn as 007, “No Time to Die” took in an estimated $56 million from 4,407 theaters in the United States and Canada, according to Comscore. In partial release overseas, the Bond film collected an additional $257 million, according to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and its overseas distribution partner, Universal Pictures International.

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