Musk breaks ban, Branson selling stake, steelmaker seeks cash


Elon Musk tweeted on Monday: “Tesla is restarting production today against Alameda County rules. I will be on the line with everyone else. If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.” Photo: Pe3k / Shutterstock.com 

White House staffers to start wearing facemasks, UK and France reach no quarantine agreement and Disneyland Shanghai reopens. Delano’s breakfast briefing for Tuesday.

Tesla restarts California factory despite lockdown order

The electric carmaker Tesla has defied local public health officials and reopened its plant near San Francisco, which employs 10,000 people. Tesla said it was taking worker safety precautions. Founder and CEO Elon Musk previously called the shutdown order “fascist” and threatened to relocate the company outside of California if the factory was not allowed to resume production. Alameda County said it reminded Tesla that it was not authorised to operate. California’s governor said officials would try to find solution. Sources: Bloomberg, Financial Times, The Guardian, Marketwatch, NPR and San Francisco Chronicle.

Branson to sell Galactic stake

Sir Richard Branson will sell about of a fifth of his shares in Virgin Galactic, the space travel company, to raise roughly $500m for his airline and leisure group, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak. Sources: BBC, CNBC, The Guardian, Seeking Alpha and The Telegraph.

ArcelorMittal presents refinance plan

The Luxembourg-based steel giant ArcelorMittal said it wanted to raise $2bn, about 20% of its current market capitalisation, by issuing fresh shares and notes. The company posted a huge loss and suspended its dividend payments last week. Sources: Economic Times, Financial Times, The Motley Fool and Seeking Alpha.

Trump orders mask use

White House staff have been told to wear facemasks in the West Wing, where the president’s office is located, after two aides tested positive for covid-19 and several other officials went into self-isolation after being exposed to the coronavirus. Sources: BBC, Financial Times, NBC News, Politico and Reuters.

Protest against Trump virus response

Eugene Jarecki, a documentary filmmaker, has installed a “Trump Death Clock” in New York’s Times Square, to show what he argues are the number of preventable covid-19 deaths if the US president had acted sooner. Sources: AFP, South China Morning Post, The Telegraph and The Wrap.

No quarantine after crossing Channel

Passengers entering the UK from France will be now be exempt from Britain’s 14 day quarantine. Previously only Ireland had been exempt. Sources: AFP, BBC, Politico and Sky News.

Russia eases lockdown

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, started lifting movement restrictions and said people could go back to work despite Russia’s growing covid-19 rate. Sources: BBC, France 24, The Guardian, NPR and Reuters.

First Disney theme park, in China, reopens

Disneyland Shanghai restarted on Monday, with the number of visitors limited to one-third of capacity. Tickets were sold out. Sources: BBC, CNBC, Financial Times, The Guardian and South China Morning Post.

Twitter to flag “potentially harmful” covid-19 misinformation

The social media outfit Twitter said it would add warning labels to misleading tweets about the coronavirus outbreak. Sources: CNN, DPA, NPR, Seeking Alpha and Techcrunch.

Brussels might take Berlin to court over Karlsruhe order

The European Commission warned that it could sue Germany over a German constitutional court ruling, on European Central Bank bond-buying, that apparently usurps the authority of the European Court of Justice. Sources: AFP, Bloomberg,
Financial Times and Reuters.


Tuesday 12 May, 11am-11:45am: Paperjam livestreamed interview with PM Xavier Bettel (translated into English). Tuesday 12 May, 6pm-7:15pm: Ireland Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce’s “The weakest link: the supply chain” virtual conference. Tuesday 12 May, 8:05pm: Ara City Radio’s pub quiz on Facebook. Wednesday 13 May, 5pm-6pm: The British Chamber of Commerce’s “What is the future of the world beyond covid-19” online networking event. Thursday 14 May, 10am-11:30: Indian Business Chamber Luxembourg’s “India covid-19 response” webinar. Thursday 14 May, 5pm: The Luxembourg Private Equity and Venture Capital Association’s “10 years 10 minutes” online interview with Serge de Ganay, chairman of Quilvest Wealth Management, “about managing family businesses in crisis times.” Thursday 14 May, 6pm-7pm: Paperjam Club and Apex Group’s online conference on the post-virus outlook for the private equity and venture capital sectors.

Front door surprise

A family in Arizona received dozens of alerts from the security camera in front of their home, which turned out to be a giant swarm of bees, per AOL and UPI. The family contacted a beekeeper, who moved the bees.

Jerry Stiller has died

The comedian Jerry Stiller, perhaps best known for playing Frank Costanza in “Seinfeld”, died of natural causes at the age of 92. Sources: Associated Press, CNN and RTE.

Today’s breakfast briefing was written by Aaron Grunwald