This Hertz in Paramus, N.J., closed for the pandemic. Photo: Ted Shaffrey/AP

Hertz — which was was heavily indebted, but with its stock at a two-year high before the pandemic — filed for bankruptcy last night after global travel halted.

Why now: The Florida giant's nearly 700,000 vehicles have been largely idled.

Most of the pandemic-era bankruptcies — J. Crew, Nieman Marcus, J.C. Penney and Pier 1 — were for companies that were already on the brink, and the pandemic pushed them over.

  • Hertz generates a huge percentage of its revenue from rentals at airports, where traveler traffic has fallen dramatically.

318,000 people went through TSA checkpoints on Thursday, heading into Memorial Day weekend.

  • Last year, that number was nearly 2.7 million.

What to watch: Creditors could push for Hertz to liquidate part of its fleet, resulting in falling prices for used cars.

Remember: Bankruptcy doesn’t necessarily mean the companies disappear. Pier 1 is liquidating, but the others could stick around.

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The story of American businesses in the coronavirus pandemic is a tale of two markets — one made up of tech firms and online retailers as winners awash in capital, and another of brick-and-mortar mom-and-pop shops that is collapsing.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has created an environment where losing industries like traditional retail and hospitality as well as a sizable portion of firms owned by women, immigrants and people of color are wiped out and may be gone for good.

Apple's antitrust fight turns Epic

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Millions of angry gamers may soon join the chorus of voices calling for an antitrust crackdown on Apple, as the iPhone giant faces a new lawsuit and PR blitz from Epic Games, maker of mega-hit Fortnite.

Why it matters: Apple is one of several Big Tech firms accused of violating the spirit, if not the letter, of antitrust law. A high-profile lawsuit could become a roadmap for either building a case against tech titans under existing antitrust laws or writing new ones better suited to the digital economy.

Survey: Fears grow about Social Security’s future

Data: AARP survey of 1,441 U.S. adults conducted July 14–27, 2020 a ±3.4% margin of error at the 95% confidence level; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Younger Americans are increasingly concerned that Social Security won't be enough to wholly fall back on once they retire, according to a survey conducted by AARP — in honor of today's 85th anniversary of the program — given first to Axios.

Why it matters: Young people's concerns about financial insecurity once they're on a restricted income are rising — and that generation is worried the program, which currently pays out to 65 million beneficiaries, won't be enough to sustain them.