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.

Go deeper

Senate advances Amy Coney Barrett nomination, setting up final confirmation vote

Photo: Xinhua/Ting Shen via Getty Images

The Senate voted 51-48 on Sunday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, setting up a final confirmation vote for Monday.

Why it matters: It's now virtually inevitable that the Senate will vote to confirm President Trump's third Supreme Court nominee before the election, which is just nine days away.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Wall Street is living up to its bad reputation

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Recent headlines will have you convinced that Wall Street is hell-bent on living up to all of its stereotypes.

Driving the news: Goldman Sachs is the biggest and the boldest, paying more than $5 billion in fines in the wake of the 1MDB scandal, in which billions were stolen from the people of Malaysia.

2 hours ago - Health

Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said "the short answer is yes" when asked whether Vice President Mike Pence is putting others at risk by continuing to campaign after several aides tested positive for COVID-19, stressing that the White House needs to be "very explicit about the risks that they're taking."

Why it matters: The New York Times reports that at least five members of Pence's inner circle, including his chief of staff Marc Short and outside adviser Marty Obst, have tested positive for the virus. Pence tested negative on Sunday morning, according to the VP's office, and he'll continue to travel for the final stretch of the 2020 campaign.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!