Jun 27, 2019

Shares of private prison companies slump after Bank of America cuts financial ties

Private prison companies took another dive on Wednesday after Bank of America announced it would no longer finance the facilities.

What's happening: Shares of major private prison companies GEO Group and CoreCivic had another major selloff, slumping 4.2% and 4.4% respectively after the BofA news.

  • Reuters' Imani Moise, who broke the news, also made waves in March with news that JPMorgan had made a similar declaration, and Wells Fargo also announced it would stop loans to the industry.

Background: Activists have stepped up pressure against the financing of private prisons amid heightened tension over immigration policies from the Trump administration and concerns about facility conditions. Private prisons account for about two-thirds of people held by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to S&P Global Ratings estimates.

Earlier this month, the companies were rocked by an announcement from presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who tweeted about about her plan to terminate private prisons entirely.

  • That news sent GEO to its biggest intraday drop since March. CoreCivic fell by as much as 6%, the largest intraday decline of the year.

The big picture: GEO Group's stock is up a little more than 3% year-to-date, but has fallen more than 16% since June 18.

  • CoreCivic's stock is up 14% for the year, but has dropped more than 18% since June 18.

Go deeper: How companies profit from immigrant detention

Go deeper

Inside hackers' pivot to medical espionage

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A wave of cyber-spying around COVID-19 medical research is once more demonstrating the perils of treating cybersecurity as a separate, walled-off realm.

Driving the news: U.S. officials recently announced an uptick in Chinese-government affiliated hackers targeting medical research and other facilities in the United States for data on a potential COVID-19 cure or effective treatments to combat the virus. Additionally, “more than a dozen countries have redeployed military and intelligence hackers to glean whatever they can about other nations’ virus responses,” reports the New York Times.

The downsides of remote work

Data: Reproduced from Prudential/Morning Consult "Pulse of the American Worker Survey"; Chart: Axios Visuals

The coronavirus pandemic has forced a large-scale experiment in working from home. It has gone well enough that many companies are expanding their remote work expectations for the foreseeable future, and remote employees want to continue to work that way.

Yes, but: The downsides of remote work — less casual interaction with colleagues, an over-reliance on Zoom, lack of in-person collaboration and longer hours — could over time diminish the short-term gains.

Hong Kong's economic future hangs in the balance

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As Beijing forces a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong, the once semi-autonomous city's status as one of Asia's largest financial hubs is at risk.

Why it matters: Political freedoms and strong rule of law helped make Hong Kong a thriving center for international banking and finance. But China's leaders may be betting that top firms in Hong Kong will trade some political freedoms for the economic prosperity Beijing can offer.