Congress has 14 working days to keep government funded, provide COVID-19 relief

Posted On Nov 20 2020 by

first_imgAlready, House Republicans are resisting an omnibus bill, and raising questions about whether Trump would even sign one. It’s also a question whether he’d sign another CR or a coronavirus stimulus package, when it comes down to it. If Trump really wants to upend the nation and the election (states have to certify the election by Dec. 8, the electoral college votes Dec. 14, the formal joint session of Congress to declare the official results is Jan. 6) he can refuse to fund the government. Whether enough Republicans in Congress would be nihilistic enough to refuse to override his veto is an actual question. Because it is 2020 and anything, absolutely anything, could happen.On coronavirus relief, McConnell has yet to budge in his rhetoric and he and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi haven’t had any recent talks. Trump did tweet out one of his usual exhortations on Saturday: “Congress must now do a Covid Relief Bill. Needs Democrats support. Make it big and focused. Get it done!” Never mind that “big” and “focused” are in direct opposition right now—Pelosi wanting “big” and McConnell wanting “focused.” Who knows what Trump wants, other than to magic away election results and pretend like he’s not going to be vulnerable to prosecution in New York State in 64 days.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Who knows at this point what any of this means for the next month. The only thing certain is that as cases and hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus surge, as states increasingly have to shut down again, the economic pain increases even more. Thousand upon thousands of people face hunger, eviction, and financial ruin. And the obstruction of McConnell is making it worse. “More businesses will be at risk of permanently going out of business, which would dampen labor demand and potentially spur new rounds of layoffs. This suggests the labor market recovery could meaningfully slow or even reverse in coming months as the country tries to get the virus under control,” economists at Bank of America warned last week.That apparently is a feature and not a bug of McConnell’s plan to obstruct assistance. He wants to hamstring the Biden administration before it even begins. He doesn’t care who—or how many—suffer in the offing.last_img read more


Greek uncertainty remains key issue, pension funds admit

Posted On Sep 29 2020 by

first_imgThe company’s global strategist Salman Ahmed noted that, unless the creditors comprising the IMF, European Central Bank and EU reassess their previous negotiating position, it increased the risk of Greece’s leaving the single currency.“At the top level, the EU will now have to decide if allowing Greece to lurch out of the European project makes sense, given the strong question mark such a development can raise on the irreversibility of the union,” he said. “After all, let us not forget Greece makes up less than 2% of euro-zone GDP and has an economy that is smaller than the size of Milan.”However, according to the €189bn Dutch asset manager PGGM, the referendum outcome has hardly changed its view.The manager said a dedicated ‘Greece team’ was closely monitoring developments, and that clients were briefed on a daily basis.“Uncertainty remains the key issue,” it said. Uncertainty surrounding Greece’s ability to service its debts was also an area highlighted by Columbia Threadneedle’s head of asset allocation Toby Nagle, who questioned whether the ECB would be able to continue offering emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) to Greek banks. “As things stand today, our base case is that the Greek government will be unable to service its ECB debt on 20 July and the ELA will at that time be cut off, requiring the circulation of a secondary currency and reducing exponentially the prospect that Greece will continue to be a full member of the euro-zone,” he said.“Indeed, even ahead of 20 July, there remains a risk the banks run out of cash under the ECB umbrella, speeding up the process further.”Stephanie Flanders, chief market strategist for Europe at JP Morgan Asset Management, said Greece’s departure from the euro-zone would be costly for tax payers, not least because of the losses suffered by the ECB.But she also warned it would re-shape the universe for institutional investors.“It would have important long-term consequences for the euro-system and the future risk premium on euro-zone assets,” she said. However, like others, Flanders believes the contagion from Greece’s exit could be contained.“In theory, at least, the ECB also has much more effective tools available now to deal with any tightening of financial conditions that results from the Greek vote,” she said. The fallout of the vote has nevertheless impacted the funding of Dutch pension funds. Dennis van Ek, actuary at Mercer, said that, around lunchtime, the 30-year swap rates had dropped by 4 basis points to 1.72% since Friday-end, and that European equity markets had dropped 1-1.5%.As a result, the average coverage ratio has fallen by approximately 1 percentage point since Friday and would currently stand at 109%, he estimated.He placed the official ‘policy funding’ – the criterion for indexation and rights cuts – at approximately 107%. The decisive rejection of Greece’s bailout conditions spells uncertainty and could see the introduction of a parallel currency in the country, the asset management industry has warned.Hours after the Greek electorate voted ‘No’, backing the stance of Alexis Tsipras’s government, some of Europe’s largest asset managers refused to be drawn on the market risks.APG’s CIO Eduard van Gelderen said, through spokesman Harmen Geers, that, as a long-term investor, it was “not appropriate to comment on short-term developments”.Lombard Odier Investment Managers questioned whether Greece’s exit from the European Union could be possible.last_img read more


Andersen holds off Eagle challengers

Posted On Sep 23 2020 by

first_imgBy Greg Soukup Jeff Ware led the last 11 times around the track in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature and Shawn Harker was the Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod winner. Tyler Drueke’s march to the front of the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car field had him in front with 10 laps left. He’d get the win ahead of Mike Boston. Dillon Richards also returned to victory lane, in the Mach-1 Sport Compact main. Dustin Andersen stayed fast to the finish of Saturday’s IMCA Modified feature at Eagle Raceway. (Photo by Brandon Anderson) In and out of the lead early on, Andersen outran Dylan Sillman following the final restart. Josh Blumer, Shane Hiatt and Anthony Roth rounded out the very fast top five.  EAGLE, Neb. (June 20) – Dustin Andersen held off all challengers in a green, white, checkered finish to Saturday’s IMCA Modified main event at Eagle Raceway.last_img read more