Wednesday, July 1, 2020

$winging Elbows

Not in the basketball games that won't be played at the end of this month:

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell (left) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin bumped elbows after testifying Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee. Mnuchin said he expected an economic rebound in the second half of the year, while Powell expressed more uncertainty.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell (left) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin bumped elbows after testifying Tuesday before the House Financial Services Committee. Mnuchin said he expected an economic rebound in the second half of the year, while Powell expressed more uncertainty (Tasos Katopodis/Pool via Associated Press/Pool Getty Images North America via AP).

I must admit, the masks make them look like the looting thieves that they are.

"Mnuchin and Powell offer mixed views of recovery" by Alan Rappeport and Jeanna Smialek New York Times, June 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who removed his mask while testifying, offered a more optimistic forecast of the economy, saying he expects a rebound in the second half of the year. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, who did not remove his mask while testifying, acknowledged the recovery has begun sooner than expected but shared a less sanguine forecast amid ongoing uncertainty about the virus.

Powell warned that while consumer spending is rebounding strongly and the US economy has entered a recovery phase earlier than many expected, a full rebound is unlikely until the pandemic is contained and Americans feel comfortable resuming their normal lives.

Powell said that the economy’s future is “extraordinarily uncertain” and will depend on getting the virus under control. A second wave of the virus, Powell said, “could force people to withdraw” and “undermine public confidence which is what we need to get back to lots of kinds of economic activity that involve crowds.”

They are closing down the bars, moron, as the alleged second wave is underway.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned lawmakers in a separate hearing Tuesday that the number of new infections in the United States could more than double to 100,000 a day if the country fails to contain the surge that is underway in many states.


I mean, when are people going to stop listening to these liars with the qualifiers galore?!

I'm saving Fauci for a different post, to be up shortly. F**k this.

Trump administration officials have said that they would not call for a full lockdown of the economy again, but many state and local officials are already delaying some of their reopening plans in an effort to tamp down the virus.

Trump is basically impotent, for where he to act he would be attacked and his position further reduced. Besides, he doesn't control lockdowns, governors playing king do.

With millions of Americans still out of work and many businesses still shuttered or seeing lower levels of activity, lawmakers have begun discussing whether another round of fiscal support is needed.

They are taking a two-week break for the Fourth of July so don't expect anything.

Lawmakers continued to pepper Mnuchin with questions about how bailout money is being spent and Democrats accused him of not providing enough transparency about its efforts.

Mnuchin defended his record of transparency in managing the $2.2 trillion government bailout but said he would not commit to providing additional information to a panel of inspectors general that have accused him of stonewalling their requests.....

Sick of the back and forth charade yet?


Of course, everything went smoothly with the PPP program that was riddled with glitches and problems according to the reporting during March and April but that's all down the propaganda pre$$ memory hole now:

"Paycheck program ends with $130b unspent" by Stacy Cowley New York Times, June 30, 2020

NEW YORK — After a stumbling start three months ago, the government’s centerpiece relief program for small businesses is ending with money left over.


The restaurants closing in Bo$ton never got acce$$, huh?

Of course, the Globe spent a day in those establishments before raising a glass at O'Leary's and forgetting about them.

The Paycheck Protection Program is scheduled to wrap up Tuesday after handing out $520 billion in loans meant to preserve workers’ jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, but as new outbreaks spike across the country and force many states to rethink their plans to reopen businesses, the program is closing down with more than $130 billion still in its coffers.

“The fact that it was able to reach so far into the small-business sector is a major achievement, and those things are worth acknowledging and celebrating,” said John Lettieri, chief executive of the Economic Innovation Group, a think tank focused on entrepreneurship, “but we’re still in a public health crisis, and we’re facing a long, slow, uneven return. Millions of businesses still have their survival at risk.”

Let's think about that for a minute.

Related: A $tronger U.S. $afety Net

According to that article, WE ARE ALL GETTING RICH!

The hastily constructed and frequently chaotic aid program, run by the Small Business Administration but carried out through banks, handed out money to nearly 5 million businesses nationwide, giving them low-interest loans to cover roughly 2½ months of their typical payroll costs. Those that use most of the money to pay employees can have their debt forgiven.

Yeah, I was told earlier this week that "mistakes were made."

The cash went to a wide variety of companies: manufacturing firms with hundreds of workers, Main Street retailers with a few dozen employees, and freelancers working for themselves. The loans ranged from a few hundred dollars to $10 million, and allowed businesses to keep paying employees — even if they had nothing to do but sit at home.

They also went to banks and multinational conglomerates, including $ports teams, which the New York Times conveniently ignores in touting the PPP rip-off as the combined wealth of the 614 U.S. billionaires increased by $584 billion between March 18 and June 17.

It's a COVID-19(84) world! History is what they say it is!

The program appears to have helped prevent the nation’s staggering job losses from growing even worse. Hiring rebounded more than expected in May as companies in some of the hardest-hit industries, especially restaurants, restored millions of jobs by recalling laid-off workers and hiring new ones.

You can't prove a negative, NYT, and this idea that people are coming back in waves to the jobs they left and new hires are being made is pure bull$hit!

Honestly, folks, the New York Times has become a complete piece of crap.

That is how it played out for Dr. Chris Stansbury, an optometrist who co-founded West Virginia Eye Consultants, which has seven offices around the southern part of the state. He furloughed 40 employees in late March after a statewide stay-at-home order, when his once-thriving practice was limited to emergency appointments only. For weeks, its sales were negligible.

The loan he received through the program April 16 gave him a financial safety net as he began to reopen — with a host of new health precautions — in early May. Sales are back to around 90 percent of normal, and Stansbury said he was cautiously optimistic that the worst had passed for his business. Nearly all of his workers are back on the job. “If we hadn’t had this money to get us through, things would have been pretty dire,” he said. “I don’t think we would have been able to reopen all of our locations right away.”

Somebody better clean tho$e ro$e-colored gla$$es!

Other businesses did not have such a smooth experience. The program was marred by technical problems — like overtaxed computer systems that crashed — and confusing, frequently revised rules that frustrated borrowers and lenders alike. Some banks limited their lending to companies with which they already had relationships.

After a rush of early demand — the initial $349 billion set aside for the program was gone in 13 days — borrowing slowed significantly. The money left over after the final applications are received late Tuesday will stay with the Treasury.

Yeah, glo$$ over tho$e problems, NYT, as you $pit-$hine this turd!

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during a House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday that he has had discussions with senators from both parties about allowing the remaining funds to be repurposed.

What well-connected intere$t is going to get it?

The change, which would require congressional action, would be designed so that hard-hit industries such as restaurants and travel would have access to the money.

I had acid reflux after reading that.

Lenders cited two main reasons there was money left over. First, most eligible companies that wanted a loan were ultimately able to obtain one. (The program limited each applicant to only one loan.)

Also, the program’s complicated and shifting requirements dissuaded some qualified borrowers, who feared they would be unable to get their loan forgiven.

Was that by design or just the endless cover of incompetence?

Trying to comply with those rules was a challenge for many businesses. Tracy Singleton closed her farm-to-table restaurant in Minneapolis, the Birchwood Cafe, in mid-March and laid off all but a handful of her 62 workers. She received a $382,200 loan in early April, a week after the program began, and soon spent it all — even though she will not be fully reopening any time soon“If I’d known the rules were going to change, I would have done it differently,” Singleton said, “but I had to go with the rules as they were at the time.”

I hope she doesn't go hungry with the rest of us.

When she received the loan, businesses had just eight weeks to spend the cash if they wanted to have the loan completely forgiven. So Singleton, who had switched to curbside pickup sales, brought back dozens of workers, brainstorming new projects for them to tackle. Her payroll ballooned from a skeleton crew of eight to a peak of 48 employees, but as the clock ticked down to the end of her eight weeks of support, it became clearer to lawmakers that the downturn was not ending anytime soon.....


Mnuchin and Powell say we are already in a recovery!



"Wall Street capped its best quarter since 1998 on Tuesday with more gains, a fitting end to a stunning three months for investors as the market screamed back toward its record heights after a torrid plunge. Technology, healthcare and financial companies powered much of the market’s broad gains Friday. The buying accelerated after a report showed stronger-than-expected improvement in consumer confidence this month....."

What more is there to talk about, really?

The American people got taken to the cleaners.