Congress’ $900 Billion Stimulus Deal Could Not Be Sufficient, Critics Fear

After months of warnings from economists, corporate leaders and the Fed that the US economy needed additional help, lawmakers finally reached a $ 900 billion economic compromise yesterday. The question now is whether it is enough and who will benefit most from it.

The deal calls for direct payments of $ 600 to millions of Americans and $ 300 a week in additional federal unemployment benefits for 11 weeks. It also includes:

Skeptics say it might be too little, too late. Economists have warned that the bill would not meet requirements to support economic recovery. Democrats, who had already accepted a sharp cut from the $ 2.2 trillion parliament approved earlier this year, urged President-elect Joe Biden to take further action when he takes office next month: “It cannot be the last word to ease Congress. ” said Senator Chuck Schumer, the minority leader.

But any struggle for more stimulus faces enormous opportunities. Yesterday’s bill was already the subject of intense negotiations between Democrats and Republicans and was nearly sunk several times. Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader who obstructed previous relief laws, called the package “smart and responsible.” Unless the Democrats win both seats in the Georgian Senate and give them control of Congress in next month’s runoff elections, it is increasingly unlikely that lawmakers will take further action.

Travel from the UK is halted due to the new strain of coronavirus. After the UK banned London and the surrounding areas, citing concerns about a new, fast-spreading variant of the virus, a growing list of countries banned travelers from the UK (so there may be no reason to panic about the new strain just yet .) In the meantime, the UK is still negotiating a post-Brexit trade deal with the European Union and the clock is ticking.

Jack Ma refused Olive Branch to Beijing. According to the Wall Street Journal, the billionaire reportedly offered “any of the platforms” operated by Ant Group, the fintech giant he co-founded, shortly before its planned IPO last month. The proposal failed to reassure government officials who were skeptical of the company: days later, regulators blocked Ant’s stock offering.

Employers can prescribe vaccines to a regulator. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has issued guidelines that companies can use to exclude employees from the workplace if they are not vaccinated. Regardless, the CDC voted that people over the age of 74 and key frontline workers should be vaccinated next as companies work to ensure that their employees are given higher priority.

Conservative news agencies face potential libel lawsuits for voting rights. Smartmatics and Dominion, two large voters in the electoral system, are threatening legal action over repeated unsubstantiated claims that commentators from Fox News, Newsmax and OAN are meddling in elections. Legal experts told The Times’ Ben Smith that the companies have a strong legal base.

Ray Dalio’s son dies in a car accident. Devon Dalio, 42, was a private equity investor who previously worked for his father’s hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates. The elderly Mr. Dalio confirmed the news on Twitter: “My family and I grieve and process.”

Today, Tesla is officially joining the S&P 500 – and adding a controversial company with a market cap of $ 650 billion can have strange consequences.

It will immediately be the sixth largest company in the index. (If you combine the two classes of Alphabet stock.) In anticipation of Tesla’s inclusion, meaning its stocks are largely held by the universe of funds that use the S&P as a benchmark, the company’s stock rose on Friday alone 6 percent.

Economy & Economy


Apr. 21, 2020, 4:47 am ET

A question of volatility. For the past five years, Tesla has been 60 percent more volatile than the S&P 500 – and almost 90 percent more volatile than the index this year alone. Market experts hope that trading in the company will calm down, also through inclusion in the S&P. (Most passive investors who own S&P stocks buy and sell the stocks in the index as a group.)

Late on Friday, Treasury proposed a new disclosure rule for certain digital currency transactions “to close regulatory loopholes in money laundering.” Critics of the move in the cryptocurrency community turned down the proposal.

Critics focus on the process. While a crypto manager said the rule, which must be disclosed for certain large transactions with finance, and has been rumored for some time, “could have been worse,” critics expressed a particular problem with its introduction. The department leaves only two weeks for public comments over the holidays, which they believe is insufficient:

  • “The process for this rule is completely out of order,” tweeted Jake Chervinsky, general counsel of fintech firm Compound Labs, mocking the Treasury Department’s actions as “midnight rulemaking” to enforce a “predetermined outcome”.

  • “Bad process for a bad rule,” tweeted the Blockchain Association, citing a Jan. 4 deadline for “the first flag” for trouble. The trading group said it hired Paul Clement, a former attorney general, to lead their legal challenge.

  • “It doesn’t follow the right process and we’re going to challenge it,” said Brian Armstrong, Coinbase CEO, who had previously warned of the possible rules.

– Adam Zimmerman, the CEO of Craft3, a nonprofit lender, on first contacting MacKenzie Scott’s small team of philanthropic advisors. (She eventually gave $ 10 million to his group.)

Efforts to oust Dan Snyder, the majority owner of the NFL’s Washington Football team, may have failed, The Times’ Ken Belson and Katie Rosman report. The team’s three minority owners may have wanted him out – but now they’re ready to sell their holdings at a steep discount to what they were looking for for their shares in June.

The fight for money began. The three minority owners – FedEx founder Fred Smith, financier Robert Rothman and real estate developer Dwight Schar – protested Mr Snyder’s decision to cut their dividend payments amid the pandemic. They tried to sell their combined 40 percent stake over the summer, but Mr. Snyder kicked them off the board instead.

An attempt was made to lose negative information. Mr Snyder’s court records say Mr Schar teamed up with a former assistant to Mr Snyder to divulge damned material to the news media to evict him. (Telephone records show 123 calls between the assistant and the Washington Post, which eventually published a large story of sexual harassment allegations against executives on the team – although Mr. Snyder himself was not involved.)

Mr. Snyder may now have even tighter controls. Months after he was criticized for his longstanding refusal to get rid of the team’s former name, viewed by many as a racist bow and logo. He is expected to pay up to $ 900 million for the three partners’ shares after they posted a value of $ 1.5 billion in June.

Mastercard stopped processing credit card payments for Pornhub after Times columnist Nick Kristof wrote that the site had broadcast videos of child abuse and sexual assault. In the latest episode of Kara Swisher’s Times Opinion podcast Sway, released this morning, Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga explains when and where he drew the line.

Watch out for the “slippery slope”. Mr. Banga said Mastercard is often under pressure to stop doing business with a sector – “Is alcohol bad? This topic has been about weapons in the past. Are Birth Control Pills Bad? “- but Pornhub was a relatively straightforward call.” We went back to Pornhub and said, sorry, you have exceeded legal standards, “Mr Banga told Kara.

Find the balance between social responsibility and the law. Kara urged Mr. Banga on what it means to be socially responsible when Mastercard is ready to do business with controversial industries. His answer:

“I have to adhere to a legal standard. I am not trying to follow a moral standard. When I do this, I personally detest all sorts of things to do with gun sales. I don’t have a gun. I also detest things related to porn. But, you know what? That’s not what it is about. There are laws in a country and we try to work within the laws. “


  • SoftBank is expected to launch a SPAC that is expected to raise up to $ 600 million. (Axios)

  • AT&T is reportedly disappointed with the offers for its DirecTV business and may abandon the sales process. (NY Post)

  • Two payment giants, FIS and Global Payments, are said to have held talks to merge a deal, potentially worth $ 70 billion, despite the failure of negotiations. (WSJ)

Politics and politics

  • The Senate Environment Committee chairman suggested that Republicans would refuse to approve Jennifer Granholm, President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee for Energy Secretary, on her previous comments on criticism of fossil fuels. (NYT)

  • Mr Biden’s advisors are reportedly weighing retaliatory measures against Russian infrastructure in response to a major hack believed to have been ordered by the Kremlin. (Reuters)

  • President Trump signed a law that could ban Chinese companies from US stock exchanges unless American auditors check their books. (Bloomberg)


  • How the antitrust proceedings against big tech companies rely on former insiders for assistance. And here’s what experts think about the likelihood of success in these litigation. (NYT, Axios)

  • Intel and Nvidia’s businesses are increasingly threatened by their best customers. (WSJ)

  • In the disastrous rollout of the video game Cyberpunk 2077 and what the ramifications for the industry could be. (NYT)

The best of the rest

  • Working from home has given some employees more power to cut back on busy work. (WSJ)

  • Companies rushed to complete corporate diversity training – but there was a lack of follow-up. (WSJ)

  • How a reporter fell for the “pharmaceutical brother” Martin Shkreli. (Cubit)

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