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As hopes fade for a major stimulus, here’s what it means for the fragile economy

first_imgThe HEROES Act that the House passed in May calls for $3 trillion in spending across a variety of areas, from unemployment benefits to student loan relief, rent and mortgage assistance and testing and tracing programs related to the coronavirus pandemic.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – As the question remains over who will capture the hotly contested presidential race, one casualty quickly emerging from fallout is the massive stimulus package Democrats were hoping to get to boost the economy.A blue-wave victory in Tuesday’s elections was expected to cement funding as high as $3 trillion.Instead, the likelihood that the Senate will stay in Republican hands, combined with a presidential race that at least is tilting to Democrat Joe Biden, likely translates into something smaller – or no deal at all.- Advertisement – The U.S. Capitol is seen in the morning on November 4, 2020 in Washington, DC. The nation awaits the results of a historic presidential election between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden with swing states still too close to call.Al Drago | Getty Images Republicans, though, seek a smaller, more tailored approach aimed mostly at enhanced help for displaced workers and limited aid elsewhere, to the tune of less than $1 trillion.With the mixed bag of results off the election, Wall Street consensus quickly formed around a package that would be closer to what the GOP is proposing, with uncertainty over when it could get passed.“We’re still likely to see a fiscal support package, but I would suspect the total size to be no more than $1 trillion,” said Steve Friedman, senior macroeconomist at MackKay Shields. “We’re much lower now in this divided government scenario.”What it means for the economyThe stakes around the size of the stimulus are considerable with the economy on uncertain footing heading into the winter.While GDP rose at a 33.1% annualized pace in the third quarter, employment gains are slowing and overall growth is expected to pull back. The economy is still in a technical recession that began in February, and whether negative growth returns could be contingent on how much more fiscal juice is needed and when it arrives.“If you just didn’t do anything, it would clearly be a tremendous toll on many, many households, but it wouldn’t necessarily cause a double-dip recession,” Friedman said. “It would just slow the pace of the recovery in an aggregate sense.”The political rancor comes at a time of heightened concern over the coronavirus spread.Daily case growth has been around the highest of the pandemic, and hospitalization rates are climbing as well. European nations are again shuttering businesses to battle Covid-19, and if that should come to the U.S., it would complicate the recovery.“It’s a little bit unsettling because of course we’re all watching what’s going on with Covid-19 and in Europe seeing the containment measures coming in,” said James Knightley, chief international economist at ING Investment Management. “We could be entering a period where we could be talking about negative growth once again in the U.S. That political backdrop doesn’t make it easy to see a swift fiscal response to this.”Lacking action from the fiscal side, financial markets again could turn their eyes to the Federal Reserve for more monetary help.Though the central bank’s arsenal is somewhat limited, it still has some weapons to deploy. The Fed could increase its monthly asset purchases and extend the duration of the bonds it is acquiring as part of more aggressive quantitative easing. It also could use stronger guidance about what it will take to raise rates, and use its purchases to control the yield curve.What the Fed could doThe Fed concludes its two-day meeting Thursday. Markets don’t expect much in terms of action, but Chairman Jerome Powell could indicate what measures if any officials are considering to aid in the recovery.“The Fed could consider easing terms to facilitate the flow of credit. The Fed could also ramp up the QE program, buying Treasuries and [mortgage-backed securities] at a faster rate, as well as corporate credit as needed, particularly if it sees concerns over market liquidity,” Michelle Meyer, U.S. economist at Bank of America Global Research, said in a recent note. “The Fed has tools and will use them, in our view.”Meyer said a Biden victory combined with a split Congress likely would see stimulus of $500 billion to $1 trillion “passed after inauguration but with some delay. There is also some chance of continued gridlock in this scenario.”Markets didn’t seem to mind any of it Wednesday, rallying strongly despite the uncertainty hanging over the election.Prospects of the kind of gridlock that Wall Street seems to prefer combined with continued likelihood of some form of stimulus helped fuel the strong move higher.“What the market tends not to like the most is when you have one-party controlling the presidency, the House and the Senate. That blue wave that was talked about earlier clearly is not going to happen,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab. “Markets have the tendency to move more on what they expect than what actually happens. Some of what has kept the market buoyant is the continued commentary from Nancy Pelosi and Steve Mnuchin that they’re still taking and still negotiating.” – Advertisement – “That’s the most dangerous arrangement of variables from an economic perspective, precisely because it makes the stimulus less likely,” said Eric Winograd, senior economist at Alliance Bernstein. “The economy still needs stimulus. The way things are going now is that it’s unlikely it will get stimulus and certainly it won’t get large stimulus.”House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been representing their respective sides in negotiations that occasionally show promise but mostly reflect just how far apart the two sides are when it comes to the extent of help needed.last_img read more

The ‘new’ reason your marriage is failing.

first_img Sharing is caring! Image via mattandkim/FlickrIf you need another excuse for why your marriage isn’t working anymore, just keep surfing the web. Spending more time on here than you do out there (in the “real” world) gives you one more thing to pass the blame on for a failing marriage.Let’s face it, the Internet is a huge distraction. And we all know that a distraction is something that keeps us from having to deal with the issues and problems in our relationships. It’s even easier to point fingers at something that can’t point back, so it makes perfect sense to use the web as an excuse for not connecting with your partner. And while the Internet can’t make you do anything, it can conveniently help you avoid doing everything. It’s an easy way (to tune) out.I’m sure collectively we can think of a number of other reasons why people check out of their marriages. Money. Lack of intimacy and/or communication. The in-laws. Growing apart. But what we don’t often think about is how to check back in. And no matter how much time you spend online, it’s how you spend your time offline that matters. Relationships take devotion and practice.So is the Internet to blame for ruined marriages? For some yes. Some, not at all.The Internet can be a great resource for healthy relationships. It can provide you with new ideas on how to have the same sex different ways and it can enhance your relationship by leading to discussions you wouldn’t have even thought to have. It’s a place where you can watch sexy videos, send sexy tweets, and communicate with each other on a whole other level. Sure, being online makes it easier to check out of your marriage, but being online isn’t really why you check out of your marriage. You check out of your marriage because it’s over and you’re done, or because you don’t have the effective resources to get things back on track.I say buck up. When the going gets tough, it’s time to stop gazing at the screen, and start gazing into each other’s eyes.Do you think the Internet can ruin a marriage? Written by Jamye Waxman for CafeMom’s blog, The Stir LifestyleRelationships The ‘new’ reason your marriage is failing. by: – August 22, 2011 Share Tweetcenter_img 30 Views   no discussions Share Sharelast_img read more

Forgotten History Former Slaves in the Battle of Negro Fort

first_imgThroughout the history of the struggle for freedom, slaves in America encountered many examples of brutality and methods put into place in order to preserve slavery within the country. One terrible deed was the destruction of what was then known as Negro Fort. While the War of 1812 raged on between the British and American soldiers, a fort had been built in Spanish controlled Florida for the purpose of garrisoning British troops. This fort had a considerable black population, mainly composed of escaped slaves and free men. Choctaw and Seminole tribe members also resided within the fort.The War of 1812.By 1815, the British soldiers decided to withdraw their presence from Negro Fort and move on. However, as a means of sabotaging future U.S. efforts to move into Florida, the British left the black population fully armed. This would ensure that the fortress would be able to maintain its independence from the United States, at least so they believed.Negro Fort, outside of the reach of the U.S government, quickly became a haven for slaves in America who sought to escape from their bonds.Any slave who was able to reach this territory would have true freedom. The community surrounding the fort flourished, as many slaves were quite familiar with farming methods and were able to sustain their population without problem.A plaque at the site of Negro Fort marking the location of the powder magazine.Heavily armed and autonomous, this community made many anti-abolitionists in the United States worried. Here was an example of free black men and women living well, taking care of themselves and managing their communities which could inspire more slaves to escape.This could also have potentially led to stronger arguments for abolition. Such a place was decried as dangerous and there was considerable pressure on the government to act against the fort.Andrew Jackson, then the Secretary of War, had no favorable things to say about the fort. Instead, he pushed for the Spanish government to neutralize the place. Without a reply from the Spanish, Jackson gave the order for General Edmund Gaines to destroy Negro Fort under a thinly veiled pretense.Andrew Jackson.While Negro Fort operated peacefully, the United States set up a fortress of their own nearby, as a means to ensure a secure border and most likely to provoke a diplomatic incident between the two parties.With Fort Scott placed on the Flint River, the only way supplies could reach it was to pass through the Apalachicola River, which Negro Fort controlled. One day, in 1816, two gunboats escorting supplies sailed up the Apalachicola River.Drone footage of Badbury Rings, UK in 4KGeneral Gaines had ensured that these boats, armed with artillery, would have a large enough troop escort to provoke a response from Negro Fort. No peaceful party would move such a heavily armed escort through this territory, and so the Negro Fort soldiers, they thought, would most likely act first as a means to protect themselves from invasion.General Edmund Pendleton Gaines.Sure enough, when a detachment of Gaines’ men was getting water from the river, soldiers from Negro Fort ambushed them, killing five and capturing the rest.This “unprovoked” attack would be all the justification that Andrew Jackson and Gaines would need to lay siege to the fort. Their goal was to demolish the fort and “return” the escaped slaves who they claimed to have been stolen.On July 27, 1816, Negro Fort found itself embroiled in military conflict. One of the commanders of the fort, Garcon, told emissaries that they would not surrender, no matter what. They raised the British flag high, as well as a red flag.This flag symbolized what the 330 soldiers stationed at the Fort believed in. They would fight without quarter and they would rather die than become slaves again.Map of Fort Gadsden and the Negro Fort.Thanks to British armaments, Negro Fort was too formidable for Gaines to be able to assault outright. With a great amount of gunpowder, muskets, and cannons, the black and Native American soldiers would be able to inflict many casualties in a frontal assault. Instead of a full-assault however, the order was given for the gunboats to begin their bombardments.A Union Jack on the site of the original British fort. Photo by JW 1895 CC BY SA 2.5While both sides were prepared for a heavy battle, neither expected what came next. The first of the ordinances fired from the U.S. cannons crashed into the powder magazine of the fort. This heated shot ignited the powder and created an explosion that utterly devastated the fort.Over 200 occupants of the fort died immediately, and the rest would succumb to their wounds in a short amount of time. The Battle for Negro Fort was over with one fateful shot.Read another story from us: The Colombian army hired a marketing wizard to produce a radio hit single with a hidden message, intended for hostages held in the jungleIn the end, this short conflict would quickly fade from the mind of the American public. The fort, one of the first bastions of hope and prosperity for the black community, was destroyed. But the ideals which led to its creation had only just begun to sprout.Andrew Pourciaux is a novelist hailing from sunny Sarasota, Florida, where he spends the majority of his time writing and podcasting.last_img read more