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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

GOtv Boxing Night 8: Skoro Wins N1m Best Boxer’s Prize Money

first_imgBoxing fans yesterday defied the heavy downpour in Lagos on Saturday as they trooped out in their numbers into the Indoor Sports Hall of the National Stadium for the Season 8 of the GOtv Boxing and they were not disappointed as the boxers put up impressive displays.It was however the fight between Waidi “Skoro” Usman and David Ekpeyong that was the most thrilling and it therefore came as no surprise that one of them was declared the best boxer of the night.Usman lived up to his promise to make up for the West African Boxing Union featherweight title he lost to Edward Kekembo of Uganda in December 2015, as he made an explosive ring return and was declared winner via unanimous decision. He also carted away the N1million cash prize for the best boxer of the night.The capacity crowd at the Indoor Sports Hall of the national Stadium, Lagos, cheered Skoro, whose fight with the equally impressive  Ekpeyong was the highlights of the night.In the main bout of the night, Abolaji  emerged the new national middleweight champion, defeating Sunny Iyere by unanimous decision.Earlier in the night, Rilwan “Baby Face” Babatunde made light work of Shakiru Lateef, while Stanley Eribo defeated Dele Adeleke via a fifth round knockout in the welterweight category.The super middleweight clash between Matthew Obinna and Samuel Igbokwe was declared a no-contest.In the National Lightweight Challenge, fans favourite, Olaide Fijabi took just 58 seconds to dismiss the opposition put up by Tombraye Christmas.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

UHRI Launches ‘Citizens Initiative Registry’

first_imgThe executive director of the Universal Human Rights International (UHRI), Joe Luamba, Jr has called on Liberians to join the newly established National Citizens Registry (NCR).In a press release issued in Monrovia last Friday, Luamba said the NCR is being launched to enable Liberians to fulfill their constitutional obligation by adding their names, voter registration and electoral districts to the national registry.  “This citizens’ initiative is consistent with the letter and spirit of Article I of the Liberian Constitution which states that ‘All power is inherent in the people. All free governments are instituted by their authority and for their benefit and they have the right to alter and reform the same when their safety and happiness so require,’” he said.He explained that the NCI Registry is open to all Liberian citizens to add their names, voter registration numbers, electoral districts, counties and phone numbers indicating to politicians that 167 years of statehood was necessary.When Liberian citizens value their opinions they must ensure that their servants in government follow their orders and in a situation where a government ceases to serve the common good of society, it becomes the duty of citizens to bring their servants under control.The NCR’s initiative, he said, “is a proven strategy that has successfully guaranteed that public servants remain servants instead of public masters in democracies and thisdates back to 5th century Greece.”He said the initiative is a process of a participatory democracy that empowers the people to propose legislation and to enact or reject the laws at the polls independent of the lawmaking power of the governing body and it exists in Switzerland, United States and the European Union.In order to return from the bottomless pit of despair, underdevelopment and lack of opportunities, Luamba said Liberian citizens must take the lead and begin trusting democratic ideas, not politicians, irrespective of their tribe, religion, education or social status. Luamba urged all Liberian citizens to register to vote as the first step on the path to peace, prosperity and unlimited equal opportunities for all citizens.  They must register at the National Citizens Initiative Registry by calling 0775718065 and the process will continue through email, sms texts, letters, facebook, and websites to be established by UHRI.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more