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  1. #871

    Re: The Failing Economy

    The market closed down 582.05 or -3.04%

    The Democrats are holding firm against that $500bn slush fund.

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #872

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    How low will the DJ Industrial go? 15,000? Liras?
    Probably lower.

  3. #873

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Democrats again block key vote on $2 trillion coronavirus bill as Senate floor erupts with partisan anger
    Lawmakers and the White House plan to continue negotiating, but tempers flare as talks drag on and economy worsens.

    Erica Werner,
    Paul Kane,
    Rachael Bade and
    Mike DeBonis
    March 23, 2020 at 3:20 p.m. EDT

    The Washington Post is providing this story for free so that all readers have access to this important information about the coronavirus. For more free stories, sign up for our daily Coronavirus Updates newsletter.

    Democrats blocked a $2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill for the second day in a row Monday, as near-pandemonium erupted on the Senate floor with lawmakers venting fury about their failed efforts to address the pandemic’s impact on the U.S. economy.

    Ahead of the vote, Senators clashed angrily over delays that had bogged down the giant bill, reflecting uncertainty about whether Congress would be able to reach a deal in the coming hours. Some lawmakers had hoped to reach an agreement three days ago, but talks kept breaking down even as they negotiated throughout the weekend.

    Democrats have argued that the bill is disproportionately tilted towards helping companies and needs to extend more benefits to families and health care providers, while Republicans have countered that the bill offers unprecedented financial assistance to the entire economy and needs to be passed before more people lose their jobs.

    The vote Monday was 49-46, well short of the 60 vote threshold needed to advance the legislation for a final debate.

    “This has got to stop and today is the day it has to stop,” an exasperated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said. “The country is out of time.”

    McConnell accused Democrats of holding up the sorely needed rescue package so they can try to add extraneous provisions sought by special interests and organized labor. Democrats have refused to support the key procedural vote that would have made it easier to pass the bill, with many complaining that the legislation did not include much transparency into which businesses could receive hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency loans.

    Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) said that the bill, which includes a huge $500 billion fund for businesses, states, and cities that the administration would have wide latitude to spend, makes the Senate look “more focused on the big corporations and the health of Wall Street than we are on the health care of the people in rural America and Main Street.”

    Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) insisted he is continuing to negotiate in good faith with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and hopes to secure a deal as long as he can ensure worker protections are included, and that the fund for industries has appropriate controls.

    “We have an obligation to get the details right, get them done quickly,” Schumer said. “That doesn’t mean blindly accepting a Republican-only bill.”

    As markets fell on Monday, the Senate floor then descended into an uproar as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) sought recognition to speak, which Schumer objected to, prompting Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to exclaim, “This is bullshit!” and Collins to say, “This is unbelievable.”

    Schumer then argued with Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), who was presiding over the Senate, to get recognized and get McConnell to explain the schedule ahead. Once that happened, the Senate agreed to proceed to a repeat of Sunday’s procedural vote, only to have it fail again.

    The fireworks weren’t over on the floor as Manchin and McConnell got into it, with McConnell lecturing Manchin about Senate process in an unusual exchange.

    Summing it all up was Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.), who took his turn on the Senate floor, shaking his head before declaring: “This country was founded by geniuses but it’s being run by a bunch of idiots.”

    “You know what the American people are thinking right now?” Kennedy inquired rhetorically. “They’re thinking that the brain is an amazing organ. It starts working in a mother’s womb and it doesn’t stop working til you get elected to Congress.”

    The fiery developments reflected rising tensions among lawmakers over the nation’s predicament and what’s happening in the Senate itself, where Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced Sunday he has covid-19 and four other GOP senators are quarantined. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) disclosed Monday that her husband, too, is infected with the virus.

    The Dow Jones industrial average has lost more than 10,000 points in six weeks, and several million Americans have already lost their jobs as the economy contracts in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. A growing number of states are directing citizens to stay home to avoid more contagion, putting pressure on businesses who are losing workers and customers. Scores of companies have rushed to Washington seeking emergency assistance, and health care providers are overrun with the need for testing kits and safety equipment.

    Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) advised everyone to “assume the appropriate distance and take a deep breath” and also said the Senate needed to figure out how to vote remotely, something McConnell has opposed. “We should not be physically present on this floor at this moment,” Durbin said.

    The situation was fluid and uncertain, but Mnuchin insisted a deal must be reached Monday on the approximately $2 trillion bill after three days of ultimately unsuccessful efforts.

    “We’re going to get this done today,” Mnuchin said exiting a morning meeting with Schumer. “Everybody is working very hard, so we look forward to a big vote today.”

    White House officials have acknowledged the unprecedented assistance the legislation would steer toward corporations, but they have said this money would help protect millions of jobs.

    The legislation aims to flood the economy with money, from individuals to small businesses to large industries amid a wave of layoffs and a sharp contraction in consumer spending. It would direct $1,200 to most adults and $500 to most children. It would also create a $500 billion lending program for businesses, cities and states and another $350 billion to help small businesses meet payroll costs.

    Senators have been trying unsuccessfully to reach a deal since McConnell released the sweeping legislation Thursday night. One deadline after another has been missed.

    Democratic concerns have focused on a $500 billion funding program for loans and loan guarantees Republicans want to create, which some Democrats are labeling a “slush fund” because the Treasury Department would have broad discretion over who receives the money. There is little precedent for a program with a similar size and scope.

    Even as senators were clashing on one side of the Capitol on Monday, on the other side House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was holding a press conference to unveil House Democrats’ version of the stimulus bill. A draft of the bill that circulated on Capitol Hill Monday laid out a host of conditions for any corporation seeking rescue loans, and replaced the GOP’s cash rebate plan with one that would offer more generous checks but to fewer Americans, targeting those who have seen their livelihoods undermined by the pandemic. House Democratic aides cautioned the final bill could change.

    “Democrats take responsibility for our workers," Pelosi said. "We require that any corporation that takes taxpayer dollars must protect their workers’ wages and benefits -- not CEO pay, stock buybacks or layoffs.”

    But if the House charts its own course on a competing piece of legislation, it could take even longer to arrive at a bipartisan consensus that can pass both chambers and get signed into law.

    With more than 35,000 confirmed covid-19 cases in the United States, the impacts of the crisis were growing worse and worse.

    The $500 billion in loan programs in the Senate bill includes $425 billion for companies, states and cities, though it doesn’t prescribe many terms to dictate how Treasury determines who receives the assistance. Another $50 billion would go to helping passenger airline companies, $8 billion for cargo air companies and $17 billion to help firms deemed important for national security. And there would be an additional $350 billion in loan guarantees for small businesses to help them avoid layoffs, and many of those loans could be forgiven if firms meet certain metrics.

    The sweeping economic package is designed to last for 10 to 12 weeks, after which the administration could revisit whether it would seek additional assistance from Congress.

    The huge economic stimulus bill now under negotiation is Congress’ third attempt to address the coronavirus crisis. As the scope of the crisis started coming into focus early this month, Congress passed $8.3 billion in emergency spending for the public health system. Then Mnuchin and Pelosi negotiated a $100-billion-plus package that included paid sick leave, a Medicaid expansion, free vaccines and more, which the Senate passed last week despite misgivings voiced by many Senate Republicans to the structure of the paid sick leave program.

    Along the way, intermittent bipartisanship has given way to occasional partisan outbursts, but partisan rancor now seems to have largely overtaken the process.

    Jeff Stein, Seung Min Kim and Rachael Bade contributed to this report
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  4. #874
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    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    How low will the DJ Industrial go? 15,000? Liras?
    Didn't you get the memo, ponchi? The official currency of the United States switched to rubles in November 2016.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  5. #875

    Re: The Failing Economy

    And it's quickly changing to toilet paper...
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  6. #876
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    Re: The Failing Economy

    Russian toilet paper. It's a plot to sink the Charmin Ultra brand...
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  7. #877

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    Russian toilet paper. It's a plot to sink the Charmin Ultra brand...
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  8. #878

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) said that the bill, which includes a huge $500 billion fund for businesses, states, and cities that the administration would have wide latitude to spend, makes the Senate look “more focused on the big corporations and the health of Wall Street than we are on the health care of the people in rural America and Main Street.”
    Nothing tells you how bad this deal is more than GOP Member in Disguise, Father of Heartless Golddigging Mylan CEO Manchin, objects to it.

  9. #879

    Re: The Failing Economy

    White House agrees to allow oversight of huge coronavirus loan program as $2 trillion Senate deal nears
    McConnell, Schumer, Pelosi, Mnuchin voice optimism that deal is at hand, though hurdles remain

    Erica Werner,
    Mike DeBonis,
    Paul Kane and
    Jeff Stein
    March 24, 2020 at 11:38 a.m. EDT

    The White House has agreed to allow enhanced scrutiny over a massive loan program that is a centerpiece of the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus economic package, two people briefed on the discussions said, taking steps to address a major Democratic concern and potentially pave the way for a vote by Tuesday night.

    “I think there is real optimism that we could get something done in the next few hours,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Tuesday morning on CNBC. The stock market rose sharply in anticipation of the deal, with the Dow Jones industrial average up more than 1,400 points, or nearly 8 percent, at midday.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) also struck a positive tone in remarks on the Senate floor, in a marked shift from days of bitter partisan wrangling over Congress’s failure to address the crisis that has shaken the economy, led many businesses to dramatically scale back operations, and forced millions of Americans to seek unemployment benefits.

    “Today, the Senate can get back on track. Today, we can make all of the Washington drama fade away," McConnell said. “If we act today, what Americans will remember, and what history will record, is that the Senate did the right thing."

    The Senate bill would allow the Treasury Department to extend $500 billion in loans and loan guarantees to try to blunt the deadly virus’s economic impact. Of that amount, $425 billion is supposed to go to businesses, cities and states. An additional $50 billion would go to passenger airlines, $8 billion more for cargo airlines, and an additional $17 billion would be directed for firms that are deemed important to national security.

    Trump has already said where he wants some of the money to go, promising assistance to cruise ship companies, for example, that have operations in Miami. And when he was asked Monday evening who would perform oversight of the program, Trump responded, “I’ll be the oversight.”

    But during closed-door negotiations on Capitol Hill, White House officials have agreed to allow an independent inspector general and an oversight board to scrutinize the lending decisions, said the two people, including a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the status of deliberations.

    The most recent precedent for this is the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program that was created during the 2008 financial crisis. To oversee TARP, Congress created an independent inspector general, a regulatory oversight board and a congressional oversight panel. Over the course of several years, investigations uncovered numerous cases of fraud at large and small companies as firms sought to obtain taxpayer money through various programs.

    The precise oversight structure for the new lending program could not be determined, and it was also unclear whether the oversight structure would be as robust as what was created during TARP. By Monday evening, a number of Republicans were on board with making changes to win Democratic support.

    “Could we have more transparency on this federal facility program? Sure, absolutely, I would be very supportive,” Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) said in a Senate floor speech Monday night.

    Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) praised the new language on oversight of the stimulus fund, telling reporters Tuesday morning that Democrats hoped to see final drafts of the bill within the next several hours.

    “We got better oversight, better oversight,” Manchin said as he left a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). “The oversight basically is saying that you know you can’t just ... exempt everybody and give all your corporate executives, based on the backs of the taxpayers, free carnival.”

    The concession came as Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin negotiated until nearly midnight on Monday at the Capitol, updating Trump frequently and sounding more optimistic than they have through days of rocky talks.

    Schumer said late Monday that the goal was to finalize the sprawling legislation Tuesday and vote on it in the evening. In addition to the huge lending program for industries, the legislation would send $1,200 checks to many individual Americans, set up a $350 billion loan program for small businesses, expand the unemployment insurance program and pump more than $100 billion toward hospitals, among a host of provisions. In its size, scope and speed, the bill would be unlike any other passed by Congress in modern history.

    Details remained fluid, and people involved cautioned that they could change and that everything was subject to review by senators and administration officials before any final deal could be announced. Mnuchin and White House legislative affairs director Eric Ueland returned to Capitol Hill on Tuesday morning to try to finalize the agreement.

    Mnuchin told reporters that a “small number of issues” needed to be wrapped up, but, he added, “we are looking forward to closing a bipartisan deal today.”

    Lawmakers of both parties are under extreme pressure from their constituents and health-care providers in their districts and states to act to provide desperately needed money and supplies amid widespread shortages and waves of layoffs. As of Tuesday morning there were more than 46,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States.

    Unresolved issues Tuesday morning included Democrats’ demands to send large payments to states — how much money would be included and how the program would be structured, the senior administration official said.

    The official also said airlines would have the option of loans or grants in the emerging legislation, both with restrictions on stock buybacks and executive pay.

    Even as the talks between Schumer and Mnuchin were underway at the Capitol late Monday, Trump tweeted a warning to Republicans that appeared aimed at a separate bill unveiled Monday by Pelosi that includes a number of provisions that would be non-starters for Republicans, such as requiring a $15 minimum wage for any industries and airlines helped by the legislation.

    “Republicans had a deal until Nancy Pelosi rode into town from her extended vacation. The Democrats want the Virus to win? They are asking for things that have nothing to do with our great workers or companies. They want Open Borders & Green New Deal. Republicans shouldn’t agree!” Trump wrote on Twitter late Monday.

    Asked late Monday about Trump’s tweet, Mnuchin said: “I think the President was commenting on a lot of the issues that the House has added in that they’d like to have.”

    Democrats largely shrugged it off. “No matter what the president may have tweeted last night or whatever, everyone’s working in good faith,” Manchin said.

    All parties would like to act swiftly, so if the Senate is able to pass a bipartisan package quickly the expectation is that the House would follow suit, setting aside Pelosi’s legislation and approving the Senate bill.

    The House of Representatives is currently out of session, and chances that House members would return en masse to Washington to vote appeared increasingly remote. Democratic aides said they were optimistic that a strong bipartisan Senate vote would make it possible to pass the bill by unanimous consent in the House — a process requiring only two members present in the House chamber. But that would require every lawmaker to agree — a tall order for a potential $2 trillion bill touching every part of the U.S. economy.

    Nevertheless Pelosi said Tuesday in her CNBC interview that she would like to see her chamber proceed by unanimous consent.

    “The easiest way for us to do it is to put aside our concerns for another day and get this done," she said. "My goal always has been to bring this bill to the floor under unanimous consent.”

    A report released late Monday by House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said unanimous consent is “by far the best option” for passing legislation during the pandemic emergency. Creating a remote voting system, as scores of members have suggested, was not feasible, the report concluded, and suggested a system of proxy voting as an alternative — whereby members could formally allow other members present in the chamber to cast their votes for them.

    “While remote voting deserves ... thoughtful study, to create a secure, reliable, and user-friendly system while in the midst of a crisis is not realistic,” the report said.

    At least two House members and one senator have tested positive for the coronavirus, while others remained quarantined.

    Tuesday’s apparent breakthrough on the massive legislation followed four straight days of negotiations on Capitol Hill, with a deal seemingly in reach each day only to elude completion. Tempers flared on the Senate floor Monday as senators got into a near shouting match over the delays.

    Congress has already passed two much smaller coronavirus relief bills: an $8.3 billion emergency supplemental for the health-care system, and a $100-billion-plus bill to boost paid sick leave and unemployment insurance and provide free coronavirus testing.

    John Wagner contributed to this report.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  10. #880

    Re: The Failing Economy

    I don't trust Republicans one bit. Who will select the oversight committee participants? If it's the current Senate Tiny will still be directing traffic. There's a lot that needs to be clarified.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  11. #881

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Not everything is failing. Just talked with my sister and their company is doing a booming business. Never ending Christmas sales.
    Roger forever

  12. #882

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Congress to bail out firms that avoided taxes, safety regulations and spent billions boosting their stock
    Less than a dozen years after the bailouts of the Great Recession, airlines, hotels and a long list of others come calling.

    Jonathan O'Connell
    March 25, 2020 at 2:34 p.m. EDT

    When airline executives realized a few years ago that they could charge passengers extra fees for just about anything — meals, checking bags, even choosing seats — their businesses seemed bulletproof.

    “I don’t think we’re ever going to lose money again,” American Airlines chief executive Doug Parker told giddy investors in 2017. As such companies continued to thrive, they also undertook share buybacks, boosting investor value. President Trump and congressional Republicans sweetened the outlook for big businesses further when they passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut that slashed the corporate rate beginning in 2018.

    That seems so long ago. Now airlines, as well as hotels, cruise lines, coal-mining companies and others strangled by the coronavirus shutdowns, are lining up to receive slices of a $2 trillion aid package funded by taxpayers.

    Yet many of these companies behaved in ways before the current economic crisis that are making a bailout tough to swallow, labor advocates and some economists say.

    The hotel giant Hilton, for instance, announced a $2 billion stock buyback on March 3, weeks after coronavirus cases began affecting the industry. Cruise lines for years have avoided taxes and U.S. safety regulations by registering their headquarters abroad. Coal companies put some of their workers in harms way and are now asking to get out of tax that generates money to compensate former miners who have black lung disease.

    As Congress debated the details of the bailout this week, lawmakers wrestled with how far Congress should go to help another set of American corporate titans two years after tax reform and less than a dozen years after the bank and auto industry bailouts of the Great Recession.

    The choice is between two options unsavory to many: bail out some of the country’s largest corporations or watch as they put more people out of work.

    Among those seeking assistance from a pot of at least $500 billion in the rescue package are companies employing hundreds of thousands of servers, flight attendants, housekeepers, janitors, security guards and other workers. With unemployment already expected to reach as high as 20 percent this year, no one wants to see so many people lose their jobs.

    “You don’t want to reward companies for doing shortsighted, short-term things the past 11 years. You don’t want to reward them for stock buybacks and excessive CEO compensation,” said Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First, an advocacy groups that tracks corporate subsidies. “The trouble is a lot of the companies that are in trouble right now are the ones that have been doing that.”

    Indeed writing checks to some of the companies in need of help may require some Americans to swallow hard and look away.

    Airlines and hotel chains have in recent years dramatically increased spending on stock buybacks (which can pump up a share price without building anything or hiring anyone) and sometimes generous dividends (payments to shareholders).

    Trump addressed such concerns Monday.

    “I don’t want to give a bailout to a company and then have somebody go out and use that money to buy back stock in the company and raise the price and then get a bonus,” Trump said. “So I may be Republican, but I don’t like that. I want them to use the money for the workers.”

    Cruise lines are also facing potential cash shortages, but they are domiciled in Liberia, Panama and elsewhere to avoid nearly all U.S. taxes and safety regulations. Some health officials say some cruise operators should have done more to stem transmission of the virus among passengers and crew members aboard their ships.

    Coal-mining companies also have asked for help, including a request that the government rescind a $220 million tax increase to support 25,700 disabled coal miners and their dependents, many of whom have suffered from black lung disease. The industry employs about 51,000 miners in surface and underground mines, federal data shows.

    “You’ve probably heard the critics by now. How dare the coal industry ask for relief to weather the covid-19 crisis?” the National Mining Association said Monday. “It’s the kind of absurd question or assertion we’ve come to expect from people who simply don’t value coal jobs like others and who remain completely out of touch with the essential role that coal plays in keeping the lights on, homes warm and industry churning.”

    Even Boeing, the aerospace manufacturer that is accused of misleading pilots and federal safety inspectors about lapses that led to two of its 737 Max jets to crash (killing 346 people), is poised to receive a portion of a $17 billion loan program designated for businesses deemed “critical to maintaining national security.”

    With its 737 Max jets still grounded and the novel coronavirus spreading among some of its own workers, Boeing may have to declare bankruptcy if it does not receive a bailout, some analysts said. Critics of the company noted that even if it goes in to bankruptcy, the company could continue operating and paying employees, as airlines have done in the past.

    But Boeing and its subsidiaries employ 160,000 people worldwide. “We have to protect Boeing,” Trump said last week.

    ‘I will be the oversight’

    It was not so long ago that Americans were asked to bail out a different set of companies that appeared too big to fail. In 2008, the government propped up big banks, the same institutions that had driven the country into recession, with the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Months later the government began spending tens of billions of dollars to help General Motors and Chrysler stave off liquidation.

    There are important differences between those packages and the current one, which is much larger and moving through Congress more quickly. Some economists say the aid is likely to benefit workers only if it is closely tailored to ensure the money won’t end up bailing out just companies’ stock prices.

    Trump’s declaring “I will be the oversight” for the payouts, as he did Monday, didn’t make these experts feel any better.

    “Industry rescues are only worth doing if they’re a rescue of payroll and wages,” said Josh Bivens, research director at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute. He said he hoped money could be provided directly to workers to preserve jobs until the “all clear” is sounded. “Then they can make sense,” he said.

    9 charts show why the economy is in such a scary spot

    Top corporations vowed to do better after the last crisis. Last year, 181 top American chief executives pledged to redefine the purpose of corporations beyond profit by signing a pact for “An Economy That Serves All Americans.” The pact includes promises to support employees and communities.

    Perhaps no one could have predicted the depth of the economic devastation wrought by the novel coronavirus. But some companies — at the urging of Wall Street ― often put shareholders and executives first, sometimes to the detriment of preparing for another downturn, labor advocates and some economists said. Now they are in line for cash to pay their staffs as business has ground to a halt.

    A year ago Arne Sorenson, chief executive of Marriott, the world’s largest hotel chain, announced the company would return $11 billion to shareholders through buybacks and dividends by 2021. Its share price jumped 3 percent on the announcement.

    Now the company has begun furloughing tens of thousands of employees, effectively laying them off but allowing them to maintain health benefits. Sorenson was among executives to meet with Trump, seeking a reported $150 million of direct aid to hotels. The company has since suspended dividend payments, stopped share buybacks and cut Sorenson’s salary for the remainder of the year.

    Marriott spokeswoman Connie Kim said the coronavirus closures have created “significant drops in demand at properties globally with an uncertain duration.” Marriott’s last dividend payment will be one announced Feb. 14, she said, “until conditions improve.” MGM Resorts, Delta Air Lines and other companies have stopped dividend payments or buybacks as well.

    Hilton Worldwide has purchased roughly 55 million shares since 2017 for $4.3 billion, including the stock buyback announced March 3.

    Hilton has 60,000 employees and 200,000 more work at Hilton-branded hotels. Tens of thousands of those have been furloughed. The company issued a statement to The Washington Post saying it is not seeking “direct financial support” but is working “to secure emergency relief for hotel workers that are employed by thousands of small businesses that own hotels across the country.”

    ‘Time is running out’ for airlines

    Of all the industries, airlines are considered most likely to get money because of their fundamental role in the travel economy and the quality of their mostly unionized jobs. The airlines are bracing for an estimated $113 billion of losses, according to the International Air Transport Association, because many are able to operate only half or fewer of their usual routes. As of Tuesday night, the Senate bill called for up to $50 billion in aid specifically for the airline industry.

    But airlines have employed many of the same practices to boost their stocks. American Airlines, which has 130,000 employees, spent $13 billion on buybacks in the past decade. United, which employs 100,000, has approved $5 billion of buybacks since 2016.

    Parker and United chief executive Oscar Munoz joined nine other airline executives in writing to Congress on Saturday saying that “time is running out” for the industry. “Unless worker payroll protection grants are passed immediately, many of us will be forced to take draconian measures such as furloughs,” they wrote.

    Aside from the money provided to shareholders, American has also invested aggressively, spending more than $30 billion on capital improvements, $23 billion on planes and $20 billion on increased wages and benefits for employees. In 2017, it gave pilots and flight attendants a mid-contract pay raise, angering some Wall Street banks.

    “We wish we didn’t need help to weather this crisis, but we are fighting for a lifeline to help protect our 130,000 team members and their jobs, and the vital role aviation plays in the global economy,” American spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said.

    United suspended its share buyback program last month and says it has invested $30 billion in recent years in new planes and technology, plus $3 billion in wages, benefits and profit-sharing with workers. The company says it cannot continue to pay its employees without assistance if business continues to crater.

    “Demand continues to drop, and we’ve cut our schedules accordingly,” spokesman Steven Restivo said. “We’re looking at a 60 percent schedule reduction in April — 42 percent domestic and 90 percent international. We expect similar reductions in May.”

    Some cruise line executives say they are not seeking a “bailout.”

    “We don’t need a bailout in terms of giving us money. Getting a loan guarantee would be helpful,” Carnival chief executive Arnold Donald said recently on HBO.

    Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell said the company has not made jobs cuts as result of the virus and is not seeking a financial bailout because the company has “created a strong balance sheet in the process that is helping us the weather the storm today.” Norwegian did not respond to requests for comment, and Royal Caribbean declined to comment.

    Trump has pledged assistance anyway, saying Sunday: “We can’t let the cruise lines go out of business.”

    Will Englund contributed to this report.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  13. #883

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by suliso View Post
    Not everything is failing. Just talked with my sister and their company is doing a booming business. Never ending Christmas sales.
    My brother-in-law is busier than ever. He works in telecommunications, mostly with broadband and wireless. I think this is the case for almost anyone that works in a business that is essential to making working from home possible.

  14. #884

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    My brother-in-law is busier than ever. He works in telecommunications, mostly with broadband and wireless. I think this is the case for almost anyone that works in a business that is essential to making working from home possible.
    Those businesses for sure, but not only. Sister's company is making custom puzzles.
    Roger forever

  15. #885

    Re: The Failing Economy

    Coronavirus fallout: Treasury chief Mnuchin says record unemployment claims ‘aren’t relevant’ right now
    PUBLISHED THU, MAR 26 202011:37 AM EDT
    Dan Mangan

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said record-setting unemployment filing numbers as the coronavirus pandemic grows “right now aren’t relevant.”

    Mnuchin said “the good news” is a $2 trillion relief bill working its way through Congress that is aimed at alleviating income losses and other financial fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

    There were 3.28 million new unemployment claims reported for the past week, 4.7 times higher than the prior weekly record of 695,000.

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin waved aside jaw-dropping new jobless claims by more than 3 million Americans on Thursday morning, saying that the record-setting unemployment filing numbers “right now aren’t relevant.”

    Mnuchin said “the good news” is a $2 trillion relief bill working its way through Congress that is aimed at alleviating income losses and other financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Mnuchin said that the aim of that package is that many people who have recently lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus outbreak will get hired back by their employers with this relief.

    Asked what his reaction was to seeing the 3.28 million new unemployment claims reported for the past week on CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” Mnuchin said, “To be honest, I think these numbers right now aren’t relevant whether they’re bigger or shorter in the short term.”

    That number of jobless claims is a whopping 4.7 times higher than the prior weekly record of 695,000, which was set in October 1982.

    “Obviously, there are people who have jobless claims, and the good thing about the bill is the president is protecting those people,” Mnuchin said.

    “So now with these plans, small businesses hopefully will be able to hire back a lot of those people.”

    “Last week they didn’t know if they had protections. They didn’t have any cash,” Mnuchin said.

    “Now with this bill passed by Congress, there are protections, and, as I said, hopefully those workers will be rehired.”

    The relief bill will give many Americans one-time direct payments of up to $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for couples, with $500 added for every child. It would also boost unemployment insurance, adding $600 per week for up to four months on top of what beneficiaries normally receive from states. The bill also would expand eligibility to self-employed people and independent contractors.

    In an interview on Fox News, Peter Navarro, the top trade negotiator for President Donald Trump, sounded a similar theme on the job losses as Mnuchin did.

    “This is no surprise, this is expected,” said Navarro.

    “And you should accept the news, because we’re doing what we need to do to combat the virus,” he said.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

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