Overseas Headlines – December 9, 2020

United States:

White House Return to Stimulus Talks Boosts Chance of a Deal

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made a surprise re-entry into talks on a 2020 pandemic-relief package with a $916 billion proposal that opened a potential new path to a year-end deal despite objections from Democrats over elements of the plan. After largely leaving the task to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell since Election Day, Mnuchin pitched a $916 billion stimulus plan to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a Tuesday afternoon telephone call, more than a week after she and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer retreated from their previous insistence on a $2.4 trillion bill.”



U.K. Urged to Levy $350 Billion Wealth Tax to Fund Pandemic

“A one-off 5% tax on wealth in the U.K. could raise more than 260 billion pounds ($348 billion) to help fix the coronavirus-hit public finances, according to a panel of experts. In a report published Wednesday, the independent Wealth Tax Commission called for a charge of 1% a year for five years on individual assets above 500,000 pounds. About 8 million residents would be affected.”



As China-Australia Ties Worsen, Iron Ore Remains Bulletproof

“As China-Australia relations descend into a morass of sanctions and mutual recriminations, Beijing is delivering a huge cash windfall to Canberra and Australia’s economy through its insatiable demand for iron ore. China has few alternatives as it seeks to stimulate its economy post Covid-19 through infrastructure investment, with Australia accounting for more than half of iron ore shipments globally. If Beijing were to try to purchase solely from non-Australian producers, at best it could get 56% of the volumes it typically imports, according to analysis by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.”




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