Overseas Headlines – February 19, 2021

United States:

Yellen Defends Need for $1.9 Trillion Plan After Strong Data

“Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen defended the need for $1.9 trillion in pandemic-relief spending — the second-largest emergency aid bill on record — even with recent strength in retail sales and U.S. stock values. “It’s very important to have a big package that addresses the pain this has caused,” Yellen said on CNBC Thursday. “The price of doing too little is much larger than the price of doing something big.”



BOE’s Vlieghe Gives Strongest Backing Yet for Negative Rates

“Bank of England policy maker Gertjan Vlieghe gave his strongest backing yet for the use of negative interest rates if the U.K. needs more stimulus, highlighting a growing schism between officials on the institution’s toolkit. Two days after Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden said the BOE had scope for more quantitative easing to support the economy — describing it as a “tried and tested tool” — his colleague on the Monetary Policy Committee contended that there’s “little QE can do to add further stimulus to the economy.”



China May Ban Rare Earth Technology Exports on Security Concerns

“China may ban the export of rare-earths refining technology to countries or companies it deems as a threat on state security concerns, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Chinese government is currently conducting a review of its rare-earths policy. Officials view the technology needed to refine and purify the raw materials as a more powerful weapon in protecting state interests than the actual minerals, and is looking at banning sales of the technology to some countries or companies, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.”




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