The Fed Boldly Saves Markets. Now It’s Worrying About Main Street Business
“The Federal Reserve’s next front in the battle to support the U.S. economy is to prevent millions of American small businesses from becoming the Achilles heel of the recovery.Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee last week that he’s concerned about America’s “jobs machine” — its small and medium sized firms — tipping into bankruptcy and destroying the “work of many families and generations.” If that happens, there will be fewer jobs when state governors declare it’s safe for households to go back to work.The central bank is tasked with avoiding that outcome through its Main Street lending program approved by Congress, but it’s already proved a harder endeavor than imagined. The Fed is under increasing scrutiny about the facility — one of its riskiest undertakings ever — because it’s still not operational.”
EU Aims to Back Struggling South With Fiscal Shock and Awe
“The European Commission unveiled an unprecedented stimulus plan to tackle the worst recession in living memory and underwrite struggling Italy’s membership of the 27-nation bloc. The government in Rome stands to receive 82 billion euros ($90 billion) in emergency grants and up to 91 billion euros in low-interest loans from the package that could be worth as much as 750 billion euros in total, according to an official who asked not to be named. The program, which still needs to win the backing of member states, would be funded by joint debt issuance in a significant step toward closer financial integration, according to details of the proposal posted on the commission’s website.”
India and China Move In More Troops as Border Tensions Rise
“India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with neighbor China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by Chinese army, the official said.”
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