Overseas Headlines – September 23, 2020

United States:

For Fed’s Disaster Junkie, Pandemic Was One of 99 Bad Scenarios

“A red alert sounded at the Federal Reserve in mid-March when Americans began pulling out of prime money-market funds, one of the safest places to park cash. As policymakers cut interest rates to near-zero, it quickly became clear that they’d need to get creative, and fast, to prevent a shutdown in the flow of credit. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his board called on Andreas Lehnert and his 50-person team at the Division of Financial Stability. Known as FS inside the Fed system, this crew started in 2010 with a staff of just four, set up in the aftermath of the financial crisis. The division spent much of the ensuing decade looking at fragilities in the financial system that could lead to a full-scale breakdown in moments of stress.”



U.K. Warns of 7,000-Truck Line in Worst-Case Brexit Scenario

“The British government is warning of 7,000 truck-long queues in Kent in a “reasonable worst case” scenario due to Brexit, a stark assessment of the potential chaos when the U.K. leaves the European Union’s single market and customs union at the end of the year. In a letter to Britain’s border industry, Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove said the flow of freight between Dover and Calais — a vital trade artery — could be reduced by as much as 80% from normal levels. The government’s worst-case assessment is that as many as 70% of trucks traveling to the EU may not be ready for new border controls, according to the letter.”



Singapore Eases Office Restraints for Workers as Virus Ebbs

“Singapore will allow more people who are presently working from home to return to office as the number of community cases has remained low. Though working from home remains the default, the updated requirements allow office staff to return up to half their working time, with no more than half of such employees at the workplace at any point in time, the health ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. The city-state will also allow work-related events within the workplace premises like conferences, seminars and corporate retreats to resume, for up to 50 people, the government said.”




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