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Economy

FDIC Warns America: There is No Trouble for Banking Industry During Virus Pandemic

Don’t fall for it, folks.

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Fake news can be annoying, frustrating, and difficult to deal with on an average day, but Americans are not experiencing anything average, at least not for the next several days.

As a global pandemic continues to ravage the world at large, there is no shortage of bad information finding its way into the general circulation.  Some of it is innocuous, if not for the valuable space it takes up in our newsfeeds that may otherwise have been occupied by a story of greater importance.

But there is some information out there that is simply dangerous, and it must be recognized and chastised as such right away.

This week, the FDIC is doing just that.

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One of the nation’s bank regulators is urging Americans not to withdraw large sums of cash and to beware of fraudsters claiming that banks are limiting customers’ access to their money.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation issued a statement Wednesday warning about an increase in scams trying to sow distrust in the U.S. financial system while the nation is dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many banks have shortened branch hours or are pushing customers to use online banking exclusively to avoid transmission of the virus. This has led more Americans to pull cash out of ATMs in some communities. Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp, said the bank had ordered 30% more cash to keep up with withdrawals.

The FDIC says it has seen an uptick in calls, text messages, letters and emails from scammers pretending to be FDIC employees, using names of people who actually work at the FDIC. The scammers falsely claim that banks are limiting access to deposits or that there are security issues with bank deposits. The scammers, along with trying to sow distrust, are also after bank account and other personal information.

And the organization has a long history to back up their claims.

The FDIC insures every depositor up to $250,000 in each bank where they hold deposits. No depositor has lost money since the FDIC was created in 1933, in response to the large number of bank failures and bank runs in the early years of the Great Depression.

The organization would go on to say that, while you may not be able to walk right in to your local branch anytime soon, online payment options, internet banking, and drive-up services are all still available.

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Economy

Here It Comes: $2 Trillion Relief Bill Headed to Trump’s Desk After Late Drama

It’s about time.

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As far as COVID-19 is concerned, there are still plenty of variable out there that we just don’t know.

That’s not for a lack of effort, however.  This is a novel strain of coronavirus that we haven’t yet experienced, thus making it difficult for the human race to find a worthwhile avenue of attack.  All we know right know is that we must practice social distancing in order to prevent the spread of the virus, and that we’re still several days or weeks away from the peak of the problem.

The federal government has been assessing and reassessing what they can do for those people within America who will be effected by the economic downturn that the pandemic will cause.  Today, they passed a major milestone in their efforts.

The legislation costs roughly $2 trillion and is approximately 8,800-pages long.

The House vote follows as the Senate unanimously passed the legislation on Wednesday night, with 96 votes in favor of the bill and no senators opposed to the bill.

The House became enflamed in controversy after Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) threatened to force a recorded vote on the coronavirus package. The backlash engendered frustration from lawmakers as well as President Donald Trump, who demanded that Republicans throw the Kentucky congressman out of office.

“WIN BACK HOUSE, but throw Massie out of Republican Party!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

When Massie tried to force a recorded vote on the legislation, the House overwhelmed the congressman and passed the coronavirus package.

And, in a move that speaks to the threat of COVID-19…

House lawmakers took up spots in the House public gallery to create more space between members of Congress while maintaining a quorum to prevent Massie from placing a recorded vote on the measure.

The bill would not only bolster the existing unemployment programs here in the U.S., but would also allow for adult American taxpayers to receive lump sum payments in order to offset some of the hardship they could face as businesses struggle to attract customers.

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Economy

Miller-Coors Steps Up in a Big Way for Restaurant Workers with $1 Million Donation

United we stand, with Big Beer at our backs.

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While the medical fallout of the COVID-19 virus is set to hit our nation heavily in the coming days, the economic impact of the global pandemic is still weeks, or perhaps months away from being fully realized.

In order to starve this beast of an illness we will need to be diligent in our social distancing practices.  This means the widespread closure of places like schools, churches, stadiums, bars, and restaurants – putting a great many American workers out of a job.

Perhaps hardest hit will be the restaurant industry, where employees are largely living a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle but at a far more dynamic “shift-to-shift” pace.  These are the folks who work almost solely for tips, earning only a few dollars per hour otherwise.  With no customers, there are no tips, and these workers are being drained of what little savings they may have had in just a few weeks of quasi-quarantine.

Miller-Coors understands that there is trouble brewing for this point-of-sale staff, (no pun intended), and are moving forward with a massive donation aimed at easing the economic pain.

Taps are off, but tips are needed. That’s the message from Miller officials — donating $1 million to support bartenders out of work due to the coronavirus.

The announcement was made on the Miller Lite Twitter page on March 20.

The donation was made to the USBG (United States Bartenders Guild) National Charity Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance program. The organization set up a “Virtual Tip Jar” to help bartenders not working after Governor Tony Evers ordered bars and restaurants to close except for carryout or delivery in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The declaration came complete with an all-too realistic depiction of a shuttered establishment.

To make a donation yourself, follow the link in the tweet above.

You or someone you know is a displaced service industry worker, the application for the USBG assistance can be found here.

 

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Economy

Treas. Sec. Mnuchin: Cash Payments to be Upped to $3,000 per Family to Cope with Coronavirus

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the cash payments sent to Americans to cope with the coronavirus is set to jump to $3,000 per family

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Sunday that the cash payments sent to Americans to cope with the coronavirus is set to jump to $3,000 per family.

Mnuchin was confident on Sunday morning that the $4 trillion stimulus package would pass the U.S. Senate on Sunday, but it wasn’t to be. Democrats held back their support because the bill did not include unnecessary spending on abortion.

Still, it is likely the bill will eventually pass.

Included in the current version is $110 billion for the healthcare industry as well as $350 billion in aid to small businesses.

“Those are broad-based lending programs,” Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday.

“Now that we’ve shut down major parts of the economy … we can lever up to $4 trillion to help everything from small businesses to big businesses get through the next 90 to 120 days,” he added.

The $3K per family is even higher than the $2,400 that was being proposed only as far back as Thursday.

A three grand windfall and the recent decision of the IRS to put off the deadline to pay federal taxes until July 15, the feds are really helping the American people… if only the Democrats can put aside their lust for dead babies aside long enough to get it all passed!

Regardless, as each state puts severe limitations on travel and more people lose their weekly salaries — or even lose jobs altogether — the American people are hungry for some support.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Economy

These are the Worst States to Retire To — LEAVE Them Immediately

If you are looking to retire, you need to cross off your list every major Democrat-led state because deep blue states will destroy your savings.

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If you are close to retirement age, or are wondering where you should go when the time comes to relax, you need to cross every major Democrat-led state off your list because deep blue states will destroy your savings.

According to the career company Zippia, more than half a million Americans left their states for a new home as they launched into their retirement years.

With that in mind, Zippia decided to review the economic conditions in each state to see what states retirees should avoid. And, wouldn’t you know it, all the worst states ended up being deep blue hell holes.

After weighing the facts, the company told its website visitors that they shouldn’t touch the following ten states, not even with a “ten-foot pole.”

  • Hawaii
  • Colorado
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Massachusetts
  • Vermont
  • New Jersey
  • Connecticut
  • New Hampshire
  • Minnesota

Each of these states are controlled by the Democrat Party. Indeed, of this top ten worst list, only New Hampshire has had any recent history of GOP power in the state.

“These high costs of living states will leave you barely scraping by. Notice a trend? The Northeast is particularly harsh on retirees, with 5 of the priciest states to retire located there. Keep reading to see why these states break the bank, or scroll to the bottom to see the cheapest states to retire,” Zippia wrote.

Zippia ranked each state on the following criteria: Median House Cost, Monthly Home Owner Cost, Cost Of Living, Medicare Advantage Cost, and State Medicare Spend Per Person.

Indeed, the top 20 worst states were mostly (or historically) controlled by the Democrats too. The next ten of the top 20 worst states include, Rhode Island, Virginia, New York, Wisconsin, Maryland, California, Nevada, Illinois, Delaware, and New Mexico.

Unsurprisingly, all the ten best states to retire to are Republican-controlled:

  • Mississippi
  • Arkansas
  • Oklahoma
  • West Virginia
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • Alabama
  • Tennessee

Not really a surprise, huh?

I mean, is it a surprise that Democrat states are THE worst states for vulnerable elderly people?

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.

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Economy

DIRTY DEEDS: Several Senators Unloaded Stocks After Receiving Classified Covid-19 Info

Our public servants seem more interested in covering their own derrieres than they do about protecting the American people.

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As the entire world continues to struggle through the coronavirus crisis currently at our doorstep, we will soon discover that there are two types of people in this world:  Those whose empathy will save lives, and those who only looked out for themselves and their bank account.  Four US Senators are seemingly falling into that latter category this week.

In the midst of a global pandemic, four of the nation’s public servants, elected to serve the American people, abused their power for massive financial gains while watching their own constituents suffer indescribably.

Republicans Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler and James Inhofe and Democrat Dianne Feinstein collectively offloaded up to $11million in stock between late January and early February, according to records seen by The Daily Beast, New York Times and ProPublica.

The individual actions are damning.

Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee that was directly briefed on coronavirus, sold up to $1.7million in stock including in hotels, according to reporting from ProPublica.

Feinstein, a member of the same committee, sold up to $6million in stock including in a biotech firm.

Loeffler dumped up to $3.1million in investments starting on the day the Senate Health Committee, which she sits on, was briefed by the CDC. Meanwhile James Inhofe sold up to $400,000 in stock including real estate.

Loeffler and Feinstein have defended themselves, saying their stocks are invested in trusts and portfolios that they have no personal control over. Inhofe has not commented.

The news was not received well on social media, where a great many users were ready for heads to roll.

Just how tawdry were the transactions?

According to The Daily Beast, Sen Kelly Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange, sold $3.1million in stock between late January and early February.

The first sale was in the firm Resideo Technologies worth between $50,001 and $100,000 and made on January 24, the same day her committee – the Senate Health Committee – held a briefing with the CDC.

With the coronavirus situation evolving rapidly, and with a great many of Loeffler’s constituents set to bear the brunt of the economic impact of the illness, there is little doubt that this story will be fresh in the minds of voters come next election.

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Economy

Department of Education Directs Student Loan Lenders to Suspend Payments for 60 Days

The American government is responding to the coronavirus crisis with a swiftness, and it could save us a whole lot of hassle in the coming weeks.

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As the nation continues to meander down the path that Covid-19 has placed us upon, Americans the nation over are coming to grips with a few frustrating realties of the next few weeks.

First, we’re going to need to take this self-isolation thing seriously.  Those of us who can stay away from crowds will need to, if we want to have any shot of getting out of this mess with minimal public health damage.

Furthermore, this isolation is going to cost us a whole lot of money as businesses are forced to suspend operations for the safety of their customers. The federal government understands that there will be ramifications for this , and are working to mitigate any financial impact that they can.

As part of this relief process, the Department of Education is now instructing federal student loan lenders to have a little patience with their customers.

“We’ve temporarily waived all interest on federally held student loans,” Trump said during a Coronavirus Task Force press conference Friday at the White House. “They’ll be very happy to hear that and I’ve instructed them to take that action immediately.”

“Today, Betsy Devos directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loans and loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days, and if we need more we’ll extend that period of time,” Trump said.

“Borrowers should contact their lenders, but we’ve given them very strong instructions,” Trump added. “That’s a big thing, that’s going to make a lot of students very happy.”

Trump also announced Friday that there will be no enforcement of scheduled standardized testing for high school and elementary school-aged students.

“There will be no standardized testing,” Trump said. “A lot of students will be happy. Some, probably not.”

Earlier in the week, Congressional leaders began work on legislation that would cancel student loan payments for the duration of the national emergency declaration surrounding coronavirus.  If passed, this would provide some much needed relief for cash strapped Americans in this time of national need.

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Economy

Government Continues Virus Relief Effort, Moving Tax Deadline Several Months

This is a team effort, and the Treasury Department is putting all hands on deck.

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For the next few weeks, Americans are being tasked with a single, undeniable focus:  Teamwork.

We are in a war against an enemy that we cannot see, and whose defenses have yet to be penetrated by science or medicine.  Covid-19 doesn’t care about us, the size of our bank accounts, or the amount of toilet paper that we have hoarded.  All it wants to do is spread among us, and kill those who are in “at risk” populations.

The only way to beat it, thus far, is to practice “social distancing” – no matter how bored we get.  This isolation will have consequences, of course, particularly in the realm of the economy.  That’s why the federal government is doing everything that they can in order to keep Americans from suffering during this time.

The latest bit of economic stimulus coming from The Beltway will see our national tax deadline pushed back until after Independence Day.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) has extended its tax-filing deadline by three months to July 15 during the Chinese coronavirus outbreak.

“At @realDonaldTrump’s direction, we are moving Tax Day from April 15 to July 15,” Mnuchin wrote Friday morning. “All taxpayers and businesses will have this additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties.”

“I encourage all taxpayers who may have tax refunds to file now to get your money,” he added.

The move comes just a day after President Trump signed a massive economic stimulus package into law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is currently working on another “phase” of economic relief as well, which would see Americans receiving direct payments from the government in order to stave off an economic downturn.

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