News Roundups

U.S. economy faces tragic risks, BLM royalty relief may have been a waste, and more

Daily news headlines about the stimulus and recovery from October 7, 2020.

Fed’s Powell Says U.S. Faces ‘Tragic’ Risks From Doing Too Little to Support Economy

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned of potentially tragic economic consequences if Congress and the White House don’t provide additional support to households and businesses disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The expansion is still far from complete,” Mr. Powell said in his strongest remarks to date on the subject, delivered to a virtual conference of private-sector economists Tuesday. “At this early stage, I would argue that the risks of policy intervention are still asymmetric. Too little support would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship.”

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IMF calls on rich nations to boost public investment

The IMF has issued a rallying call to rich countries around the world to increase public investment and spark a strong economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Advanced economies should worry less about their public debt, but instead take advantage of historically low borrowing costs to increase spending on infrastructure maintenance immediately, the IMF said in a report published on Monday.

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How the Cares Act gave millions to energy companies with no strings attached

For pipeline company Antero Midstream, a firm at the forefront of the Appalachian fracking boom, the mammoth stimulus bill known as the Cares Act delivered a quick and happy benefit: a $55 million payment from the Treasury Department.

The payment came with no strings attached. And although the legislation was partly tailored to help businesses keep people employed, Antero didn’t need to agree to hire or retain any workers. It didn’t need to promise to invest in its business. And it didn’t need to pledge to meet any new regulatory standards.

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JPMorgan Pledges to Push Clients to Align With Paris Climate Agreement

The U.S. is pulling out of the Paris climate accord, but the biggest U.S. bank is committing to it.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is pledging to use its financing weight to push clients to align with the Paris agreement and work toward global net zero-emissions by 2050. The bank said it would invest in technologies that help reduce carbon emissions and will work with clients to cut their own carbon footprints.

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It's unknown if fee reductions given to oil producers prevented shut downs: watchdog

It’s not clear whether the federal government’s moves to reduce fees paid by oil and gas producers for leasing public lands actually prevented any of them from shutting down wells amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a nonpartisan watchdog. 

The congressional Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) did not design its royalty relief policy to determine whether such relief was necessary to keep oil and gas wells operating. 

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OPINION - The Fed Is Right and Trump Is Wrong: Stimulus Can’t Wait

President Donald Trump has told his team to stop discussing a new stimulus package until after the election. He should pay closer attention to what Jerome Powell said to the National Association for Business Economics a few hours before. Without additional fiscal stimulus, Powell warned, the economic recovery might very well falter.

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