MoneyPalooza Monstrosity: It Passed! More on the Multiemployer Pension Bailout

Link: https://marypatcampbell.substack.com/p/moneypalooza-monstrosity-it-passed

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Here are the whole-number ratios if you can’t eyeball the relationships above.

The total MEP unfunded liability is 8 times that of the bailout bill amount

The total public pension unfunded liability is 22 times that of the bailout bill amount (this happens to be the same as the total American Rescue Plan Act of 2021)

The total Social Security shortfall is almost 200 times that of the MEP bailout bill

Author(s): Mary Pat Campbell

Publication Date: 8 March 2021

Publication Site: STUMP on Substack

COVID dollars: Stimulus, relief or bailout? A closer look at some math

Link: https://www.truthinaccounting.org/news/detail/covid-dollars-stimulus-relief-or-bailout-a-closer-look-at-some-math

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Illinois and Connecticut state governments don’t pay taxes to the federal government. In Illinois’ latest financial report, a report prepared by the department led by Mendoza (note that the latest report available is for fiscal 2019, for a fiscal year that ended more than 600 days ago), Illinois reported roughly $25 billion in grant “revenue,” most of it from the federal government. This doesn’t add up to Illinois contributing more in federal taxes than it receives from the federal government.

So how does their math work?

To claim that Illinois and Connecticut act as donor states, Mendoza and Lembo are “counting” on the money sent by their state’s taxpayers to the federal government, a very large amount.

But when they call for federal “relief,” they aren’t calling for federal money for state taxpayers. They are calling for federal “relief” to be sent to state governments.

Author(s): Bill Bergman

Publication Date: 8 March 2021

Publication Site: Truth in Accounting

The end of LIBOR to be anything but simple

Link: https://www.pionline.com/investing/end-libor-be-anything-simple

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LIBOR, which has been plagued by cases of bank manipulation, is set at different currencies, including the U.S. dollar, British pound sterling and euro. New LIBOR-based contracts will cease at the end of 2021, but in November, the Intercontinental Exchange Inc. announced that the ICE Benchmark Administration, which administers LIBOR, would explore ceasing the most utilized U.S. dollar LIBOR tenors in June 2023 instead of late 2021. On March 5, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority confirmed the 2021 and 2023 cessation dates for LIBOR, although it retains the option for a synthetic calculation if needed.

The extension to June 2023 would allow more time for outstanding contracts to mature, thereby reducing the chance of potential disruptions, U.S. regulators said in a December statement.

But the majority of contracts extend beyond mid-2023.

Author(s): Brian Croce

Publication Date: 8 March 2021

Publication Site: Pensions & Investments

Libor Enters ‘Final Chapter’ as Global Regulators Set End Dates

Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-05/libor-s-end-now-within-sight-as-u-k-s-fca-sets-final-dates

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Regulators kicked off the final countdown for the London interbank offered rate Friday, ordering banks to be ready for the end of a much maligned benchmark that’s been at the heart of the international financial system for decades.

The U.K. Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that the final fixings for most rates will take place at end of this year, with just a few key dollar tenors set to linger for a further 18 months.

Author(s): William Shaw, Silla Brush, Alex Harris

Publication Date: 5 March 2021

Publication Site: Bloomberg

To Advance Racial Equity, Releasing Disaggregated Data while Protecting Privacy Will Be Key

Link: https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/advance-racial-equity-releasing-disaggregated-data-while-protecting-privacy-will-be-key

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Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared COVID-19 hits communities of color the hardest—and extensive evidence backs this up—communities of color are not receiving the aid they need. Health officials say the lack of disaggregated data by race and ethnicity has affected timely vaccine distribution and proper messaging for correcting misinformation to help those communities.

This situation highlights one of many challenges President Biden’s day-one executive order on racial equity aims to resolve. If federal policymakers want to address racial disparities, they should collect and release detailed, disaggregated data. But they must also carefully consider the unintended harms they could cause to the people they are trying to help.

There has been a longstanding debate over protecting personal data versus supporting the common good. In particular, people of color with low incomes are more susceptible to privacy attacks because of their higher reliance on smartphones for internet access and how much personal information they give up for free cell phone app services. This information collection makes them more easily identifiable, especially if they are outliers in small geographies.

Author(s): Claire Bowen, Aaron R. Williams, Ajjit Narayanan

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: Urban Institute

Pandemic Impact on Mortality and Economy Varies Across Age Groups and Geographies

Link: https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2021/03/initial-impact-covid-19-on-united-states-economy-more-widespread-than-on-mortality.html?utm_campaign=20210308msacos1ccstors&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

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As with geography, job loss was more widespread than excess mortality across age groups.

In April 2020, excess mortality increased with age and was largest among the oldest age group. Individuals ages 85 and older represent only 3% of the total U.S. population ages 25 years and older but accounted for 34% of the overall excess mortality in the country.

On the other hand, employment displacement decreased with age. It was largest among the younger age group (ages 25 to 44). These individuals make up only 39% of the U.S. population ages 25 and older but accounted for about half of the people 25 and older who lost their jobs nationwide.

Author(s): VICTORIA UDALOVA

Publication Date: 8 March 2021

Publication Site: U.S. Census Bureau

U.S. Set to Power Global Economic Recovery From Covid-19

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-set-to-power-global-economic-recovery-from-covid-19-11615129203?mod=djemwhatsnews

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The world economy is likely to grow by around 6% this year, according to Oxford Economics, the fastest rate in almost half a century, as vaccine campaigns allow pandemic restrictions to be lifted and businesses to snap back.

For the first time since 2005, the U.S. is expected this year to make a bigger contribution to global growth than China, said the research firm. After the 2008 financial crisis, the global economic recovery was powered by China, as the U.S. experienced the weakest revival since the Great Depression.

Author(s): Tom Fairless

Publication Date: 7 March 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal

Durbin, Duckworth Announce Illinois Wins In COVID-19 Relief Bill

Link: https://www.durbin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/durbin-duckworth-announce-illinois-wins-in-covid-19-relief-bill#new_tab

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U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today released the following statements after the Senate passed President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which will provide emergency relief to Illinois:

…..

To avoid dramatic budget cuts at every level of government:

Estimated $13.2 billion in state and local funding for Illinois including $1.8 billion for Chicago.

The bill provides an estimated $7.5 billion for the state and $5.5 billion for Illinois locals ($2.3 billion for counties; $2.4 billion for larger cities; $681 million for smaller municipalities).

…..

Multiemployer Pension Relief: 

By prolonging the solvency of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), more than 100,000 Illinoisans will have their hard-earned pension benefits preserved 

Author(s): Dick Durbin, Tammy Duckworth

Publication Date: 6 March 2021

Publication Site: Dick Durbin’s Senate Office

STATE AND LOCAL CORONAVIRUS FISCAL RECOVERY FUNDS

Link: https://www.naco.org/resources/featured/state-and-local-coronavirus-fiscal-recovery-funds

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In a major victory for America’s counties, the State and Local Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Funds legislation, part of the American Rescue Plan Act was passed by the U.S. Senate on March 6The bill, which now heads back to the U.S. House of Representatives for final consideration, includes $65.1 billion in direct, flexible aid to every county in America, as well as other crucial investments in local communities.  

The Senate version amends the House-adopted bill in several important ways:

The U.S. Department of Treasury would still oversee and administer these payments to state and local governments, and every county would be eligible to receive a direct allocation from Treasury. States, municipalities, and counties would now receive funds in two tranches – both tranches would provide 50 percent of the entity’s total allocation. In cases where a state has a very high level of unemployed individuals, these states may receive both tranches at the same time.
 

In order to receive a payment either under the first or second tranche, local governments must provide the U.S. Treasury with a certification signed by an authorized officer. The U.S. Treasury is required to pay first tranche to counties not later than 60-days after enactment, and second payment no earlier than 12 months after the first payment.

The table below contains projected allocations for counties from the U.S. Treasury, if the proposal is signed into law. The values are informed by the House Oversight Committee and the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The estimates are not official values from the U.S. Treasury and are subject to change.

Date Accessed: 7 March 2021

Publication Site: National Association of Counties

Characteristics of minimum wage workers, 2020

Link: https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/minimum-wage/2020/home.htm

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Age. Minimum wage workers tend to be young. Although workers under age 25 represented just under one-fifth of hourly paid workers, they made up 48 percent of those paid the federal minimum wage or less. Among employed teenagers (ages 16 to 19) paid by the hour, about 5 percent earned the minimum wage or less, compared with 1 percent of workers age 25 and older. (See tables 1 and 7.)

Publication Date: February 2021

Publication Site: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Peter Meijer Proposes $2,400 Stimulus Checks under ‘DOGE’ Plan

Link: https://www.newsweek.com/peter-meijer-stimulus-package-doge-biden-michigan-1573963

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Republican congressman Peter Meijer has said that the American Rescue Plan is full of waste and has touted his own proposal to cut the price tag of the stimulus package in half while increasing payments to individuals.

The Michigan freshman representative has been pushing his own alternative to the $1.9.trillion relief package with his alternative Direct Dollars Over Government Excess, called the $DOGE Plan.

He told Fox Business that his proposal, whose title is a nod to the meme turned cryptocurrency, would put more money in the pockets of Americans and give less to individual states.

Author(s): Brendan Cole

Publication Date: 5 March 2021

Publication Site: Newsweek

GOP says ‘no’ to state and local aid as Senate heads toward vote on COVID bill

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Supporters of the bill — including numerous Republican mayors — say the answer is a clear “yes.” They argue that a number of states, particularly those that rely on service industries and tourism, have seen steep revenue declines, and local governments are facing deeper financial strains as they struggle to expand services with fewer employees.

“Many of our cities have furloughed workers, shrunk their workforce through attrition, cancelled police and fire recruitment efforts, and frozen capital budgets that build community infrastructure — all while absorbing additional expenses to respond to COVID, delivering essential services and reaching out to our communities that have been disproportionately affected,” a bipartisan group of Ohio mayors wrote to federal lawmakers last month.

But congressional Republicans, who also opposed including more state and local aid in the coronavirus stimulus bill approved in December, largely have been unpersuaded. They point to data showing some states outpacing their revenue projections, and argue that sending more financial help to states would unfairly reward those that locked down their economies instead of lifting restrictions on businesses.

Author(s): Laura Olson

Publication Date: 4 March 2021

Publication Site: NC Policy Watch