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Coronavirus stimulus checks: Pelosi walks back the Tuesday deadline, sets new timeline

Coronavirus stimulus checks: Pelosi walks back the Tuesday deadline, sets new timeline

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coronavirus stimulus check Pelosi timeline

Over the weekend, it was reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set a Tuesday deadline for the stimulus bill agreement. But, when Tuesday arrived, Pelosi suggested there wasn’t any deadline. Instead, she set a new Election Day timeline for the coronavirus stimulus package and checks.

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Coronavirus stimulus checks: Pelosi sets new timeline

Speaking to Bloomberg TV, Pelosi said she is optimistic on reaching a deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. However, she appeared to take a U-turn on the Tuesday deadline that she set on Sunday for reaching a deal.

“It isn't that this day is the day we would have a deal," Pelosi said. "It's a day when we would have our terms on the table to be able to go to the next step. Legislation takes a long time.”

Further, she set another deadline, saying the stimulus bill should be written by this week, in order to get it approved for Election Day. In case the bill is not ready by then, Pelosi says it would “slip.”

Pelosi, however, did sound optimistic on the bill, saying, “We are starting to write a bill." Separately, in a letter to her caucus after Tuesday's negotiations, she informed that the two sides are "serious" on reaching a deal and that the talks "provided more clarity."

Drew Hammill, Pelosi’s chief of staff, cleared what Pelosi meant by the Tuesday deadline. In a tweet, Hammill informed that the deadline “enabled the Speaker and Secretary to see that decisions could be reached and language could be exchanged, demonstrating that both sides are serious about finding a compromise.”

Pelosi and Mnuchin closer to agreement

Pelosi and Mnuchin, meanwhile, continue to make progress on the stimulus negotiations. The two talked on Monday, as well as on Tuesday. Both have now moved closer to an agreement, Hammill informed.

In a tweet, Hammill said the talks between the two gave “more clarity and common ground as they move closer to an agreement." The two sides are also reportedly close in terms of the cost of the bill.

Pelosi is asking for a stimulus package costing $2.2 trillion, but the last known offer from the White House was of $1.8 trillion. However, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says the latest counterproposal from the White House is almost $1.9 trillion.

Pelosi and Mnuchin are expected to talk again on Wednesday, in order to resolve the remaining differences. The two sides have differences over aid to state and local governments, funding for COVID-19 testing and tracing, funding for schools and more.

Both Pelosi and Mnuchin, however, have called the committee chairs to work on resolving the differences over funding and language. Even if Pelosi and Mnuchin reach an agreement, the deal would still need to be approved by the Senate. Previously, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has spoken against such a bill.

The post Coronavirus stimulus checks: Pelosi walks back the Tuesday deadline, sets new timeline appeared first on ValueWalk.

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Government

Updated: US sees spike in Paxlovid usage as Merck’s molnupiravir and AstraZeneca’s Evusheld are slower off the shelf

New data from HHS show that more than 162,000 courses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 antiviral Paxlovid were administered across the US over the past week, continuing…

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New data from HHS show that more than 162,000 courses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 antiviral Paxlovid were administered across the US over the past week, continuing a streak of increased usage of the pill, and signaling not only rising case numbers but more awareness of how to access it.

In comparison to this week, about 670,000 courses of the Pfizer pill have been administered across the first five months since Paxlovid has been on the US market, averaging about 33,000 courses administered per week in that time.

A Pfizer spokesperson told Endpoints News the company does “not have any concerns nor foresee any supply issues in our ability to support if [usage] rates increase.”

Cumulatively, as of May 24, almost 3.8 million doses of Paxlovid have been made available to states so far by the federal government, and about 2.4 million of those have been ordered by states, with more than 831,000 courses administered.

Signs for such a spike in usage were evident earlier this month, as in a call with reporters senior HHS officials credited the surge in the use of Paxlovid to their outreach, and through the Biden administration’s Test to Treat initiative, which allows for use of Paxlovid with a positive test at participating pharmacies.

“We have seen more than a 315% increase in Paxlovid use over the past four weeks. In the first week of May, nearly 115,000 courses were dispensed,” an official said at the time.

Meanwhile, outside of Paxlovid, few other treatment options are really in wide use.

Merck’s molnupiravir, known commercially as Lagevrio, has struggled to make its way out of the inventory closet, according to the latest numbers posted by HHS.

Only about 20,000 courses of the Merck pill were used in the past week, and only about 13% of the total US inventory of molnupiravir has been used to date. That compares with about 35% of overall usage of Paxlovid courses ordered by states so far, and the bulk of those orders have come within the last several months.

But for AstraZeneca’s preexposure mAb Evusheld, only about 16,000 courses were administered in the past week. About 38% of all Evusheld ordered by states has been administered so far, according to the latest HHS numbers.

For Eli Lilly’s bebtelovimab, which is a monoclonal antibody that’s supposed to be used ahead of molnupiravir if both are on hand, about 100,000 courses in total have been administered of 379,526 courses ordered (542,330 courses available). Bebtelovimab is the follow-on mAb after Lilly’s former combo mAb (850,000+ courses distributed earlier in the pandemic) that lost efficacy against the latest variant.

Meanwhile, HHS has become less and less transparent with its data and information on its distribution of Covid-19 therapeutics.

After the Trump administration, and the beginning of the Biden administration allowed for the public posting of weekly calls between HHS and states on Covid-19 therapeutic distribution, those calls have since been made private and the prior recordings have been deleted from the ASPR website.

In addition, each week’s therapeutic administration numbers have to be tallied independently because HHS now deletes the previous week’s numbers.

Editor’s note: Article updated to add Pfizer comment and note the stats for Lilly’s Covid-19 treatments bebtelovimab too.

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Economics

EUR/GBP price prediction: is the bears’ pain over?

Ever since Brexit happened, the British pound gained against the common currency, the euro. Despite many analysts calling for the pound’s decline, it…

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Ever since Brexit happened, the British pound gained against the common currency, the euro. Despite many analysts calling for the pound’s decline, it gained ground in a relentless bearish trend.

The downtrend was so strong that even in 2022, some analysts believe that the EUR/GBP exchange rate will still hover around 0.84 in March 2023 – about 10 months from now.

Currently, EUR/GBP trades at 0.85, bouncing from its lows and looking constructive from fundamental and technical perspectives. So, where will the exchange rate go next?

Here is a price prediction considering both the technical and fundamental aspects.

The two central banks’ policies are set to diverge

Let’s start with the fundamental perspective. A currency pair moves based on the monetary policy differences between the two central banks.

In this case, the Bank of England was one of the first major central banks in the world that decided to increase the interest rate in the aftermath of the COVID-19 induced recession. Moreover, it did so not once but multiple times.

At the same time, the European Central Bank did nothing. It couldn’t do so, as a war started in Eastern Europe (Russia invaded Ukraine) in February.

In order to shelter European economies from the war’s economic impact, the European Central Bank preferred a wait-and-see stance. However, inflation is running way higher than the central bank’s target, and one of the causes is just the war.

As such, the central bank recently announced that it plans to end negative rates by September. Considering that the deposit facility rate is at negative 50bp, it means that a couple of rate hikes are on the table during the summer.

Yet, the Bank of England is now in a wait-and-see mode. Therefore, the fundamentals favor a move higher in the EUR/GBP exchange rate over the summer.

An inverse head and shoulders shows EUR/GBP struggling to overcome resistance

From a technical perspective, the market may have bottomed with the move to 0.82. It was quickly retraced, suggesting the presence of an inverse head and shoulders pattern.

A close above 0.86 should put the 0.90 area in focus. That is where the pattern’s measured move points to, and the move also implies that the lower highs series would be broken, thus ending the bearish bias.

All in all, EUR/GBP looks bullish here. Both technical and fundamental aspects favor more strength in the months ahead.

The post EUR/GBP price prediction: is the bears’ pain over? appeared first on Invezz.

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International

The UK’S Rich Are Getting Richer

The UK’S Rich Are Getting Richer

The UK’s richest people were announced in The Sunday Times’ annual roundup this week, including the…

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The UK'S Rich Are Getting Richer

The UK’s richest people were announced in The Sunday Times’ annual roundup this week, including the founder of Dyson vacuum cleaners, as well as JK Rowling and Elisabeth Murdoch. As Statista's Anna Fleck notes, the list comes at a time when the majority of Brits are feeling the burden of the cost of living crisis.

You will find more infographics at Statista

At the top of the list came billionaire brothers Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who own the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group. They were reported to own £28.47 billion together. Other key names to make it onto the list, albeit further down, included Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty, ranking at 222nd place out of 250 with a joint £730m of wealth. Sunak is reportedly the richest serving MP in history.

Chelsea manager Roman Abramovich dropped 20 places on the newspaper’s list this year, after his wealth was believed to have been cut from £12 billion down to £6 billion. He was one of the Russian figures to have been hit with sanctions in light of the Russian war in Ukraine. Alisher Usmanov also saw a fall, from sixth to eleventh place, with an estimated wealth of £10bn this year.

In terms of demographics, only seven of the people on the list were women, while 116 of the richest were men, and a further 78 were listed under the grouping “man with family.”

Income from property was the most common primary source of wealth, with 43 percent of people on the list benefiting from it.

Additionally, as Statista's Fleck details below, the UK’s top ten richest people are wealthier than the group has ever been, with their cumulative wealth having grown from £47.77 billion in 2009 to £182 billion in 2022 - an increase of 281 percent.

Infographic: The UK'S Rich Are Getting Richer | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

As this chart shows, following the 2008 crash, the UK’s billionaires have seen a steady, and fairly steep, incline in their wealth.

The upward trend continued despite the pandemic, which saw the UK’s economy shrink by 20.4 percent in the second quarter of 2020, as most industries suffered, and 30.5 million people in Europe were expected to be pushed into poverty. This is a stark contrast to the UK’s 250 ultra wealthy, who saw their collective wealth surge to a record high of £653 billion in 2022.

George Dibbs, the head of the Center for Economic Justice at the Institute for Public Policy Research, explains how we are seeing a widening wealth gap, as the rich are getting richer:

“As we enter a once-in-a-generation cost of living crisis, the Sunday Times rich list shows us again that vast wealth often begets more wealth. That has proved particularly true during the pandemic, when the wealthiest accumulated more wealth than poorer people, who saved nothing,” he tells The Guardian.

“Now there are more billionaires in the UK than ever before and the collective wealth of the richest has grown again.”

According to the article, Dibbs is now calling on Sunak to bring in taxes in order to “redistribute the wealth gains of the richest to pay for higher social security benefits for those who most need them.”

Tyler Durden Thu, 05/26/2022 - 04:15

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