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Businesses get 0.008% of coronavirus funding

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Businesses get 0.008% of coronavirus funding

The Treasury has disbursed less than 8% – only $ 37.5 billion from $ 500 billion – emergency funds approved by Congress two months ago for loans and loan guarantees to help stabilize the economy, according to Monday’s report from a congressional oversight commission created to monitor how the money is spent.

None of the $ 46 billion set aside by Congress specifically for the aviation industry and important businesses to maintain national security has been allocated as Treasury officials continue to review applications for the money, the commission said.

1:51 p.m., May. 18, 2020
An earlier version of this story said that the Ministry of Finance only spent $ 37.5 million from a $ 500 billion grant. The supervisory commission that released the number sent a subsequent correction that the actual figure was $ 37.5 billion.

And only one of the five programs that the Ministry of Finance and the Federal Reserve created to get $ 454 billion in the economy and help states and local governments operate, according to the report.

The half-trillion-dollar aid program is part of the CARES Act, passed by Congress in March to help boost the US economy, which was largely closed by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is separate from the Paycheck Protection Program, which has proven to be very popular in providing payroll loans that can be forgiven for small businesses.

The report contains a series of questions for Minister of Finance Steven T. Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell about when and how the program will disburse loans.

The only loan facility that has received funding is the so-called Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, which should buy corporate debt. Treasury released $ 37.5 billion in early May.

Most of the remaining promised money will go to the three “Main Road” loan programs, which aim to help businesses with less than 15,000 employees or annual income of not more than $ 5 billion. The program will offer a four-year loan to eligible businesses that are in good financial condition before the closure of the coronavirus, with principal and interest payments deferred for one year. The Fed will buy 85% to 95% of the loan value.

The report links the delay in distributing money to the overly strict guidelines originally proposed. Prospective borrowers and lenders raise concerns about the guidelines, resulting in changes such as increasing the number of loans and eliminating the requirement that companies must prove they need money “because of the emergencies presented by” coronavirus, according to the report.

Regulations have also been amended so that they no longer require companies to make “reasonable efforts” to maintain payroll and retain employees throughout the loan period, but instead will be asked to make “commercially reasonable efforts” to do so.

The Federal Treasury and Reserve also modified the City Liquidity Program, which is designed to buy debts held by states, cities and counties, after criticism that the population threshold in the guidelines is so high that only a few dozen cities and counties will qualify.

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Now the program will consider districts with a population of at least 500,000 – down from 2 million indigenous people – and cities with populations of at least 250,000 residents, down from 1 million originally proposed.

State and local governments can use funds from debt purchases to make up for a decrease in cash flow due to business closures and travel caused by coronavirus, something that an elected official suggests will be needed to reduce the reduction in education and other public services.

Congress began to see what had delayed the disbursement of funds. The Senate Banking Committee has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Northridge), said he was working on setting up the House Financial Services subcommittee round table which he led next week to check the guidelines for the programs.

“The sooner the better, and this is rather slow,” Sherman said.

Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine), who serves on House Financial Services and the Oversight committee, said in a statement she was worried that the funds were not available.

“The delay of the Minister of Finance Steve Mnuchin in getting aid money to the country’s biggest businessman raises the question of $ 454 billion: What is the robbery? I am concerned that this assistance did not go into the pockets of working families and that Congress has not fully utilized our institutional oversight mechanism to expedite assistance, including the COVID-19 Congressional Monitoring Commission which still lacks a chair, “he said.

The next commission report will be due in mid-June. Panel members included Senator Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), Who was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.); Rep. Donna Shalala (D-Fla.), Who was appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco); Rep. French Hill (R-Ark.), Appointed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield); and Bharat Ramamurti, former adviser to Senator Elizabeth Warren who was appointed by Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

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McConnell and Pelosi have not agreed on who will lead the five-member panel. A McConnell aide had no information on Monday about when the promise would be made.

Critics say the failure to appoint a commission chairman two months after the regulatory body was formed illustrates how slowly Congress and the government has moved to monitor the release of more than $ 2 trillion provided under the CARES Act.

None of the three regulatory bodies created by this law are fully functional. Together with the COVID-19 Congressional Oversight Commission, the bill created a special inspector general for pandemic recovery to monitor $ 500 billion for the Ministry of Finance. Presidential nominee Trump has not been approved by the Senate.

There is also the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which consists of nine general inspectors whose departments have received coronavirus response funds through the CARES Law. Trump dismissed the inspector general who was elected chairman, and the new chairman has yet to be named.

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Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira in 16th place after the first free practice in Assen – DNOTICIAS.PT

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Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira in 16th place after the first free practice in Assen – DNOTICIAS.PT

Portuguese rider Miguel Oliveira (KTM) finished the first two free practices of the MotoGP Grand Prix in Assen in 16th place.

Oliveira finished the day with a time of 1.34.676 minutes, 1.402 seconds behind the best rider of the day, Italy’s Francesco Banagia (Ducati). Spaniard Aleix Espargaro (April) was second with 0.178 seconds and French champion Fabio Quartararo (Yamaha) was third with 0.305 seconds.

After the first session in the rain, in which the rider from Almada was sixth fastest, the rain stopped before the start of the second session.

The riders started with intermediate tires, but as the track in Assen in the Netherlands, considered the “cathedral” of motorsport, dried up, they installed dry tires (slicks).

Under these conditions, Miguel Oliveira was losing ground in the table, ending the day in 16th place, despite an improvement of about nine seconds from the morning’s record, in rain, in which Australian Jack Miller (Ducati) was the fastest. , fifth in the afternoon.

On Saturday there will be two more free practices and qualifications.

The 10 fastest in the set of the first three sessions go directly to the second stage of qualification (Q2), and the remaining 14 “brawl” in Q1, resulting in the two fastest qualifying to the next stage.

Fabio Quartararo enters this 11th round of the season leading the championship with 172 points, while Miguel Oliveira is in 10th place with 64 points.

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Portuguese MNEs defend that Mercosur is a “natural partner” of the European Union at the moment – Observer

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Portuguese MNEs defend that Mercosur is a "natural partner" of the European Union at the moment - Observer

This Thursday, Portugal’s foreign minister said that at a time when the European Union (EU) seeks to diversify suppliers and markets, MERCOSUR is a natural partner whose importance cannot be “underestimated”.

For Portugal, “the current delicate context makes us appreciate even more the mutual advantages of the Agreement between the EU and MERCOSUR,” João Gomes Cravinho said, without directly referring to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

“At a time when the EU is seeking to diversify suppliers and markets in order to ensure greater strategic autonomy, MERCOSUR is a natural partner, whose importance we cannot underestimate“, the minister added at a conference entitled “Brazil and Portugal: perspectives for the future”, which takes place from Thursday to Friday at the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon.

The Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) is a South American economic bloc created in 1991, whose founding members are Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.

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But still, within the framework of the European Union, Joao Gomes Cravinho believed that EU strategic partnership with Brazil left ‘untapped’.

The Minister stressed that in the context of the EU, Portugal “always knew how to use its position in favor of strengthening relations with Brazil.”

Therefore, it was during the Portuguese presidency, in 2007, that a “strategic partnership with Brazil” was established, he stressed.

However, according to the head of Portuguese diplomacy, this is “a partnership that has clearly not been used for a variety of reasons and which still retains the ability to position Brazil as Europe’s great interlocutor for South America.”

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With regard to bilateral relations between the two countries, the minister emphasized that “in this context of global turmoil, the wisdom of the central characteristic common to the foreign policy of Brazil and Portugal, which is active participation in many multilateral structures, in recognition of the indispensability of multilateralism, international cooperation and global rules based order.

Portugal meets with Brazil in all areas of Portuguese foreign policy. We are Atlantic, we are Ibero-American and Portuguese-speaking,” he said.

In the Atlantic dimension, “Portugal and Brazil are united by an ocean, which we recognize as growing in importance in the context of new, complex and truly existential issues,” he said.

According to João Gomes Cravinho, “Some of these problems can be answered in the Atlantic Center, co-founded by Portugal and Brazil”, and “the other part of the huge ocean problems will be addressed in detail at the great Summit.” Oceans”, which will be held in Lisbon next week.

“In any of the areas, new prospects are opening up for Portuguese-Brazilian relations,” he stressed.

With regard to Ibero-America, the minister believes that Portugal and Brazil share “an enormous strategic space with the Castilian-speaking countries, where a joint Portuguese-Brazilian reflection is undoubtedly recommended on the potential to exploit opportunities and create synergies”.

“Value of CPLP [Comunidade de Países de Língua Portuguesa] is gaining more and more recognition at the international level – and the evidence of this is the growing number of states that become associate observers” of the organization, he believes.

“Because they want to engage with us and reinforce the value of the linguistic, cultural and historical ties that unify lusophony and create a unique dynamic for relationships with third parties,” he stressed.

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But even at this level, he argued that there was an urgent need to find a “convergence of visions and desires” that “allows us to enhance” our “separate realities.”

The minister also mentioned that “despite the break caused by the pandemic”, Portugal has a “real air bridge” with Brazil, consisting of more than 74 weekly TAP flights, which is a cause and effect of “a dynamic that is being updated and reinvented”. relations between the two countries.

This dynamic, according to Gomes Cravinho, is also reflected in economic and commercial relations.

Thus, “Brazil is the first Latin American export market for Portuguese merchandise and is already the fourth largest merchandise export destination (outside the EU).

“However, the conviction remains that the potential is far from being realized, and that nostalgia for the future entails a vision of a different profile of our exchanges, a technological, creative profile that corresponds to global geo-economic transformations,” he defended. .

At this stage, João Gomes Cravinho also underlined the potential of the port of Sines, “whose strategic importance, which has long been noted, takes on new importance in the troubled times that we are going through.”

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A cycle of Portuguese cinema will be held in New York from Friday.

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A cycle of Portuguese cinema will be held in New York from Friday.

Dand from June 24 to 30, an event called “New Stories from Portuguese Cinema” will present the perspectives of a new generation of filmmakers “whose films embody the artistic, social and political reflections that mark the 21st century,” according to the organization in a statement.

Balad o batrachio by Leonor Teles, Amor, Avenidas Novas by Duarte Coimbra and O Cordeiro de Deus by David Pinheiro Vicente are three of the 20 films that are part of this cinematic cycle.

Pedro Cabeleira, Laura Carreira, Susana Nobre, Joao Rosas, Tomas Paula Marquez, Catarina de Souza and Nick Tyson, Maya Cosa and Sergio da Costa, Christel Alves Meira, Paulo Carneiro, Pedro Peralta, Diogo Salgado, Catarina Vasconcelos and Aya Korezli other directors integrated into this movie cycle.

In addition to FLAD, this event is also the result of a partnership with New York-based Anthology Film Archives, an iconic venue for independent and experimental filmmaking, hosting a Portuguese film cycle featuring Francisco Valente.

“Anthology Film Archives has been a reference space for over 50 years. It seemed to us ideal to promote the works of these directors, emphasizing their uniqueness and quality. We believe that Portuguese cinema can gain more space in the United States and we want to do our part to internationalize it,” said FLAD President Rita Faden.

Francisco Valente, guest programmer, explained that the 18 selected directors are distinguished by “their unwavering commitment to using the screen to express their personal freedom, reflect their racial and gender identity, and develop narratives that comment on and expand our reality.” – in Portugal, in the United States, or in that beautiful and imaginary country called cinema.

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This connection between Portugal and the United States of America is also expressed in the documentary “In the Footsteps of Utopia”, based on the testimonies of “weird” teenagers from Queens, filmed by Catarina de Souza and Nick Tyson, who will come to New York to find out their joint production, which closes this cycle.

The program of the cycle is available in the Screenings section of the Anthology Film Archives “website” (anthologyfilmarchives.org) and on the FLAD “website” (https://www.flad.pt/wp-content). /uploads/2022/02/new_tales_final_bx.pdf).

See also: Michael J. Fox received a humanitarian “Oscar”, and Diane Warren – an honorary “Oscar”.

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