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Businesses get 0.008% of coronavirus funding



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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Prize for the Portuguese. Andre Silva is Champions League Player of the Week



Prize for the Portuguese.  Andre Silva is Champions League Player of the Week

BUTndre Silva won the competition and became the best player of the week in the Champions League, informed UEFAthis Thursday.

The former Porto striker scored in Jota’s 3-1 victory over Celtic Leipzig, scoring a brace in a match that was signed after his Portuguese compatriot equalized.

In addition, Andre Silva also provided the assist for Nkunku, scoring the first goal of this Wednesday’s game in which huge show of foreign fans.

In addition to the Leipzig striker, Di Maria (Juventus), Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) and Di Lorenzo (Napoli) also fought in the fight for the prize, but it was the Portuguese who managed to smile after voting for the third round of the competition, the famous This Thursday is the fair.

Read also: Diogo Costa and Andre Silva named to Champions League Team of the Week

See also: Andre Silva among the nominees for the title of the best player of the week in the Champions League

See also: double dose. Andre Silva returned to celebrate and sentenced doubts

See also: Andre Silva took advantage of Hart’s colossal mistake and responded to Jota’s goal

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Eternal Portuguese deja vu – Renaissance



Eternal Portuguese deja vu - Renaissance

At the end of the summer of 1972, exactly half a century ago, SEDES – Associação para o Desenvolvimento Económico e Social (the most famous reformist think tank during Marseilles) issued a document for the country entitled “Portugal: The country we are, the country we want to be “. The Marseille spring had already turned into autumn: Américo Thomas had just been re-elected, the colonial war had dragged on, repression had intensified, and an economic crisis was already brewing. Seeing the general frustration, and at the same time willing to go against it, the signatories of CEDES began by asking “Where will we be and how will we be in 1980?” to criticize the obstacles that overshadowed Portugal in the early 1970s.

Among the “problems that are getting worse without a solution”, emigration stood out, indicating the country’s inability to offer better living and working conditions to those who left; the growing inflationary process, reflected in the cost of living; the inevitability of economic integration in Europe when the country is not ready for international commercial competition; “disaggregation of regional economies” with “continuous depopulation of municipalities and regions” within the country; or “deterioration of public administration” when the government fails to promote a “prestigious, moralized, revitalized and efficient public sector”. “No one will have any difficulty,” continued the text, “to add to a new list of urgent questions that seriously endanger national life, about which much has been said and which, year after year, continue to wait for a sufficient solution.” Therefore, “the prevailing feeling in the country” in contemplation of the recent past and present could not but be “annoyance at urgent battles, the need for which was endlessly discussed, at decisions that were changed or postponed, and at rejected goals” or which were not clearly formulated ” .

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Between “untapped resources” and/or “lack of organizational and decision-making capacity” there was “widespread anxiety” stemming from the inevitable observation that “we are very far from the results that we could achieve thanks to the progress of the Portuguese and Portugal”. This was the macro goal of the reformist, humanist and liberalizing technocrats that SEDES brought together. “Ultimately,” they reminded Marcelo Cayetano, “the real obstacle can only be associated with the low political priority of economic and social development in our country.” So, in short, there was an urgent need to “radically change our economic, social and political way of life”, since “a national balance based on general anemia, repression and weakening of various participants” is unsustainable and pernicious.

SEDES did not know that the Estado Novo would fall in April 1974, that democracy would come in 1976, and Europe from the EEC (after EFTA) in 1986 of repression, finally gained the freedom that was discussed between the lines of the 1972 manifesto ., there would be conditions for solving (almost) all economic and social problems of development and cohesion.

Fifty years have passed since this manifesto, and almost the same number has already been in democracy. However, if we compare the above quotes with the Portuguese present, the feeling of deja vu is indescribable. SEDES wondered what the country would be like in 1980 and is wondering today (in its recent study “Ambition: Doubling GDP in 20 Years”) where we will be in 2040. It may be a replay of a sad fate: knowing (some) where to go, but never getting there!

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Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy – Observer



Algeria interested in Portuguese companies investing in renewable energy - Observer

Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho met this Wednesday with his Algerian counterpart Ramtan Lamamra, who expressed interest in Portuguese companies investing in Algeria’s solar and wind energy.

Speaking with Lusa, João Cravinho also said that for 2023 it was decided to hold a “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the state visit of the President of Algeria. Algeria to Portugal.

The Portuguese foreign minister said today’s visit to Algeria, where he was with Ramtan Lamamra, whom he has known since 2005 when he was ambassador to Lisbon, is “based on old knowledge”, but also a visit to a country that “does not to be a neighbor”, shares “a lot of fears”. “Not being a neighboring country, it almost shares many concerns about the region, the Mediterranean, the European Union’s relationship with Africa and the Arab world. It was important for us to talk about what we can do together as part of the geopolitical and geo-economic transformation,” he explained.

João Cravinho stressed that the issue of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a factor “which could not but be the subject of dialogue”, and also added that “geo-economic issues related to energy, renewable energy sources and the opportunities that come with the digital transition” also were on the table.


“While Algeria is a major exporter of fossil fuels, it is also a country with huge potential in terms of solar and wind energy. We have very qualified companies in these areas, and the Algerian side has expressed interest in [ter] Portuguese investors in these areas,” the minister said.

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The official said that it would be a matter of working with the Portuguese Agency for Investment and Foreign Trade (AICEP), with the Secretary of State for Internationalization, as well as with a sectoral ministry, namely the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. A “high-level meeting chaired by the prime ministers” of the two countries is scheduled for 2023, a meeting to be held in Algiers, in addition to the Algerian President’s state visit to Portugal.

“We have a very busy calendar between the two countries. Now we will try to organize a mixed commission, where technical specialists from both countries will gather,” he said, stressing that there are “14 legal documents that are practically finalized and will be signed” in 2023.

João Gomes Cravinho was on a visit to Algiers today to assess bilateral relations in the economic sphere, as well as in terms of cooperation, language and culture, and to discuss international issues.

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