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L.A. banker Russell Goldsmith calls for modern New Deal



L.A. banker Russell Goldsmith calls for modern New Deal

The damage to the U.S. economy from the coronavirus is devastating: 33 million unemployed and an expected drop in second-quarter gross domestic product of up to 40%. But there’s no consensus in Washington about how to fix it.

President Trump has tweeted for the elimination of payroll taxes, a possible capital gains cut and a big infrastructure package.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday the Democratic plan for the fourth stimulus package will focus on a bailout of state and local governments, funds for testing and direct cash assistance to individuals.

Some Republican voices have called for a pause after more than $2.5 trillion in stimulus spending so far, but Russell Goldsmith, 70, the dean of Los Angeles bankers, says now is not the time to hit the brakes.

The chairman and former chief executive of City National Bank got an upfront view of the nation’s last crisis while sitting on the Fed’s Federal Advisory Council from 2008 to 2011. He says that what the country needs is not just more relief but an economic recovery plan of up to $2 trillion that includes infrastructure, job retraining and other measures, inspired by New Deal programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps.

The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

What were the lessons you drew from the government’s response to the Great Recession?

You are not going to flip a switch and everybody goes back to movie theaters and Dodger Stadium and restaurants. And in 2008-09 they never shut down the airlines, they never closed the restaurants, never turned off sports. So my central point would be that this so-called phase four bill ought to address expanded relief and bolt on to it a massive set of recovery efforts. Recovery as we learned in 2008-09 takes time to get going. You can get checks out pretty fast, but shovel-ready projects don’t start the next morning.

You talk about the need for traditional infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and mass transit, but also reallocating billions of dollars for public health.

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We have to redefine what national security means and allocate federal resources in line with that new understanding. If more Americans can die in six weeks from a pandemic than die in Vietnam in a decade, surely fighting pandemics and protecting public health here in the homeland is a matter of national security. I would argue $750 billion for the Defense Department is a source, but whether you take the money out of Defense is not the issue. We clearly have to strengthen our public health system.

Is that really a matter of economic recovery?

We need more money for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health. It’s going to take a mammoth infrastructure to produce the vaccine for 350 million Americans and a mammoth infrastructure to inoculate 350 million Americans. You are going to need more workers, more manufacturing facilities — a whole range of things. We clearly need to do more with research. We need to do more with prevention. This will not be the last pandemic that this country faces, unfortunately.

A lot of people on the left are saying what this all really proves is that we need a national healthcare system, such as the Medicare for All championed by Bernie Sanders.

I think that is such a contentious political issue, and I’m trying to focus on things that I hope both parties can agree on. That’s a multiyear debate, and we don’t have time for that.

What are some other areas where you would like to see recovery dollars spent? There is an $80-billion House Democratic proposal to improve broadband access.

Federal aid to education needs to go up. We need more teachers. We need more money for research at universities. We need better facilities. I think one thing that’s become screamingly obvious is that every home in America has to be connected to the Internet just like in the ‘30s when one of the great triumphs of the New Deal was getting the Rural Electrification Act to bring electricity to every town and home in America no matter how remote. We need to do that with the internet, and then we need to make sure that the kids who live in those homes have an iPad or something so that they can get an education.

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What about climate change, anything in particular?

I think there is a lengthy agenda out there for how to rebuild our society in a way that is carbon neutral, and we should just get on with it.

It doesn’t seem like there is a big appetite on Capitol Hill for a massive infrastructure bill. One obstacle has been the two sides haven’t been able to agree on a funding mechanism.

I am speaking out in this way because I think there really has to be a concerted effort by people to push Congress and make the case for why we can’t wait for recovery stimulus. With an election looming, this is the last train out of Dodge. And the sooner we get started with recovery the sooner this economy will come back to something approaching normalcy.

You mention reviving the Civilian Conservation Corps, a prototypical New Deal program that put unemployed men to work in conservation and improving public lands and parks. Why do you single it out?

I use that phrase because people remember the name and I tried to broaden it out. Our parks have been underfunded for years. There is a lot they need, both parks in our cities and around the country. Planting more trees, conserving natural resources, cleaning things. That is sort of a short-term solution, and then my thought was to give them training so they move into jobs better suited to the 21st century.

What would a modernized job-skills training look like?

We’ve got 33 million unemployed Americans, a lot of them in low-paid jobs in restaurants, many of which will not come back. Let’s take those people and train them. We need medical technicians. We need computer technicians. We need orderlies in hospitals. We need a lot of skills that they don’t have, but they could be trained.

Is referencing a New Deal program really the best way to sell your plan?

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I was just trying to point to something that had been successful when the country faced the Great Depression. You know when you’ve got 33 million unemployed Americans you don’t have to invent everything from whole cloth. That’s a program that worked. It needs to be modernized and adapted, but I would hope it’s not a politically polarizing program.

How can we pay for all of this?

Obviously we have to be concerned about that, but just as in World War II, this is not the time to restrain federal support for worthwhile programs. With interest rates so low, the ability of the government in a normal economy to fund the debt is actually surprisingly similar to where we were when rates were higher.

What about rescinding some of the tax cuts that were passed by the GOP in 2017?

I am trying to stay out of the weeds on how to reform taxes because I don’t think that is the front-burner issue at the moment. The front-burner issue is to not just do relief but to do recovery simultaneously as soon as possible. But let’s not be oblivious that this is very costly and that we need following that to begin a serious effort to reform our tax system to generate more revenue. So in generating more, presumably some of the tax cuts are going to be revised.

But there is talk by the president and others of additional tax cuts, including on capital gains and payrolls.

When you’ve got 33 million Americans unemployed and probably an additional 30 million estimated to be underemployed, cutting payroll taxes doesn’t help them at all because they are not employed. We saw from the Trump tax cuts it didn’t stimulate a proportionate amount of capital spending, so rather than a trickle-down strategy which is very slow and very inefficient, you can direct the money right at the things that will have lasting value to the country. You can see the pressure building from the tax-cutting crowd, and that’s just not a cost-effective solution in this circumstance.

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Computer exam | The PLATO mission is looking for another “Earth”. And there is a Portuguese name associated



The PLATO observatory will have 26 telescopic cameras to detect planets like ours in size, density and distance from a star orbiting thousands of sun-like stars. Portugal is actively engaged in science, development and processing of observations of this mission and will be able to name one of the cameras that are part of the mission.

The IA has now opened a vote to choose a Portuguese name, which will then be the identification of one of the cameras “during the existence of the mission in space, as a way to honor the astronomers who prepared the science that the PLATO mission will allow to advance,” can be read on the institute’s online page.

Taking into account the criteria that it must be a person who was born somewhere within the current boundaries of the territory, who contributed to astronomy in our country, especially in the study of stars and planetary systems, and who cannot be a living person, the IA proposes the following personalities:

– Teodoro de Almeida (1722-1804)

– José Monteiro da Rocha (1734-1819)

– Campos Rodriguez (1836-1919)

– Francisco de Miranda da Costa Lobo (1864-1945)

– Manuel de Barros (1908-1971)

See a brief biography of each of these personalities here and take the opportunity to vote.

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Switzerland hosts Portuguese cinema in Locarno



Europeus de motas de água vão passar em Entre-os-Rios

The film “Nasao Valente” by Carlos Conceisan is part of Film Festival in Locarnoin Switzerland in August, in an edition containing other Portuguese and co-produced works, out of competition.

According to the schedule for the 75th edition, released this Wednesday, the international feature film competition is hosting “Nacao Valente,” a feature film by Carlos Conceicao that, according to producer Terratreme Filmes, is about “the end of Portuguese colonialism, the independence of Angola.” and the Trauma of Colonial War.

The film features actors such as João Arraes, Anabela Moreira, Gustavo Sumpta and Leonor Silveira and was co-produced with France and Angola, where Carlos Conceição was born in 1979.

Carlos Conceição is the author of films such as Versailles presented in Locarno in 2013, Bad Bunny (2017), Serpentario (2019) and A Thread of Scarlet Spit (2020).

At the Locarno Film Festival, which will be held from 3 to 13 August, other Portuguese films will also be presented out of competition, namely “Where is this street? Or without before and after”, Joao Pedro Rodriguez and Joao Rui Guerra da Mata, also producer of Terratreme.

In Locarno, where they have already received awards, the two directors will present the premiere of a documentary filmed in Lisbon, revisiting the scenes of Paulo Rocha’s Os Verdes Anos (1963) with actress Isabelle Ruth.

Also out of competition and in the program dedicated to the first works will be “Objetos de Luz”, a visual reflection on the importance of light in cinematic creativity, signed by director of photography Acasio de Almeida and Marie Carré, producer of Bando à Part.

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The “Pardi di domani” competition for short and medium films features the animated film “L’ombre des papillons” by Moroccan director Sophia El Hyari, co-produced by France, Qatar, Morocco and Portugal. Cola Animation.

Day of Despair (1992), a film by Manoel de Oliveira about the last days of the life of the writer Camilo Castelo Branco, will be screened in Locarno in the Film History(s) section.

On the eve of the Locarno festival, in Piazza Grande, the animated film “No Dogs and Italians” directed by Alain Ughetto, recently awarded in Annecy, a Portuguese co-production with Ocidental Filmes, will be screened. .

Giona A. Nazzaro, second year as Artistic Director of the Locarno Festival, described this year’s program as “broad, varied and comprehensive”.


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Portuguese heritage at the Jewish cemetery in Hamburg



Portuguese heritage at the Jewish cemetery in Hamburg

The Jewish-Portuguese cemetery in Hamburg is an outstanding example of the Portuguese presence in the world, where history confirms the well-known ability of the Portuguese to adapt to the most unexpected contexts and situations.

Built in 1611 with over 1,500 graves recorded, according to some sources, the cemetery was officially closed almost a century and a half ago and is today a heavily visited site and the oldest in the city and northern Europe. You pass the gate that protects it, and the visitor is immediately enveloped in tall and scattered trees, which give shade and freshness to the tombstones inscribed in Portuguese, others in Hebrew, many covered with a veil of soot and moss, some fallen vertically.

Fleeing from Portugal due to the Inquisition at the end of the 16th century, the new Christians were well received in Hamburg, where they found a place to live without hiding their religion and Jewish rituals. Located then in one of the most noble districts of the city, the name of the Königstraße, Rua dos Reisis a reflection of this.

The land was acquired by the Portuguese merchants André Falero, Rui Cardoso and Alvaro Dinis, who won the sovereign’s favor and thus managed to ensure that “the Portuguese people could bury their dead,” the Sephardic Jews, according to the little book. Stone Archive – 400th Anniversary of the Jewish Cemetery in Königstraße. Through their actions, they have left to posterity an extraordinary legacy in which to find part of the history of Portugal and Hamburg, which certainly contributed to the fact that this city is today the most Portuguese in Germany, with countless traces of our presence, starting with the “Portuguese Quarter”, crowded with restaurants , to the old school ship Sagres anchored in port, from the ubiquitous custard tarts to the only bust of Vasco da Gama to be found abroad.

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Later, the cemetery was expanded through the acquisition of adjacent land by Ashkenazi and German Jews, where members of illustrious families such as the poet Heinrich Heine or the philosopher Mendelssohn were buried.

The cemetery withstood the passage of time, wars and Nazi bombardments. Just as he resisted the theft and anti-Semitic vandalism that hit him several times, apparently on some of the tombstones, broken or damaged.

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