So… what happens to the wall? Does Mexico still have to pay? Other than that… phew. Joe biden is now president elect elect biden. But I’m still wondering why the campaign associations seemed so shaky in some places? If you want a good explanation, get into Washington’s Newsday Wayback Machine and read in the streets Congressman Sam Hill’s story about the nation’s election experts. (Click here.) Do not say he did not warn you. In the meantime, here’s what I have to read: Why it is now time for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to wave the white flag and get a COVID 19 bailout package tied up-or not; why China has stopped the world’s largest ever stock offering; and finally, why I am so saddened by the demise of ice cream legend Friendly’s, as it goes bankrupt for a second time. The good news is that you can still get the chicken offers and of course a Fribble.
Finally a COVID law? The now and apparently forever, McConnell has said he wants to pass a COVID stimulus package before President-Elect Biden is sworn in. That would be a good thing, says Dan White of Moody’s Analytics. He warns that the country could be plunged into a double-dip recession if Congress does not succeed in bringing about significant relief – and COVID-19 will be hit hard this winter. In a September report, White wrote: “The fiscal consequences of such a scenario for states and local governments would be the worst since the Great Depression. It may not come to that. The prospects for a bailout are good, especially since resistance to helping local governments by the “don’t bailout-the-blue-state” gang may be crumbling. After all, COVID-19, as we have learned, is a pandemic with equal chances. Republican states such as Louisiana, for example, are facing steep revenue losses due to the COVID surge (and some hurricanes). In New York City, it is feared that the reduced use of transit traffic will lead to job losses of 450,000. Local and state governments have actually cut 1.2 million jobs since July, according to The Wall Street Journal. And Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) estimates that 31 million Americans are economically affected by COVID. This includes the unemployed and people whose wages have been cut. Certainly, the employment picture seems better, since the country created more than 600,000 jobs last month. But many jobs in the restaurant and retail industries will be at risk if the weather continues to cool down. And we still have 10 million jobs less than the total number in February, per PPI. Meanwhile, another 751,000 Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, and the Conference Board says that more than 50 percent of the companies that cut wages have not yet restored them. All signs point to the fact that it’s time for Mitch McConnell to stop blaspheming people like Massachusetts and get on with his job.
Who is the boss? Last week I watched with amazement as the spin-off of Alibaba Group, the financial and technology company, Ant Group, was about to be listed on the Hong Kong and Shanghai stock exchanges. What was touted as the biggest IPO ever would have earned the company around $35 billion from the listings. But last week the Chinese government suspended the process and invited the founder of Alibaba and majority shareholder of Ant Group, Jack Ma, for a little discussion. Conclusion: No IPO for the time being – and according to the Financial Times it may not take place for another six months. Here’s what Ma did wrong, says Axios’ Dan Primack, (Read Dan here): Alibaba’s founder gave a speech in which he essentially mocked the Chinese banking regulators. Ma compared Chinese banks to ‘pawnshops’ in terms of the collateral required for business borrowers and denigrated the character and beliefs of financial supervisors”. This was not well received by the people who really mattered. The same regulators turned around and changed some of the rules, such as stricter rules for microcredit, which “effectively (forced) Ant Group back onto the IPO drawing board. The IPO would have made Ma the eleventh richest man in the world, according to Bloomberg. His bragging rights over billionaires like Oracle will just have to wait. The morals of the Gesc