Fed, Treasury have failed to protect jobs so far: oversight panel member

A member of the Congressional Oversight Commission says so far, the Federal Reserve and and Treasury Department have propped up the stock market, but have failed to protect workers’ jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Bharat Ramamurti was the first member appointed to the commission — a group created in the CARES Act to oversee the $500 billion Congress gave to the Fed and Treasury to stabilize the U.S. economy.

The Federal Reserve has opened up nine facilities to backstop various financial markets, many with the help of the U.S. Treasury. But the Fed still has yet to stand up a taxpayer-supported facility that would offer cheap loans to medium and large businesses to bridge them through the coronavirus crisis. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that its Main Street Lending Program, which will be open to businesses with under 15,000 employees or less than $5 billion in annual revenue,

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Better ways to protect workers in a recession

During the last recession, from 2007 to 2009, the unemployment rate in the United States rose by 5.6 percentage points, peaking at 10%. Germany endured the same recession, but unemployment only rose by 0.7 points, to 8.3%. And Germany recovered from the recession faster.

Unemployment is spiking once again amid the coronavirus pandemic, with some economists predicting it could hit 15% or more in the United States. Congress is providing hundreds of billions of dollars to help the newly unemployed pay their bills. But some think adopting parts of the German model would keep job losses lower and make it easier for companies to ramp up production once things get back to normal.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has now proposed a form of the German model for the U.S. labor market, saying he aims to “transform unemployment insurance into employment insurance.” Germany and other European nations use a system

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What’s in the nearly $500 billion deal to protect small business from the coronavirus

A deal to provide additional pandemic relief for small businesses, hospitals and others appears set to get through Capitol Hill in the coming days and then become law later this week.

On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in an interview that “we have a deal” with just a few outstanding I’s to dot and Ts to cross.”

Later in the day, President Trump urged Congress to pass the deal and said he would sign it even as lawmakers scrambled to put the final bill together.

By Tuesday afternoon, multiple outlets reported that the deal has been completed and the text of the legislation began to circulate.

The centerpiece of the deal is additional funding for the Trump administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) aimed at small businesses. The $349 billion initially allotted for the program ran out of money last week after just 13 days because of outsized demand.

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How the law can protect you if you can’t pay your rent or mortgage

Individuals and businesses finding they can’t make rent or mortgage payments as coronavirus lockdowns continue to cut into the economy, must rely, for now, on a patchwork of federal and local legal protections that may help them hold onto their property.

“Unfortunately, we were not prepared as an industry to deal with something like this,” Peter Oxman, a partner with Seyfarth Shaw’s real estate practice, told Yahoo Finance, “and we did not have a plan that could quickly be activated.”

The lack of preparation has left some tenants at the mercy of landlords and local governments, like New York state, which has issued a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions for those who can’t pay rent. Others may receive protections like payment deferrals under the new coronavirus stimulus package. Still, other homeowners and owners of commercial properties are left to plead with their mortgage lenders for relief.

Oxman said,

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Facebook is blocking a million accounts a day to protect the election: Sandberg

Facebook (FB) is removing vast numbers of fake accounts to protect against misinformation and to safeguard the upcoming presidential election, according to Sheryl Sandberg the company’s COO.

“We’re very focused on taking down fake accounts,” Sandberg told me in an interview this week. “We now take down over a million a day — blocked before anyone can see them — because of all the things that went wrong last time [during the 2016 presidential election] under fake accounts.”

Executives at Facebook know their company will be under a microscope this election season because its platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, were manipulated by domestic and foreign actors including Russians attempting to influence the 2016 election. It’s unclear what effect fake accounts and misinformation had on the election’s outcome. Initially CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that believing misinformation on Facebook influenced the election was “a pretty crazy idea,” but he later backtracked that

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