US joblessness spikes as virus takes toll on businesses

first_imgThe Conference Board on Wednesday said unemployment could rise to as high as 15 percent later this year — far beyond the 10 percent peak hit in October 2009 during the global financial crisis.Fed, Congress to the rescueGregory Daco of Oxford Economics said the outlook is grim: “The US economy will experience the largest economic contraction on record with the most severe surge in unemployment ever.”The US Senate has approved a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package that includes an unprecedented expansion in unemployment benefits to try to cushion the blow until the pandemic is under control — and businesses can reopen.The bill would increase weekly payments by $600 and expand them to more workers who were ineligible before, including those who are self-employed or work in the gig economy, which could amount to more than 15 million.The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the measure on Friday,  and President Donald Trump has pledged to sign it quickly.”It protects all American workers,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday on CNBC, calling on lawmakers to pass the bill quickly — and do so unanimously.”The American workers and American public and American business, they need the money now. So this is not the time to debate a bill that passed with every single vote.”The package also provides cash payments of $1,200 for many Americans, and grants to small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as huge amounts for major industries like airlines that have been hit hard by the crisis.The Federal Reserve also has been rolling out all its firepower, slashing the benchmark interest rate to zero earlier this month and launching a host of initiatives, including unlimited purchases of US Treasury debt and mortgage debt and lending to companies and municipalities, to keep the US financial system from freezing up.In a rare public interview, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Thursday the central bank would continue to lend “aggressively” to support the world’s largest economy.”When it comes to this lending, we’re not going to run out of ammunition. That doesn’t happen,” Powell said on NBC. Worse to come in AprilBut forecasters say these efforts cannot stave off a recession — and are only the first steps in dealing with the crisis.”Fed action and fiscal measures can only ameliorate the pain, and we remain worried that the latter aren’t yet on a sufficient scale,” Shepherdson said, adding that $2 trillion “is a lot, but more will be needed, soon.”While economists unanimously warn about a massive increase in the jobless level, the all-important government employment report for March will not capture the full impact: the data are based on the pay period that includes the 12th of each month, which for this month came before the massive shutdowns. The March jobs report is due out on April 3, but the April report, set for release May 8, is likely to be the one that shows a surge in the unemployment rate from the current 50-year low of 3.5 percent.Topics : With streets in major cities empty, and shops and restaurants forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, there was a record explosion of Americans filing for unemployment benefits.A staggering 3.3 million workers filed claims in the week ending March 21, the highest ever recorded, the Labor Department said Thursday, in a report that laid bare the devastating impact of the health crisis on the US economy.The data lend credence to warnings that the overall US unemployment rate will likely spike into the double digits, although that may not be immediately apparent in the March figures given the way the rate is calculated. “I’ve been writing about the US economy every day since 1996, and this is the single worst data point I’ve ever seen, by far,” said Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics, who correctly forecast initial jobless claims would pass the three million mark.The figure far surpasses the previous record of 695,000 set in October 1982.Nearly every state cited COVID-19 for the jump in initial jobless claims, with heavy impacts in food services, accommodation, entertainment and recreation, health care and transportation, the Labor Department report said.Economists are projecting the pandemic-induced shutdowns could lead to a staggering 14 percent contraction of the US economy.last_img read more

German corporate pension liabilities swell by a fifth in 2019

first_imgPension scheme funding levels for companies covered by the report – those included in the DAX and MDAX stock market indices – fell by around a fifth since the beginning of 2019, according to WTW’s modelling.For DAX company pension plans, funding levels fell to 62.3% at the end of September from 67% at the end of December 2018 while funding of plans at the slightly smaller MDAX firms dipped to 58.3% from 63.1%, the consultancy’s figures showed.However, this decline was much smaller than could have been expected given the significant increase in pension liabilities in the nine-month period, WTW said.This showed the companies were working intensively on their investment strategies specifically for their pensions assets, it said.According to the firm’s own calculation of the average discount rate for DAX companies, this rate sank to just 0.94% at the end of September, from 1.91% at the of December 2018.WTW’s figures showed the decline of the discount rate seen in the first nine months of this year was the biggest in percentage point terms since at least 2014, and comes in a period when 10 and 30-year bonds have turned negative.Examining the outlook for the background conditions that determine interest rates, the consultancy said in its report: “All in all, low eurozone interest rates are expected to persist for several years yet.” The pension liabilities of Germany’s largest companies have expanded by almost a fifth since the beginning of this year, because of further pressure on discount rates, consultancy Willis Towers Watson reported.But despite the development, funding ratios have remained relatively stable because corporates have made investment returns on their pensions assets of around 10%, the firm said in its report on German pensions finance for the third quarter of 2019.Heinke Conrads, leader of the firm’s German and Austrian retirement business, said: “The companies have had a strong headwind this year for their pension schemes from the development of interest rates, but also a strong tailwind through the positive development on capital markets.“Overall, it is clear that they have chosen their capital investment strategies well and were able to manage their pension schemes well,” she said.last_img read more

​Grandhood eyes UK market after Danish deal ups scalability

first_imgJon Lieberkind and Mathias Bredkjær, co-CEOs and founders of Grandhood“With the Velliv offering our customers can save unlimited with tax deduction in the ‘Livrente’ savings product,” he said.The Velliv collaboration will also allow Grandhood’s customers to choose their own risk profile and a pure ESG pension savings plan, he said.Rather than trying to offer a complete investment service as they had to start with, Lieberkind and Bredkjær said their firm would now concentrate on its strengths as a digital customer interface, while seeking established pensions investment and insurance companies to link up with in other national markets.They said the firm had not yet decided which country to tackle next, but that the UK did seem appealing for a number of reasons.Auto enrolment had made it compulsory for employers to include staff in a pension scheme unless workers opted out, the pair said, adding that the existence of the new system meant there was less need to educate the market about pensions.“Furthermore, we see room for competition with only Smart Pension trying to make a difference in the UK market for workplace pension solutions,” Lieberkind said.Other markets such as Holland, France and Spain could also be interesting as potential expansion locations, he said.“We are mainly looking for countries with strong private sector savings,” Bredkjær said.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. “In Denmark you need to hold a life insurance licence in order to be allowed to distribute lifetime annuity savings plans (Livrenter) and life insurance products. Banks are not allowed to deliver these products,” said the firm’s other co-CEO and founder Mathias Bredkjær.“If you want to be relevant and able to compete in the Danish workplace pension market, you need the complete financial product suite that only life insurance companies can offer,” said Lieberkind.With Velliv, he said, Grandhood could now enable customers to gather their legacy pension pots into the product, because it would be able to offer a combination of pure defined contribution (DC) and hybrid defined benefit products, whereas in the Saxo Bank setup it had only been able to offer a pure DC savings product with limited tax deductibility. Danish financial technology firm Grandhood said the deal cut last week with Velliv has turned its product into one that is more scalable and better suited to its international plans, in which the UK could be a prime target.Grandhood – formed in 2017 as a user-friendly digital pension product for entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – has now linked up with the long-established and recently-mutualised pension Danish provider to launch a new joint pension product in the fourth quarter of this year.Jon Lieberkind, co-chief executive officer and founder of Grandhood, told IPE: “We want to be the preferred pension partner for freelancers and SMEs globally, but our version 1.0 was not as scalable a solution as the 2.0 version we have now after the Velliv deal.”Up to now, Grandhood has been a licensed asset manager with a partnership with Denmark’s Saxo Bank, but with Velliv, it will become a life-insurance broker with a life-insurance company as its partner.last_img read more

Gold Coast mansion formerly home to property veteran Max Christmas sells at auction

first_imgIt has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms.“There were three registered bidders there and it was sold to a local buyer.“They’re going to move in.”The prominent property has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms with a pool, spa and cabana outside.There is also a separate guesthouse, boat house and jetty.Mr Paradise said the prestige market had been revitalised in recent weeks.“The prestige market is going from strength to strength,” he said.“In the prestige areas, I think there’s been more and more buyers after the election and more confidence out there.” There have been several failed attempts to sell the property over the past four years.It was built for property veteran and former councillor Max Christmas in the 1980s by Soheil Abedian, who co-founded development company Sunland Group.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa11 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days agoProperty records show it has been listed on the market several times in the past four years, at one point with a $9.85 million price tag.Ray White Prestige Gold Coast agent Jackson Paradise relisted the residence a month ago in a renewed push to sell it.“We just changed the (marketing) strategy and it worked,” he said. MORE NEWS: Buyer wastes no time snapping up waterfront home Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:44Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:44 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p288p288p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow to bid at auction for your dream home? 01:45 MORE NEWS: Unusual feature sells house A local buyer snapped up the sprawling residence. The mansion at 79-81 Commodore Drive, Paradise Waters, has sold for $5.3 million.A WATERFRONT mega-mansion that was once home to Gold Coast property kingpin Max Christmas has sold under the hammer – four years after it initially hit the market.Local buyers snapped up the Paradise Waters property on Commodore Drive for $5.3 million at Ray White Surfers Paradise Group’s mid year auction event on Thursday.The sale, which follows several failed attempts over the years, has resulted in a hefty profit for sellers Peter and Lisa Le Fanue, who paid $2.15 million for it 21 years ago. It was built for Gold Coast real estate pioneer Max Christmas in the 1980s.last_img read more

House Rules contestants sell Brisbane home after $200k reno

first_imgBen and Danielle Edgeworth were runners up in the TV series, House Rules. Picture: Tara Croser.THE Brisbane home of House Rules runners up Ben and Danielle Edgeworth has fetched more than double what the reality stars paid for it.The four-bedroom, two-bathroom property at 18 David Street was a runner-up on the 2015 series of the show and has just sold for $1.0825 million. Ben and Danielle Edgeworth have just sold their home in Morningside. Picture: Tara Croser.The house rules were simple — they wanted it styled “preppy eclectic” and with a mix of old and new pieces. The entry was to be quiet but showy, while they wanted to maintain a hint of “ski chalet” in the living room. The kitchen in the house at 18 David St, Morningside.And they wanted a dressing room “to die for”.Records show the couple paid $482,000 for the tired, brick house in 2011, but invested another $200,000 to revamp the floorplan after the show finished as they were unhappy with the end result.T More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours agoOne of the bathrooms in the house at 18 David St, Morningside.he had put it on the market with a price guide of between $1.075 million and $1.15 million.The couple is already on to another project, having bought a fixer-upper in the sought-after suburb of Bulimba for $820,000 in October.They also own another house in Morningside, which they paid $610,000 for in 2016. Inside the renovated home at 18 David St, Morningside.last_img read more

OGA Makes New Team Appointments

first_imgThe UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has expanded its leadership team with three recent appointments.Scott Robertson has been promoted to director of operations, and replaces Gunther Newcombe who will be retiring in March 2020.Robertson will be responsible for the OGA’s Exploration, Production, Decommissioning and Technology agenda. He joined the OGA in June 2015. In his previous role at the OGA, he developed and implemented the OGA’s Asset Stewardship Strategy and was responsible for stewarding the portfolio of oil and gas activity in the Central North Sea.Pauline Innes has been appointed as head of decommissioning. Innes has a background in the public sector, working for Scottish Government in social and economic policy before joining the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in 2015 to work in offshore oil and gas decommissioning.Alistair Macfarlane has been promoted to area manager – SNS and EIS. Alistair Macfarlane has been with the OGA since May 2016 as business development manager for the Central North Sea Team and was primarily involved in shaping and delivering the OGA’s work on Area Plans and providing commercial guidance to industry.last_img read more

Oldenburg Couple Accused Of Treatment Plant Theft

first_imgInvestigators say an Oldenburg couple was busted for theft while a 3-year-old child was in the vehicle with them.Officers received a call early Monday afternoon after workers at the waste water treatment plant in Batesville said they saw a man and woman stealing scrap metal from behind the property fence at the plant.When a worker approached the alleged culprits, police said the couple fled in their vehicle. The worker notified authorities and followed the suspects.Police caught up with the couple at the Newpoint Hotel on S.R. 46 where the suspects were arrested.According to Batesville Police Chief Stan Holt, items stolen from the treatment plant were recovered in the suspect’s car.Authorities say they arrested the driver of the vehicle, 24-year-old Sarah Harrison and passenger 23-year-old Omar Richardson, on a preliminary charge of theft (class D felony).A 3-year-old child was also in the vehicle during the time of arrest. Police hinted that Harrison may also face child neglect charges.last_img read more

IMCA Modifieds chase $10,000 top check at 141 Speedway’s Clash at the Creek

first_imgModified qualifying gets underway on Wednesday, June 17. Pit gates open at 2 p.m. and racing starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday grand­stand admission is $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and students; on Thursday, admission is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students.  The Clash is a Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot qualifying event and pays a minimum of $750 to start. Ken Schrader is among the early entries for the 12th annual special.  Pre-tech starts at noon and an open practice session runs from 6-9 p.m. on Tues­day, June 16. Pit passes are $20 and admission to the grandstand is free.  Kids ages 10 and under get in free when accompa­nying a paid adult and pit passes are $30 each day. IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing National, Side Biter Chassis North Central Region and EQ Cylinder Heads Northern Region and Wisconsin State points will be awarded. FRANCIS CREEK, Wis. – Prestige, bragging rights and a top check of $10,000 are on the line when IMCA Modified drivers from across the country converge on 141 Speedway for the Wednesday and Thursday, June 17-18 Clash at the Creek. IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars and Karl Kustoms Northern SportMods race for $1,000 to win both nights at Francis Creek. Modified pre-registration of $215 can be paid and tickets purchased at myracepass.com. Free camping with showers is available and the Left Turn Lounge will be open daily.  More infor­mation about the Clash at the Creek, includ­ing host hotels, is available by calling 920 360-5925 and at the track website, www.141speedway.com.last_img read more

Time’s key for Van Persie

first_img United are facing the prospect of missing out on the Champions League – and the Premier League title looks beyond them already as they are 11 points behind leaders Arsenal, as well as being out of the FA Cup. The club’s struggle to maintain the level of the Sir Alex Ferguson years has been mirrored by a drop in the value of the club’s shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Robin van Persie admits Manchester United have dropped too many points this season but is convinced that manager David Moyes will turn things around. “You are always stronger, in any sport, in life, when you are doing stuff together. With a player of Wayne’s calibre, we can go from strength to strength, and we can become even better. One game he will score a couple, the next game I will score a couple. It is important that this partnership is becoming even stronger.” He added: “In a way we are both ‘nine-and-a-halves’, because we can play high up front and we can drop. That is an extra quality we have, which is quite rare. “If you look around you have loads of main strikers, target men, foxes-in-the-boxes, and you have number 10s who are dropping in more. “With us it’s not obvious because we can both do that job. Wayne is doing a bit more, because he is playing behind me, but we can both do it.” The shares hit 14.75 US dollars (£9.02) early on Thursday, the lowest point of the last 12 months, before then recovering to 15.16 dollars (£9.27). It means the paper value of the club has declined by more than £250million compared to last May. However, Holland striker Van Persie is certain that, given time, Moyes will succeed. He said on guardian.co.uk: “I think he needs time like everyone, especially if you are new at such a big club. “And to be fair, I don’t think people don’t understand that they have to give him a little bit more time, and I am talking about fans or even us. He will get that time and everyone is convinced that we will change things sooner than later.” He added: “We lost many points this season, too many in our opinion, because if you want to go for all the trophies, you have to play better and get more wins in – but we are doing everything we can to change that. “The manager is our leading man in that case and he is trying his best and I think he will turn things around.” In a separate interview with uefa.com, Van Persie said his partnership with Wayne Rooney is going from strength to strength despite the strikers favouring the same position. He said: “We realise that we are stronger when we are playing together, as a partnership. Press Associationlast_img read more

IRS says stimulus payments will begin next week

first_imgThe Internal Revenue Service announced on Friday that some stimulus payments will start going out next week. People who have filed tax returns for 2018 or 2019, and have an authorized direct deposit on file will be the first to see the money.Social Security beneficiaries will also receive their payments automatically. Those payments will go out “in the near future,” the IRS said Friday.Those who have not filed their tax returns, or have authorized direct deposits will have to wait weeks or even months before seeing their money.The IRS also said next week they will launch a web portal that will give people whose bank account information is not on file with the agency the ability to submit it in order to get their stimulus payments faster, without waiting for paper checks. It will also help people check on the status of their payments.last_img read more