– Advertisement – What’s needed in addition to a robust stimulus package is a comprehensive overhaul of the safety net, one that includes attention to one of the worst chronic economic problems: inequality. The Economic Policy Institute has generated a set of recommendations together with other experts and activists: The wedge between what workers are being paid and the ability we have to pay workers higher wages (or the amount of income generated in an average hour of work, also known as productivity) has grown enormously since the 1970s. Instead of going to workers, the benefits of our increasingly productive economy have gone to corporate and business executives and holders of wealth. […]This wedge is not a sad accident of apolitical market forces. It is the predictable outcome of intentional policy choices that aimed to redistribute economic leverage and bargaining power upward and away from typical workers. There was no one single piece of legislation that did this; instead it was the accumulation of dozens, if not hundreds, of policy choices made in the form of legislation, regulatory changes, and administrative decisions that consistently put a thumb on the scale of the conflict over who would see benefits from economic growth.- Advertisement – Short of a new congressional stimulus package that extends the duration the unemployed covered by both programs can collect benefits, Americans laid off in March who are still without work will see those checks from the government disappear in the middle of next month. That’s because most states provide a maximum of 26 weeks of benefits. The federal government has added 13 more weeks. For those who lost their jobs in March, that means a loss of benefits in mid-December when their 39 weeks expire.A stimulus bill before year’s end is now a possibility since Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has retreated from his Oct. 30 remark that this is “something we’ll need to do right at the beginning of the year.” At a Wednesday news conference, McConnell said, “I think we need to do it and I think we need to do it before the end of the year. I think now that the election’s over the need is there and we need to sit down and work this out. This [virus] is not going to go away until we kill it. So that’s job one.” Displaying yet another example of the bloody hypocrisy that doesn’t seem to bother the Kentucky voters who gave him another six years to carry out his agenda, McConnell added: “We need another rescue package. Hopefully the partisan passions that prevented us from doing another rescue package will subside with the election.” – Advertisement – Unfortunately, the way even the best 2020 election outcome looks now, making fresh “intentional policy choices” that transform the economy for the benefit of the vast majority of Americans who must work for a living isn’t going to be on the agenda for next couple of years. But that doesn’t mean we should shut up about it for the time being. Rather we should relentlessly pound on the need for serious changes, small ones and big ones alike, to end our chronic economic problems. Meanwhile, of course, we’ve got the acute problem created by the Pandemic Recession to deal with. Clearly, that’s going to be a fight for crumbs if McConnell has his way. The Senate returns from recess on Monday, Nov. 9.The Wall Street Journal reported:Mr. McConnell said he would support including more funding for schools, hospitals and a popular small-business loan program, but not a more sweeping proposal that Democrats have sought. […][A]ny negotiations seem more likely to start from the narrower approach pushed by Senate Republicans. That could leave out some key Democratic priorities, such as significant aid to state governments, more detailed plans for a national coronavirus testing strategy and removal of the cap on state and local tax deductions. Republicans are more likely to back assistance for small businesses and tax credits for retaining employees.“If Republicans weren’t willing to spend more than $1 trillion even in the heat of a re-election battle, where it could benefit President Trump, I see almost no chance they would support a trillion-dollar plan after the election or next year, when there’s less political heat,” said Brian Riedl, a senior fellow at the right-leaning Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.
The shareholders of Beni Stabili Gestioni SGR, Investire Immobiliare SGR and Polaris Real Estate SGR have approved a merger between the three Italian fund managers.The move will create a new entity with €7bn of institutional assets under management and a portfolio of more than 30 funds.The new company will focus mainly on social housing, as announced by Fondazione Cariplo, majority shareholder of Polaris Real Estate SGR.It is expected the merged company will be the second-largest real estate fund manager in the country after IDeA Fimit. The merger between the three managers was announced earlier this year.Last week, the shareholders signed a final agreement outlining the governance and ownership structure of the new company, which is expected to start operating in January 2015 after regulators give a final go-ahead.Mediobanca and Lazard are acting as advisers within the transaction, according to reports in Italian media.The agreement was signed by Beni Stabili, the listed owner of Beni Stabili SGR, Banca Finnat Euramerica, which controls Investire Immobiliare SGR, and the shareholders of Polaris Real Estate SGR, which are Fondazione Cariplo, Italian surveyors’ pension scheme CIPAG and Fondazione Cassa di dei Risparmi di Forlì.An SGR (società di gestione del risparmio) is a platform dedicated to managing real estate funds under local regulations for institutional investors.Beni Stabili, an Italian REIT (or SIIQ) has been in the news recently as its board approved a €150m capital increase and new bank loans worth €500m, aimed at repaying debt used to finance a property portfolio leased to Telecom Italia.