Triple Moving Average Crossover
|Bid||19.45 x 1300|
|Ask||19.62 x 800|
|Day's Range||18.95 - 20.52|
|52 Week Range||13.12 - 46.90|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.79|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||May 06, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.96 (4.91%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Mar 12, 2020|
|1y Target Est||20.30|
Nickelodeon has inked a deal with Scooter Braun’s SB Projects to bring the musical stylings of The BeatBuds to TV with a brand-new animated preschool series based on the popular kids’ music duo. Each episode of The BeatBuds (working title) will follow the musical adventures of Jonny, Matty and the rest of the ‘Buds, and feature an original song. Written by Evan Sinclair (Ryan’s Mystery Playdate, The Aquabats! Super Show!), The BeatBuds short-form series (10 episodes) will begin production this summer and premiere on Nickelodeon’s preschool platforms in 2021.
Today, BET announces an array of high impact initiatives to support communities of color impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Americans are being disproportionately harmed by the health and financial devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic. BET, in partnership with the NAACP, United Way Worldwide, leaders in the African American creative, civil rights and business communities will provide critical financial, educational and community support directly to the African Americans hardest hit by this crisis.
ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) announced today that on Thursday, May 7, 2020, it will issue financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2020. The company will conduct a conference call at 8:30 a.m. (ET), following the release of its earnings materials.
VIACOMCBS NETWORKS TO AIR "ONE WORLD: TOGETHER AT HOME," A GLOBAL SPECIAL TO CELEBRATE AND SUPPORT FRONTLINE HEALTHCARE WORKERS
ViacomCBS Inc. (Nasdaq: VIACA; VIAC) ("ViacomCBS") and beIN MEDIA GROUP ("beIN") today announced the closing of the previously announced MIRAMAX transaction. ViacomCBS has acquired a 49% stake in MIRAMAX, the global film and television studio, while beIN retains a 51% stake in the company. MIRAMAX’s current leadership team will continue in their existing roles.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- What was once sacrosanct is no more. Apple Inc. seems to have blinked.Late Wednesday, Bloomberg News reported that Apple has relaxed its rules requiring a 30% cut for any content sold inside video apps on its iOS platform. The tech giant said its program allows “premium subscription video” providers the ability to charge consumers directly using their own payment systems without paying a commission to Apple.For customers of Amazon.com Inc., which started taking advantage of the change on Wednesday, it means Amazon’s Prime Video subscribers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, can now buy or rent video content using the e-commerce company’s app on Apple’s platforms. Amazon.com Inc. had previously only allowed video purchases outside of Apple’s ecosystem, such as its website. Canal+, owned by Vivendi SA, and Altice USA Inc.’s Altice One had already joined Apple’s program in recent years.As recently as last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS News the company didn’t have a dominant position in any market. But analysts have said Apple’s App Store may be the one business where it actually had excessive power over developers, because of the steep commission it was able to demand in exchange for allowing their apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions to be sold on its platforms. (The 30% subscription fee is lowered to 15% after the first year.)The Apple App Store’s high commission structure has been infuriating for many companies. In 2019, music-streaming company Spotify Technology SA filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, while Epic Games Inc. CEO Tim Sweeney, whose company makes Fortnite, has consistently railed against Apple’s commission structure as unjustified. Netflix Inc. even abandoned using Apple’s payment system altogether to avoid the fee in 2018.Why did Apple budge? Perhaps it’s a move to preempt further pressure from regulators. Whatever the reason, once the first step is made toward lower fees, there is no turning back.It’s only a matter time before other companies such as Netflix, Spotify and countless others ask for better terms as well. Lower middle-man fees can also be good news for consumers if it leads to lower prices, too.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tae Kim is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Barron's, following an earlier career as an equity analyst.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
When you ask any 90s kid which parts of their childhood they are most fond of, you may be surprised at one common factor they all share: watching cartoons on the weekends. ViacomCBS Inc (NASDAQ:VIAC), which owns Nickelodeon, a popular pay television channel which broadcasts many nostalgic children’s cartoons, is a high dividend yielding, low […]
Ollie, his two best friends and an otherworldly backpack embark on monstrous adventures with the premiere of Nickelodeon’s original action-comedy series, Ollie’s Pack, on Monday, April 6 at 4:00 P.M. (ET/PT). Produced by Nelvana, the 26-episode, 2D-animated series combines the struggles of tween life with the responsibility of controlling an entire dimension of monsters. Nickelodeon will air premiere episodes of Ollie’s Pack Mondays through Thursdays the weeks of April 6 and April 13. The series is slated to debut internationally later this year, reaching over 170 countries and territories.
(Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he expects to have a small business loan program up and running in the coming week while workers can expect aid from the $2 trillion stimulus package in the form of direct deposits or checks in about three weeks.The administration is focused on getting money out quickly, Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday,” one of two television appearances for the day. “That’s a combination of small business loans that will be available this week” and checks to households which he called “bridge checks.”“Any FDIC bank, any credit union, any fintech lender will be authorized to make these loans” to a small business subject to certain approvals, Mnuchin said.Meanwhile, Agustin Carstens, head of the Bank for International Settlements, called on banks worldwide to suspend dividend payments, for now, to focus on what he called “the last mile” of getting money out to small businesses. Mnuchin was the White House’s lead negotiator on a $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed into law by President Donald Trump Friday to buffer the economy against the wide-scale shutdown and joblessness as the coronavirus swept through the country.The magnitude of the economic devastation being wrought by the coronavirus pandemic was laid bare on Thursday when the U.S. government reported an unprecedented surge in the number of people seeking jobless benefits.Wall Street’s RoleA total of 3.28 million people filed for unemployment insurance in the week ended March 21, dwarfing previous highs in Labor Department reports published since 1967.In a separate interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation,” Mnuchin said the stimulus package should provide economic relief to workers and business for about eight to ten weeks.Unlike the Troubled Asset Relief Program, where the Treasury compelled banks to beef up their capital during the financial crisis, Mnuchin told CBS, “We are not going to force money on any companies.”The firms have to request aid, he said, and the Wall Street banks helping to manage the assistance will be working for “very reduced rates.”Lawmakers are urging the administration to get the funds out quickly. Senator Mike Crapo, an Idaho Republican who is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, wrote to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Mnuchin Saturday, urging both to “work quickly” to issue guidance so that “businesses -- including small and medium-sized businesses -- states, municipalities and Tribes, understand what programs and facilities are available.”Suspend DividendsThe Fed has announced its intention to launch a Main Street Lending Facility to loan directly to medium-sized businesses while the stimulus bill recommends support for the markets that finance states and municipalities.Carstens, chief executive officer of the BIS, a coordinator for global central banks based in Basel, Switzerland, said banks worldwide should suspend all dividend and stock buyback programs to retain more capital for lending as he called for stronger forms of credit support.“The U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to enter the corporate bond market marks a bold step in the right direction,” Carstens wrote in a column for the Financial Times this weekend. “But more may still be needed to build the last mile to the small businesses at the end of the line.”Carstens recommended a government-guaranteed loan program equal to the amount of taxes small businesses paid in 2019 that could be securitizes and then refinanced through the central bank. The stimulus bill already outlines how lending should be conducted for small business and lists payroll costs as one criteria.(Updates with BIS chief Carstens in final three paragraphs)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
ViacomCBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) today announced that it has agreed to sell $1.25 billion in aggregate principal amount of 4.750% senior notes due 2025 at a price equal to 99.498% of the principal amount thereof (the "2025 Senior Notes") and $1.25 billion in aggregate principal amount of 4.950% senior notes due 2031 at a price equal to 98.036% of the principal amount thereof (the "2031 Senior Notes" and, together with the 2025 Senior Notes, the "Senior Notes"). The sale of the Senior Notes is expected to close on April 1, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions.
Nickelodeon will present KidsTogether: The Nickelodeon Town Hall, an exclusive hour-long special offering a kid’s-eye view of life today amid COVID-19, on Monday, March 30, at 7 p.m. (ET/PT). Hosted by actress Kristen Bell (The Good Place, Frozen, Veronica Mars) and featuring a performance by Alicia Keys, the special will directly address kids’ questions and concerns, include tips and insights from medical experts on ways to be healthy, and give first-person accounts from kids and families around the country who are social distancing and making changes to their everyday lives and relationships.
National Amusements, Inc. (NAI) and its wholly-owned subsidiary NAI Entertainment Holdings LLC (NAIEH) today announced that it has reached an agreement with its lenders to amend its credit facility. Following this amendment, NAI will have a revolving facility of $125 million and ample liquidity, in addition to its substantial cash reserves, to fund operations of NAIEH, which includes its theater business. NAI will not sell stock in ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIAC, VIACA) and does not intend to pledge additional stock of ViacomCBS, which remains at existing levels.
(Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank will maintain its muscular efforts to support the flow of credit in the U.S. economy as Americans hunker down from the coronavirus pandemic.“We will keep doing that aggressively and forthrightly, as we have been,” Powell said Thursday in a Fed chief’s first-ever interview on NBC’s “Today” show. “When it comes to this lending we’re not going to run out of ammunition. That doesn’t happen.”Over the past three weeks, the U.S. central bank has introduced an unprecedented series of measures, pushing it deep into uncharted territory as it seeks to cushion the blow of the coronavirus on financial markets and the U.S. economy.The steps include massive bond purchases, emergency facilities to bolster credit markets, actions with foreign central banks to ease the supply of dollars worldwide, and programs for lending directly to American businesses.“We know that economic activity will decline probably substantially in the second quarter,” Powell said, adding that people were intentionally withdrawing from normal life to protect their health.That might mean the U.S. entering a recession, the Fed chief conceded, but argued it would be temporary.“This is a unique situation, this is not a typical downturn,” Powell said. “At a certain point we will get the spread of the virus under control and at that time confidence will return. Businesses will reopen again, people will come back to work.”His NBC interviewer, Savannah Guthrie, later confirmed in a tweet that it was the first time a Fed chair had ever appeared on the Today show in its 68-year history, in a emblematic sign of the extraordinary times facing the country.Powell emphasized that note of optimism, saying, “You may well see significant rises in unemployment, significant declines in economic activity, but there can also be a good rebound on the other side of that.”Powell appeared to distance himself from President Donald Trump’s position that the U.S. should perhaps seek a quick reopening of the economy because the clampdown on normal activity may cause more harm than the virus.‘Listen to the Experts’“We would tend to listen to the experts. Dr. Fauci said something like, the virus is going to set the timetable,” he said, referring to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “That sounds right to me. The sooner we get the spread of the virus under control, people will regain confidence.”The Fed chief also pointed to the $2 trillion aid bill approved last night in the U.S. Senate that’s on its way to the House of Representatives today.“This bill that’s just passed is going to try to provide relief and stability,” he said. The legislation contains additional funds for the U.S. Treasury that can be used to boost the Fed’s lending firepower, he said, while the central bank’s actions will also lay the groundwork for a speedy economic recovery.Boost Recovery“The Federal Reserve is working hard to support you now,” he said. “Our policies will be very important when the recovery does come to make that recovery as strong as possible.”Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Plc in New York, said looking past the second quarter was the right way to think about the challenge. “We can’t avoid taking an economic hit,” he said. “We can prevent some of the nastier second-round of effects like large-scale layoffs or a credit crunch.”The appearance on the popular morning show as many Americans are stuck in their homes marks the Fed chief’s first public remarks since he held an emergency Sunday evening press briefing by teleconference on March 15 to announce the central bank had slashed interest rates to almost zero.Public communication for Fed chairs has for decades been carefully choreographed, given the weight that even subtle signals can carry for investors.Powell gave only one other TV interview as chair, on CBS’s “60 Minutes.” Ben Bernanke, who led the Fed during the financial crisis, made his own rare appearance on “60 Minutes” in March 2009. Former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan curbed on-the-record interviews with the press after his 1987 appearance on ABC’s “This Week with David Brinkley” caused stocks to drop.(Updates with comments from Powell from seventh paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
ViacomCBS (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC) and Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP) today announced a multi-year deal to renew affiliation agreements for all seven of its CBS Affiliates, including three top 25 market affiliates, WGCL in Atlanta, GA; KPHO in Phoenix, AZ; and KMOV in St. Louis, MO. The seven markets combined reach 7 percent of the U.S. audience serving more than 7.6 million television households.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ford Motor Co. announced a three-pronged effort on Tuesday to help the U.S. bolster its supply of life-saving medical equipment needed to combat the coronavirus. Even as its North American factories remain shuttered for traditional car-making work, Ford is partnering with General Electric Co. to scale up production of that company’s ventilators; it’s working with 3M Co. to manufacture respirators; and its United Auto Workers employees will assemble more than 100,000 plastic face shields a week. It was an impressive show of goodwill, especially for a company whose bloated balance sheet places it among those most vulnerable from a looming, sharp economic downturn.And it’s not going to be enough. Ford expects the first ventilators from its GE partnership — simplified models of what the industrial giant usually makes — to be ready by early June, CEO Jim Hackett told CBS This Morning on Tuesday. Just hours later, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference and warned that the coronavirus is spreading faster in the state than previously anticipated, putting the area on course to hit the apex of cases in as soon as 14 days. At that point, it will need 140,000 total hospital beds and an additional 30,000 ventilators. “You cannot buy them, you cannot find them. Every state is trying to get them, other countries are trying to get them,” Cuomo said of ventilators. While the governor said it’s admirable that companies such as Ford and General Motors Co. are willing to get into the business, “it does us no good if they start to create a ventilator in three weeks or four weeks or five weeks.”Therein lies the problem. On March 16, I wrote about how America needed to once again marshal its great arsenal of democracy and put the nation’s manufacturers to work producing the tools needed to fight the coronavirus. In the absence of leadership by the Trump administration, manufacturers would have to take it upon themselves to fill the void, I wrote. In the days since, I’ve been genuinely awestruck by the reports of companies taking up the call. But the truth is, the void is too big for industry to fill on its own.President Donald Trump has been reluctant to use the 1950s-era Defense Production Act that gives the government the power to press U.S. industry into service on matters of national need, preferring to orchestrate contributions on a volunteer basis. He did invoke it on Tuesday with regard to production of testing kits and masks, but that fails to address a crucial shortage in ventilators. It’s great that companies are willing to help on this front without being explicitly ordered to do so, but you still need some sort of a plan. Timing is one issue, with Cuomo arguing a more forceful implementation of the Defense Production Act that gave manufacturers the startup capital needed to repurpose factories could help speed things along. Another is that there are many smaller companies who may not have the capacity to make entire ventilators like Ford can, but could make parts or offer services, if only someone would give them some direction and organize them into workable partnerships. Perhaps the biggest is the question of distribution, as my colleague Joe Nocera has written: Who decides where the ventilators go once they are manufactured? Apart from the Ford partnership, GE has doubled its capacity of ventilator production since the start of the coronavirus crisis and plans to double it again in the second quarter. That is incredible and commendable. But who gets them? New York, which has the most cases in the U.S.? GE’s home state of Massachusetts? One of the many other countries around the world where GE does business? The government that’s willing to pay the most for them? I’m not trying to cast doubts on GE’s good intentions here, but these are impossible decisions for any company to make on its own. The federal government is sitting on a stockpile of 20,000 ventilators but has been reluctant to deploy all of those to New York, Cuomo said, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency offering a mere 400. “What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000?” he said. “You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die because you only sent 400 ventilators.” One argument made by the New York Times as to why Trump has been reluctant to apply the Defense Production Act more forcefully is because he doesn’t want to be blamed for how slowly shortages of protective gear and ventilators are addressed. Worded a different way, if true, he is shifting responsibility for that to CEOs who are simply trying to help their country in any way they can, and that is unsustainable. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brooke Sutherland is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and industrial companies. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said Sunday night on CBS’s “60 Minutes” that “there is an infinite amount of cash in the Federal Reserve. We will do whatever we need to do to make sure there’s enough cash in the banking system.”Roughly 12 hours later, the central bank backed up those words with its most aggressive action yet to combat the coronavirus-induced credit crunch. In a statement Monday morning, it announced open-ended purchases of U.S. Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities. The Fed will buy “in the amounts needed to support the smooth functioning of markets for Treasury securities and agency MBS.” Just a week ago, it had suggested caps of $500 billion of Treasuries and $200 billion of agency MBS. Large numbers, to be sure, but not quite a “whatever it takes” promise.But that’s not all. The Fed unveiled details about several other programs, which will provide up to $300 billion in new financing, including a Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, which allows the central bank unprecedented access to the U.S. credit markets. The Treasury will make an initial $10 billion investment in this special-purpose vehicle, which can then purchase corporate bonds rated triple-B or higher with no more than five years until maturity. Notably, it can also buy U.S.-listed exchange-traded funds that “provide broad exposure to the market for U.S. investment grade corporate bonds.”The Fed actually announced several more measures, but the moves to address the chaos in Treasuries and corporate bonds are likely the most immediately significant. That’s because a look at the debt markets since the collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. shows that it’s governmental and nonfinancial corporate obligations that have ballooned in the past decade. So it’s no wonder that they’re responsible for straining the financial system this time around.During the weekend, I read “Firefighting: The Financial Crisis and Its Lessons,” by Ben S. Bernanke, Timothy F. Geithner and Henry M. Paulson Jr. I was struck by these lines in the introduction: “Financial crises recur in part because memories fade.”“It was fueled, as crises usually are, by a credit boom, in which many families as well as financial institutions became dangerously overleveraged, financing themselves almost entirely with debt. The danger was heightened because so much risk had migrated to financial institutions that operated outside the constraints and protections of the traditional banking system.”“The financial panic paralyzed credit and shattered confidence in the broader economy, and the resulting job losses and foreclosures in turn created more panic in the financial system.”Note how “families” and “financial institutions” are singled out as taking on too much leverage heading into 2008. No one denies that. But as I showed in this data visualization, households and banks haven’t increased their debt as a percentage of gross domestic product in the past decade. Whether because of increased regulations or simply because they were burned last time around, they’ve been relatively prudent with taking on debt.The same can’t be said of nonfinancial corporations. Encouraged by rock-bottom interest rates from the Fed, Corporate America ramped up its borrowing, with companies in many cases willingly allowing their credit ratings to slide and using debt proceeds to buy back stock. The market value of the Bloomberg Barclays investment-grade corporate bond index, a proxy for the size of the broad market, has grown from about $1.8 trillion in October 2008 to more than $6 trillion as of this month. The Institute of International Finance estimates that global nonfinancial corporate debt has grown by some $27 trillion since the 2008 crisis.When writing about this in September 2018, when the Fed was still raising interest rates and trimming its balance sheet, I said that “all the talk about global central banks beginning a ‘great unwind’ of their extraordinary monetary stimulus is positively quaint,” given the buildup in debt over the decade. Monday’s extraordinary actions by the Fed, in truth, never seemed a matter of “if,” but rather “when” and “why.” The vast sums of bonds sloshing around in the financial system would be too great during times of stress not to cause precisely what Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson saw in 2008: “Paralyzed credit and shattered confidence in the broader economy.”There will be time later for Fed Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, among others, to reflect upon their time leading crucial U.S. institutions through this period. Like their predecessors, they’ll probably note that some companies became dangerously overleveraged and couldn’t withstand the economic shock from the coronavirus outbreak. That conveniently skims over the conditions that encouraged the huge debt buildup in the first place. But retrospection does the Fed little good in the moment. “Once it’s clear that a crisis is truly systemic, underreacting is much more dangerous that overreacting,” Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson concluded. The markets and the economy have reached that level of systemic risk. So Powell and his colleagues, learning from the lessons of 2008, stand ready to do near-infinite quantitative easing and whip up as many new facilities as needed across markets to restore stability. The time for worrying about doing too much passed the moment the central bank announced a 100-basis-point interest-rate cut less than three days before its scheduled decision.Technically, $250 trillion of debt isn’t infinite. But it’s far more than the global financial system can handle when staring down an unknowable economic shock. The markets have always seen the Fed as having virtually unlimited power. In a world full of leverage, we’re witnessing the central bank deploy the heavy artillery like never before.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Two crisis-veteran Federal Reserve officials said the central bank has plenty of room for more moves following a flurry of action last week to cushion the economic wallop from coronavirus-related shutdowns, flagging corporate bonds and state and local governments as two areas for potential assistance.“Everything is on the table” for the Fed as far as additional lending programs, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who took office in April 2008, said in a telephone interview Sunday. He warned U.S. unemployment may hit 30% in the second quarter, with an unprecedented drop in gross domestic product that he said could halve to $2.5 trillion during the three-month period.Neel Kashkari, the Minneapolis Fed president who helped oversee the government’s response to the financial crisis as a Treasury official in 2008, told CBS that “we’re far from out of ammunition.”Congressional WranglingThe comments preceded Sunday’s vote by Senate Democrats to block Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s attempt to advance a coronavirus economic rescue package, putting in question McConnell’s plan for the Senate to pass the bill Monday. U.S. stock futures plummeted as leaders in both chambers failed to reach agreement on how to spend nearly $2 trillion.The bill already envisions a more expansive role for the Fed. It would authorize the Treasury to use $425 billion “to make loans, loan guarantees, and other investments in support of programs or facilities established by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the purpose of providing liquidity to the financial system that supports lending to eligible businesses, states or municipalities.”Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo told Bloomberg News that the legislation would let the Fed lend to, and buy debt from, state and local governments.“There is more that we can do if necessary” with existing emergency authority, Bullard said. “There is probably much more in the months ahead depending on where Congress wants to go.”Bullard said the Fed has “unlimited” potential to buy government debt following a commitment to purchase at least $500 billion in Treasuries.Careful ApproachThe Fed could look at buying other corporate debt, as well as some types of municipal debt. At the same time, he said the Fed would need to be careful with such a program, and it could be problematic to pick and choose which debt to buy, just as European authorities have struggled with purchasing sovereign debt.The St. Louis Fed’s view of the virus-related shutdowns on the economy is more dire than Wall Street. JPMorgan Chase & Co. expects gross domestic product to shrink at an annualized rate of 14% in the April-June period while Bank of America Corp. and Oxford Economics both see a 12% drop.Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sees a 24% plunge. Morgan Stanley economists said in a report to clients on Sunday that they now expect the economy to shrink a record 30.1% in the second quarter, driving up unemployment to an average of 12.8% over the period.More SupportThe Fed and other bank regulators said in a statement late Sunday that they were encouraging banks to modify loan terms for customers affected by the coronavirus, such as by offering payment deferrals and extensions.Kashkari said “there is a range of things the Federal Reserve could do” now.“Some people have suggested that we should be providing more support directly to the corporate bond market -- and I’m sympathetic with those views -- and also the municipal market, making sure that states and cities are able to access the capital markets as well,” he said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” recorded Thursday and aired Sunday evening.Kashkari said the key lessons from the 2008 experience were that policy makers “should all be erring on the side of overreacting to try to avoid the worst economic outcomes,” which means going big with the relief package and not worrying about how targeted the measures are.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve can and probably will do more to support financial markets and the economy after rolling out a string of aggressive interventions over the past week, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said.“Some people have suggested that we should be providing more support directly to the corporate bond market -- and I’m sympathetic with those views -- and also the municipal market, making sure that states and cities are able to access the capital markets as well,” Kashkari said in an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” recorded Thursday and aired Sunday evening.“There is a range of things the Federal Reserve could do,” Kashkari, the former Treasury official who oversaw the bank bailouts in 2008, said. “We’re far from out of ammunition.”Financial markets have come under severe stress in recent weeks amid investor panic over the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the U.S. economy.Fed officials intervened on March 15 by slashing short-term interest rates to essentially zero and restarting bond-buying programs to pump hundreds of billions of dollars of cash into the banking system.Over the past week, they’ve also redeployed a number of crisis-era emergency lending facilities in a bid to keep credit flowing throughout the economy.The moves haven’t been enough to assuage investors, who continued to sell Sunday evening when stock futures markets reopened. Congressional leaders haven’t yet come to an agreement on emergency economic relief over the weekend as government-mandated lockdowns spread across the country, shuttering businesses and idling millions of workers.Kashkari said the key lessons from the 2008 experience were that policy makers “should all be erring on the side of overreacting to try to avoid the worst economic outcomes,” which means going big with the relief package and not worrying about how targeted the measures are.“My advice to Congress, as they’re designing their programs to help workers and to help small businesses: err on being generous,” he said.Earlier Sunday, speaking in a Bloomberg News interview, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard warned that unemployment could soar to a record-high 30% in the second quarter -- and the economy could shrink by 50% -- if lawmakers don’t formulate an adequate response to the crisis.(Adds comments from Kashkari starting in eighth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Government watchdog groups have called for investigations by ethics officials, prosecutors and regulators of sales of stock by senators briefed in January on the coronavirus threat.Still, enforcement experts say that the trades are unlikely to lead to direct regulatory or legal sanctions, leaving it to ethics officials and voters to decide whether the senators crossed the line.Republican Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina, Kelly Loeffler of Georgia, and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, as well as Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California, have defended the transactions, asserting they weren’t related to any information they received as part of their congressional duties.While critics of the sales have questioned the legality of the trades, John Britt, a retired Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement attorney who spent three decades at the agency, said there’s little chance authorities could bring a successful insider trading case here. Burr -- who has called on the Senate ethics committee to review the trades -- had been receiving periodic classified briefings about the virus and its potential impact in the U.S. as chairman of the intelligence committee, but many investors had already been adjusting their portfolios as they tried to assess the market impact.“There was plenty of public information available and the markets were already frothy,” Britt said. “Based on what we now know, he walks.”Burr Invites Ethics Probe of Stock Sales After Virus UpdatesWhile Burr has said he’ll retire when his term ends in 2022, the others may need to explain the trades to voters.Loeffler is seen as being at particular risk politically from the controversy. She faces a special election in November after being sworn in two months ago to replace a Georgia senator who retired early citing his health problems. Loeffler, who is married to New York Stock Exchange chairman Jeffrey Sprecher, is already locked in a primary battle with Representative Doug Collins, President Donald Trump’s favorite to fill the empty seat.Collins seized on the news, tweeting “People are losing their jobs, their businesses, their retirements, and even their lives and Kelly Loeffler is profiting off their pain?”Loeffler defended her actions in an interview on Bloomberg TV, saying, “I’ve made extra careful precautions to comply not just with the letter of the law but with the spirit of the law.”She said any investment decisions are handled by a third party and “if anyone reaches out, I will be completely responsive.”Inhofe, who is also up for re-election in November, also said an adviser handles his investments and that he has no direct input since asking the adviser to begin moving him out of stocks in December 2018.Feinstein doesn’t go back before voters until 2024. She and her husband sold between $1.5 million and $6 million in a cancer therapy company Allogene Therapeutics, she said, calling it a small part of their portfolio. Feinstein and Inhofe said they didn’t attend the January briefing, a classified session in January with top U.S. public health officials on the looming crisis that preceded some of the sales the senators disclosed.“During my Senate career I’ve held all assets in a blind trust of which I have no control,” Feinstein tweeted. “Reports that I sold any assets are incorrect.”The Stocks Senators Unloaded Before the Coronavirus CrashUntil the STOCK Act (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) was passed in 2012, members of Congress were exempt from the insider-trading laws that governed the marketplace. The act was designed to prevent them from benefiting from access to market-moving information ahead of the general public.Its passage followed a series of media reports, including an expose by the CBS program “60 Minutes,” that showed how members of Congress with oversight of industries such as financial services, defense contracting and health care reaped huge gains through well-timed trades in the market.Senator Mike Braun, a Republican from Indiana, said the four will need to explain whether they followed ethical guidelines to prevent insider trading.“Some have had it so they weren’t involved in it, had it in a blind trust and so forth,” Braun said. “That’s what you’re supposed to do, ethically. And you’ll still be required to talk about it in an atmosphere like we’ve got here.”If assets were actively traded by the senators in question rather than in a blind trust, he added, “then I think that’s a little harder discussion.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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