What’s Happening in the News: April 27, 2020

Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

It’s been another record-setting week in the world of finance as the government continues to try to limit the effects of the coronavirus on the economy. Whether you’re running a business or just managing your personal resources, we hope the help has been meaningful for you. And we hope you enjoy this week’s links.

A Change of Scenery

You might assume that travel is at a standstill because of the coronavirus. Some rural areas, though, are seeing an uptick in city-dwelling visitors hoping to wait out the quarantine in more pleasant surroundings. It may sound nice, but such areas often barely have adequate medical (and other) services for their own small, local populations. Police in Derbyshire, U.K. have gotten so creative as to dye their popular Buxton Blue Lagoon (seen below) black to keep visitors away! While not everyone has taken such drastic measures, governments and rural citizens from Australia to New York are united in asking people to please stay home–even if your home isn’t in an area you’d like to stay in.

Buxton Blue lagoon closed

Changing More Than Scenery

Beyond looking for a scenic place to stay, prospective homebuyers are becoming more interested in rural properties for sale, as well, according to real estate brokerage Redfin. CEO Glenn Kelman notes that it’s “a flip from where it’s been for the longest time, where everybody wanted to live in the city. We’ll see how it comes back, but there seems to be a profound, psychological change among consumers who are looking for houses.”

More Help for Businesses and Families

We’ve seen a lot of relief measures taken by the U.S. government over the last month to protect citizens and the economy, and lawmakers are still getting creative with possible ways to help out. Last week, Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota proposed the drastic measure of cancelling all rent and mortgage payments for primary residences for an entire year. In her plan, the government would pay back landlords and lenders for their lost income during that year, while also creating an affordable housing fund for non-profits, public housing authorities, cooperatives, community land trusts, and states or local governments to purchase private rental properties to help create more affordable housing.

Protecting Paycheck Protection

More help for small businesses is making its way through Congress as well. Another $484 billion dollars in relief may be coming to help the small business loan program and Paycheck Protection Plan, as well as hospitals.

Setting More Records

The Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility, which loans money to banks so they can loan it to small businesses, used $8 billion dollars in its first week. And that’s only one part of the Federal Reserve’s now 6.6 trillion dollar balance sheet, a new record that could grow to 9 trillion by the end of the year. Why the exponential growth? “The goal is to keep credit flowing to households and businesses.”

Stay well, and see you next week!

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What’s Happening in the News: Late November, 2020

This week, we look at how consumers feel about buying a home, vs. how many homes are actually being sold, vs. the affordability of available homes. There’s also a surprising concession from the Fed on climate change, and an encouraging forecast on how we can get to net-zero, fast.

Read More »

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