NEW: The latest Oversight Commission report is finally out. As the @NYtimes reported last week, Republican foot-dragging has delayed the report’s release for weeks. So what didn’t Republicans want you to see? 1/…
The report reflects broad support for expanding the MLF (the Fed’s state and local lending program):

✅Extend the MLF into 2021
✅Lower rates
✅Lengthen repayment term
✅Expand # of eligible borrowers
✅Offer flexibility on loan use
✅Create secondary market facility 2/
Three of the four expert witnesses at our recent hearing backed these changes -- including one of the Republicans' own witnesses. Which witness didn’t? It was this gentleman: 3/

And just yesterday, @usmayors @NACoTweets @leagueofcities @StateTreasurers @GFOA @ICMA @nasact -- representing tens of thousands of state and local governments across the political spectrum -- backed greatly expanding the MLF too. 4/

Here’s the report. With Senate Rs blocking direct aid to state and local governments, expanding the MLF is our best short-term tool to protect teachers, firefighters, and other public employees from layoffs, and to preserve programs we all rely on.… 5/

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More from @BharatRamamurti

8 Aug
Let's take a look at the actual text of these executive orders.

Here's the heart of the one on evictions. As you can see, it doesn't create an eviction moratorium. It asks certain federal agencies to see if they can maybe do something on evictions.
Here's the payroll tax one. It's a deferral. That means either employers will continue to withhold your payroll taxes and you won't see any difference, or they won't withhold (unlikely), and you'll have it all withheld from your paycheck when the deferral expires at year-end.
Here is the key part of the unemployment insurance one.

*To be clear, the legal authority to do this is highly dubious.*

But, at best, it's a $300/week federal contribution redirecting money that, by my estimate, would cover about 4 weeks for the currently unemployed.
Read 4 tweets
22 Jul
NEW with @owenslindsay1: We're heading towards a wage apocalypse unless Congress intervenes. Our proposal builds on the unemployment insurance boost to:

✅Raise wages by $320/week for millions
✅Increase economic growth
✅Create half a million jobs…
As many as 22 million people—around 15 percent of the entire American labor force—have higher incomes on UI now than from their previous jobs.

Even if Congress extends UI, current rules say those people will lose UI if they're offered a job with comparable pay to their last one.
Think about what that means:

As employers pick up hiring, millions could experience painful income cuts as they return to work.

Our economic recovery will be at war with itself: Economic expansion and hiring will produce income losses and contraction.
Read 7 tweets
20 Jul
The Oversight Commission has just released its third report. In it, we make a number of key findings to help Congress as it considers new Covid legislation, and question some recent Fed and Treasury actions.

The full report is here: 1/…
The Fed's Main Street program is still not really doing much. It's supported a single $12M loan.

And as the Commission finds, it's also not designed to help smaller companies "facing serious declines in revenue that cannot take on additional debt to address that problem." 2/
Also on the Main Street program: "it's clear to the Commission that [Treasury and the Fed] are not going to impose mandatory payroll requirements on businesses..unless Congress mandates it in new legislation." Right now, they're not requiring or monitoring anything on payroll. 3/
Read 8 tweets
18 Jun
The Oversight Commission has released its second report on what’s happening with half a trillion dollars of the public’s money. Here are highlights from the report--including some important admissions from the Treasury and the Fed in response to the Commission’s questions. 1/
The big picture: the agencies have announced how they will use less than half of the $454B fund and actually used only $6.7B. That's worked out well for big corporations that benefit from the promise of action but less well for smaller companies and municipal governments. 2/
Unemployment remains very high. The Fed said in response to our questions that it “designed the facilities to work together to protect financial stability and support achievement of its dual mandate of full employment and price stability.” Keep that employment goal in mind... 3/
Read 7 tweets
2 Jun
In the nine weeks since Congress gave the Treasury and the Fed $500 billion for economic “stabilization,” they’ve used less than 10% of the money to create a single program that has serious conflicts of interests and, at best, a weak connection to stopping ongoing job losses. 1/
The program buys corporate debt, including junk bonds. A Treasury official who helped design the program still has financial ties to his family investment firm -- which owns junk bonds. The program has helped that firm “reverse billions in losses.” 2/…
The Fed hired BlackRock to manage this program. BlackRock runs a corporate bond ETF. After BlackRock's role was announced, investors poured $4.3B into BlackRock's ETF -- 100x the new investments in a similar ETF run by a BlackRock competitor. 3/…
Read 7 tweets
18 May
The first Oversight Commission report is now available. Our job is to answer two basic questions:

-What are the Treasury and the Fed doing with $500 billion of taxpayer money?

-Who is that money helping?

A few highlights from our report. 1/…
Our report begins with a summary of our dire economic situation -- and an acknowledgement that this crisis has hit small businesses, lower-income workers, and Black and Hispanic families particularly hard. 2/
The report then provides a summary of the Treasury/Fed program that the Commission is responsible for overseeing. As the report notes, the $500 billion Congress authorized will likely support several trillion dollars in lending. 3/
Read 10 tweets

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