Senate Passes Bill Extending Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, H.R. 7010, which extends the period to use Paycheck Protection Program funds to 24 weeks, passed with unanimous consent in the Senate, and passed the House last week 471-1. The legislation also reduces the level of Paycheck Protection Program funds that must be used for payroll to 60% from 75%.

Paycheck Protection Program (SBA Loans) is Out of Money in Under Two Weeks

On Wednesday April 15, 2020, U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and SBA Administrator Carranza announced that the Payroll Protection Program, introduced by the CARES Act has exhausted its $349 billion appropriation in fewer than 14 days, noting that “[b]y law, the SBA will not be able to issue new loan approvals once the programs experience a lapse in appropriations . . . .[and] urg[ing] Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program . . .  at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks.”

Round 4 of COVID-19 Legislation: A National Investment Authority?

As the first three legislative packages addressing the COVID-19 crisis are being implemented, attention now turns to Phase 4. Here, much focus is on funding and supporting infrastructure development, growth and planning. Will this be the moment that the U.S. seriously considers the idea of a National Investment Authority? Two scholars (Robert C. Hockett and Saule T. Omarova) outlined, analyzed, and advocated this idea three years ago, in “White Paper: A National Investment Authority” (Feb. 2018, originally March 2017) and Omarova updates that analysis today for the COVID-19 world, in “Why We Need A National Investment Authority.” In a 2017 review of Hockett and Omarova’s white paper, Shu-Yi Oei (one of the organizers of this tracker site) presciently recommended the article to readers, identifying its two important contributions: “First, a policy proposal for the creation of a National Investment Authority (NIA), a hybrid, public-private entity that directs private financial capital to fund long-term infrastructure and development projects; and second, a theoretical re-envisioning of what public goods are and how to provide them.” If you didn’t read it then, you should now.

U.S. to Take Equity Stakes in Airlines?

Mnuchin Indicates U.S. to Take Stakes in Airlines in Exchange for Grants, (WSJ, Mar. 26, 2020)

Previously and Elsewhere:
Boeing CEO: No Government Equity Stake for Taxpayer Aid (WSJ, Mar, 24, 2020)
Trump says he would consider government equity stakes in companies seeking bailouts (CNBC, Mar. 19, 2020)
UK government draws up plans to buy into airlines (FT, Mar. 19, 2020)

The IMF and COVID-19

Latest information about the IMF’s work to address the Coronavirus crisis
Including:
Statement by the International Monetary and Financial Committee on the Coronavirus (Mar. 4, 2020)
Policy Action for a Healthy Global Economy (Mar. 16, 2020)
IMF Policy Recommendations: Policy Steps to Address the Coronavirus Crisis (Mar. 16, 2020)
Blunting the Impact and Hard Choices: Early Lessons from China (Mar. 20, 2020)
Coronavirus Economic Planning: Hoping for the Best, Prepared for the Worst (Mar. 12, 2020)
Monetary and Financial Stability During the Coronavirus Outbreak (Mar. 11, 2020)
Limiting the Economic Fallout of the Coronavirus with Large Targeted Policies (Mar. 9, 2020)
Fiscal Policies to Protect People During the Coronavirus Outbreak (Mar. 5, 2020)

OECD: Policy Responses for Tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19)

OECD Platform: Tackling the coronavirus (COVID-19)
Tax Policy: Emergency Tax Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic (Mar. 20, 2020)
Tax Administration: Tax Administration Responses to COVID-19: Support for Taxpayers (Mar. 16, 2020)
Employment and Social Policy: Supporting people and companies to deal with the Covid-19 virus: Options for an immediate employment and social-policy response (Mar. 20, 2020)
Small and Medium Sized Businesses: SME Policy Responses (Mar. 16, 2020)

New York Halts Collection of Student Loan Debt

Forbes (Mar. 17, 2020): New York Stops Collection Of Student Loan Debt

Effective immediately, Cuomo and New York Attorney General Letitia James say that New York state will temporarily halt the collection of student loan debt owed to the State of New York and referred to the Office of the Attorney General for collection. The halt, which will last until at least April 15, 2020 and also will include collection of medical debt, is intended to provide financial relief for families who are impacted by the coronavirus.