We had the spectacle of watching Lord Damp Nut read the phonebook yesterday, thus conclusively proving he knows his A-B-3s. We were shocked.
Anyway, that was the long list of people Prznint Stupid is planning to talk to, you know, about opening the economy. There’s no indication at all about what this will accomplish, but it’s nice to know that Lord Damp Nut has socially distanced play dates set up with the plutocrats.
“Mr. Trump was vague about whether those on his list had all agreed to serve on the task force his administration has been struggling to put together over the past week. Some business leaders have been hesitant to attach their names to it in the middle of intense discussions in the White House about who would serve on a formal council, and what its mandate would be.”
Oh, and one of the names on the list? Larry Lindsey. Yasssss, that Larry Lindsey:
LINDSEY, who has an economic consultancy, was a guest of House Minority Leader KEVIN MCCARTHY. Lindsey said he enlisted two psychiatrists to analyze the president from afar. China views President DONALD TRUMP as a “total narcissist” — “a 10-out-of-10 narcissist,” he said. Lindsey attributed this to the president’s upbringing and said his mother didn’t pay him adequate attention in childhood.
LINDSEY said Trump has no long-term plans or ability to think ahead. He said the president has the long-term decision-making ability of an “empty chair.”
So we already have the windows open for wagers on who will be kicked-off the “task force” first.
Prznint Stupid says that the U.S. will halt funding to the World Health Organization. That’ll teach ‘em not to delay action for weeks as the Trump-Virus spreads through the U.S., while repeatedly calling it a Democrat hoax.
Meanwhile, Lord Damp Nut has set a new record: “In unprecedented move, Treasury orders Trump’s name printed on stimulus checks” and you know, that will only delay the receipt of said check:
“The Treasury Department has ordered President Trump’s name be printed on stimulus checks the Internal Revenue Service is rushing to send to tens of millions of Americans, a process that could slow their delivery by a few days, senior IRS officials said.
“The unprecedented decision, finalized late Monday, means that when recipients open the $1,200 paper checks the IRS is scheduled to begin sending to 70 million Americans in coming days, ‘President Donald J. Trump’ will appear on the left side of the payment.
“It will be the first time a president’s name appears on an IRS disbursement, whether a routine refund or one of the handful of checks the government has issued to taxpayers in recent decades either to stimulate a down economy or share the dividends of a strong one. …
“The checks will … bear Trump’s name in the memo line, below a line that reads, ‘Economic Impact Payment,’ the administration officials said. The IRS will mail the checks to people for whom it does not have banking information. Many of them have low incomes.
“The checks will carry the signature of an official with the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, the Treasury Department division that prints the checks. The checks will follow direct deposits issued in recent days to the bank accounts of about 80 million people. Those payments do not include Trump’s name.”
The government printing plant can print 5 million checks a week, so 20 weeks later, when you are being thrown out of your home for late rent/mortgage payments, and the check finally arrives, you’ll know who to blame. Nifty!
And of course, that’s if the bank doesn’t confiscate your check first:
But the money may not make it into the hands of those who need it to pay bills, buy food, or just survive amid mass unemployment and widespread suffering. Individuals might first have to fend off their own bank, which has just been given the power to seize the $1,200 payment and use it to pay off outstanding debt.
Congress did not exempt CARES Act payments from private debt collection, and the Treasury Department has been reluctant to exempt them through its rulemaking authority. This means that individuals could see their payments transferred from their hands into the hands of their creditors, potentially leaving them with nothing.
Banks would be first in line to grab the payments to offset a delinquent loan or past-due fees. Even if the individual thinks their account with that bank is closed, if the payments post there, the bank could conceivably use them to cover old debts.
The Treasury Department effectively blessed this activity on a webinar with banking officials last week. In audio obtained by the Prospect, Ronda Kent, chief disbursing officer with Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, can be heard explaining that banks had posed questions to her about “whether these payments could be subject to collection from the bank to which the money is deposited, if the payee owes an outstanding loan or other payments to the bank.” She responded—twice—that “there’s nothing in the law that precludes that action,” while counseling that the banks’ compliance officers should consult with their legal offices about what policies their banks will implement. “You will want to know for your bank what your bank has decided to do,” Kent said.
So we got all that working for us.
UPDATE 1: There’s always more eff’ery, Bloomberg —
Free money. That’s the enticing prospect hedge funds and other trading firms are pondering after realizing they too might be able to participate in a historic U.S. stimulus package to keep small businesses alive through the coronavirus pandemic. Since early April, law firms have hosted Webinars and sent out alerts, and accounting firms have reached out to clients, all with the goal of explaining how they might be able to tap into the Paycheck Protection Program. The $349 billion package administered by the Small Business Administration provides loans to cover payroll, rent and utilities for up to eight weeks. The loans can convert to grants if recipients retain or rehire their workers.
Some hedge funds already have applied, filling out forms to show they have fewer than 500 employees and certifying the “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations.”… The question of whether to partake in the program is dividing members of the money management community. Some traders have called it morally corrupt, while others insist they are small businesses—just like hair salons, restaurants, and dry cleaners—that could use a helping hand after global markets tumbled and cost them money. Given that the program is first come, first served, some managers were quick to submit their paperwork, according to market participants, even if eligibility remains unclear.