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10/07/2020

Powell comments on pandemic and challenges

In a presentation at the National Association for Business Economics Virtual Annual Meeting, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell reviewed recent economic developments and the challenges ahead.

Powell noted the recovery has progressed more quickly than generally expected. He also recommended we should continue do what we can to manage downside risks to the outlook. One such risk is that COVID-19 cases might again rise to levels that more significantly limit economic activity, not to mention the tragic effects on lives and well-being. Managing this risk as the expansion continues will require following medical experts' guidance, including using masks and social-distancing measures.

Powell stated “Today, I will just note that the underlying structure of the economy changes over time, and that the FOMC's framework for conducting monetary policy must keep pace. The forward rate guidance adopted at our September meeting reflects our new consensus statement. The new guidance says that, with inflation running persistently below our longer-run 2 percent goal, the Committee will aim to achieve inflation moderately above 2 percent for some time so that inflation averages 2 percent over time and longer-term inflation expectations remain well anchored at 2 percent. The Committee expects to maintain an accommodative stance of policy until these outcomes are achieved. The Committee also left the target range for the federal funds rate unchanged at 0 to 1/4 percent, and it expects it will be appropriate to maintain this target range until labor market conditions have reached levels that are consistent with the Committee's assessments of maximum employment and inflation has risen to 2 percent and is on track to moderately exceed 2 percent for some time.”

10/07/2020

2020 census of finance companies

The Federal Reserve System has announced that it will begin the 2020 Census of Finance Companies and Other Lenders. The census is a key part of the Federal Reserve's effort to paint a complete picture of this important sector of the U.S. economy. A letter from Fed Chair Powell was sent to approximately 26,000 companies urging their participation in the census.

10/07/2020

New funding for disabled veterans housing

HUD has announced $3.9 million in funding through the Veterans Housing Rehabilitation and Modification Pilot Program (VHRMP) to help make homes more accessible for disabled veterans. Through the VHRMP program, grantees will make necessary physical modifications to address the needs of eligible veterans, including wheelchair ramps, widening doors, reconfiguring bathrooms, and modifying homes to accommodate a veteran’s caregiver. The purpose of this program is to assist our nation’s low-income veterans living with disabilities who need adaptive housing to help them regain or maintain their independence.

10/06/2020

Report on U.S. credit markets and effects of COVID-19

The Securities and Exchange Commission has published a staff report titled "U.S. Credit Markets: Interconnectedness and the Effects of the COVID-19 Economic Shock," which focuses on the origination, distribution and secondary market flow of credit across U.S. credit markets. The staff report also addresses how the related interconnections in U.S. credit markets operated as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

SEC staff will host a Roundtable on Interconnectedness and Risk in U.S. Credit Markets to discuss the issues raised in the report at 1:00 p.m. EDT on October 14.

10/06/2020

NCUA webinar on minority depository institutions

The NCUA will host a one-hour webinar, “Pathways to Consumer Financial Well-Being: The Importance of Financial Inclusion and Minority Depository Institutions,” on October 21, 2020, at 2 p.m. EDT. Participants will be able to log into the webinar and view it on their computers or mobile devices using the registration link. The webinar is open to consumers, credit unions, and parties interested in working with credit unions to expand access to safe and affordable financial services in underserved communities. Registration is now open.

10/06/2020

FDIC releases CRA evaluation ratings

The FDIC has released a list of 74 state nonmember banks recently evaluated for compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act and to whom the FDIC assigned evaluation ratings in July 2020. Of the evaluations listed, 68 were rated "Satisfactory." The remaining six evaluations were rated "Outstanding," and we congratulate these banks on that achievement (links are to their evaluation reports):

10/05/2020

Larger small business size standards proposed

The SBA is requesting public comments on two proposed rules that would revise the small business size standards for businesses in eight North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) sectors to increase small business eligibility for SBA’s loan and contracting programs. The sectors reviewed in the first proposed rule [85 FR 62239] are: Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, and Hunting; Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction; Utilities; and Construction. The NAICS sectors reviewed in the second proposed rule [85 FR 62372"] are: Transportation and Warehousing; Information; Finance and Insurance; and Real Estate and Rental and Leasing. The SBA proposes to increase size standards for 113 industries in those sectors. Comments can be submitted on these proposed rules on or before December 1, 2020.

10/05/2020

SBA issues procedural notice on PPP ownership changes

The SBA has issued a Procedural Notice on "Paycheck Protection Program Loans and Changes of Ownership," effective October 2, 2020. A change of ownership for this purpose occurs when—

  1. at least 20 percent of the common stock or other ownership interest of a PPP borrower (including a publicly traded entity) is sold or otherwise transferred, whether in one or more transactions, including to an affiliate or an existing owner of the entity,
  2. the PPP borrower sells or otherwise transfers at least 50 percent of its assets (measured by fair market value), whether in one or more transactions, or
  3. a PPP borrower is merged with or into another entity.

Prior to the closing of any change of ownership transaction, the PPP borrower must notify the PPP Lender in writing of the contemplated transaction and provide the PPP Lender with a copy of the proposed agreements or other documents that would effectuate the proposed transaction.

10/05/2020

FTC updates DNC Registry user fees

The Federal Trade Commission has published a final rule [85 FR 62596] in this morning's Federal Register to amend its Telemarketing Sales Rule by updating the fees charged to entities accessing the National Do Not Call Registry as required by the Do-Not-Call Registry Fee Extension Act of 2007. The revised fees became effective October 1, 2020.

The revised rule increases the annual fee for access to the Registry for each area code of data from $65 to $66 per area code; and increases the maximum amount that will be charged to any single entity for accessing area codes of data from $17,765 to $18,044.

10/05/2020

Flood program extended one year

The president signed H.R. 8337 on Thursday. Section 146 of the "Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021 and Other Extensions Act" postponed the expiration of the National Flood Insurance Program for one year, to September 30, 2021. Language was included to bridge the gap between the September 30, 2020, expiration date and the signing date.

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