Daily Digest 6/27 – State & Local Gov’ts Need Billions More To Avert Layoffs, Half of U.S. Homeowners Struggle To Pay Mortgages


State, local governments need billions more in aid to avert 4 million layoffs, Moody’s finds (Sparky1)

The Democratic bill combines $500 billion for state governments — as requested by the nation’s governors — and $375 billion for local governments, many of whom were left out of earlier relief efforts. The Moody study says that level of spending — rejected out of hand by Republicans — is likely beyond what’s needed.

“The scope of aid being requested is certainly unprecedented in size and warrants significant scrutiny,” Moody’s says. “For example, the $1 trillion in aid recently approved as part of the house’s HEROES Act would be enough to raise the eyebrows of even the most aggressive advocates of fiscal stimulus.”

Half of U.S. homeowners struggle with mortgage due to COVID-19, consider selling home (thc0655)

Although the National Association of Realtors says there are some relief options available for struggling homeowners, many don’t believe they’ll qualify and some even think the programs might be a scam.

“Unfortunately, at times like these scam activity increases, so homeowners must remain vigilant and watch out for offers that sound too good to be true,” says National Association of Realtors President Vince Malta in a statement.

House approves Washington, D.C., statehood in historic vote (SillyTheEnemy)

“Congress has two choices: It can continue to exercise undemocratic, autocratic authority over the 705,000 American citizens who reside in our nation’s capital … or Congress can live up to its nation’s promise and ideals,” said Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s congresswoman. Norton is not able to vote on legislation.

Governments eye new taxes on cigarettes, homes and tech giants to pay for big budget shortfalls related to the coronavirus (TourGuideDC)

The increases that have been proposed — and in some cases adopted — reflect growing desperation on the part of government leaders nationwide. Many have found that recent spending cuts, furloughs and layoffs have not been enough to shore up their sagging finances, forcing them to consider more politically noxious and economically risky moves in the middle of an economic crisis.

Macy’s slashing 3,900 white-collar jobs, roughly 25 percent of its corporate workforce (TourGuideDC)

Coronavirus-related store closures have led to a precipitous drop in sales that has roiled the retail industry, which was in trouble long before the pandemic. Six national retailers — including department store chains J.C. Penney and Neiman Marcus — have filed for bankruptcy since May. As many as 25,000 bricks-and-mortar stores are expected to permanently close this year, according to Coresight Research, which will have far-reaching effects on shopping malls, workers and local communities.

CMBS Delinquency Rate Spikes by Most on Record (000)

Industrial CMBS: the delinquency rate ticked up to 1.82% (from 1.36% in April). This sector includes warehouses and fulfillment centers for ecommerce, which is booming and is probably one of the biggest beneficiaries of the lockdowns, as retail shifted that way. Industrial properties are a still fairly hot sector, whose delinquency rate of 1.82% was less than 1/10th the delinquency rate of Lodging.

After saving his own life with a repurposed drug, a professor reviews every drug being tried against Covid-19. Here’s what he’s found (redinr08)

Against epic odds, he found a drug that saved his own life six years ago, by creating a collaborative method for organizing medical research that could be applicable to thousands of human diseases.

But after seeing how the same types of flares of immune-signaling cells, called cytokine storms, kill both Castleman and Covid-19 patients alike, his lab has devoted nearly all of its resources to aiding doctors fighting the pandemic.

Coronavirus: Virus ‘found’ in March 2019 Spain sewage (Jonathon C.)

Mr Bosch, who is president of the Spanish Society of Virologists, said that an early detection even in January could have improved the response to the pandemic.

Instead, patients were probably misdiagnosed with common flu, contributing to community transmission before measures were taken.

COVID-19 Insights: Quercetin as Zinc Ionophore and COVID-19 Outpatient Management (Bryan)

Safe in therapeutic doses especially for short term use. Long term use can cause retinal damage, heart arrhythmias, and blood disorders. See our detailed video about it.

The U.S. Needs China For Rare Earth Minerals? Not For Long, Thanks To This Mountain (TourGuideDC)

It’s amazing good fortune, then, that out in the barren scrub of Far West Texas 85 miles east of El Paso, an unassuming 1,250-tall mountain called Round Top holds the promise of making America largely self-sufficient in these critical minerals. The mountain contains five out of six light rare earths (such as neodymium), 10 out of 11 heavy rare earths (dysprosium, for example), and all five permanent magnet materials. What’s more, Round Top has large deposits of lithium, critical for batteries in EVs and power storage.

An Update On The Rare Earths Sector And Some Promising Rare Earths Stocks To Consider (TourGuideDC)

MP Materials owns and operates Mountain Pass, the only rare earth mining and processing site in North America. MP Materials extracts 50,000 tons of rare earth concentrate each year but still relies on China to process the materials. However, MP Materials plans to have its own Heavy Rare Earth separation facility and has been awarded partial US Defense funding for such a facility at their Mountain Pass Mine in California. The above-linked report states: “MP will have to solicit the Pentagon again for construction-related funds.” Mountain Pass plans to have an output of 5,000 metric tons of neodymium and praseodymium (NdPr), starting in 2021. The Mountain Pass Mine has been a major US rare earths producer in the past; however, it included the failure of Molycorp in 2015.

U.S. Strengthens Its Rare Earth Supply Chain With New Processing Plant (TourGuideDC)

“Establishing an independent domestic rare earth and critical minerals supply chain is monumental for USA Rare Earth and for the United States, overcoming reliance on China for materials and processing that are essential for defense applications and advanced technology manufacturing,” said Pini Althaus, USA Rare Earth CEO.

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