Checks in the Mail

More of your opinions on reopening the U.S. after sheltering in place…

“I agree that precautions need to be taken when reentering the ‘real world,’ but hiding from the coronavirus is not going to cause the virus to give up and go away. If anything, it will continue to mutate, becoming stronger!

“I think American citizens/businesses should have the choice to get back to work and make a living. Otherwise, let us give in to socialism, waiting on the menial checks to arrive offering us a mediocre lifestyle.

“The end results: Bigger government controlling our lives, higher taxes, no opportunities to better ourselves… and gov’t cheese to boot!”

And a reader questions who really benefited from federal relief money…

“The stimulus package was never designed to help the little people.

“It’s really sad to see that the big companies got their money and small businesses suffered due to the confusing paperwork. Do not trust the GOP oversight committee to keep an eye on the money given out.

“Again, politics and corruption got in the way.”

Your Rundown for Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Trump’s Cease and Desist

President Trump has ordered the primary pension fund of the federal government to stand down when it comes to investing in Chinese companies.

“The intervention comes as the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB), an agency that manages almost $600bn in its ‘Thrift Savings Plan’, prepares to shift the international component of the fund into an index that includes Chinese companies,” the Financial Times reports.

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien along with Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow maintain using the MSCI All Country World ex-US Investable Market index would “expose the retirement funds to significant and unnecessary risk” by investing in Chinese companies “that pose both national security and humanitarian concerns by operating in violation of U.S. sanctions,” FT says.

Notwithstanding in November the FRTIB already rejected a request to leave off investing in Chinese companies — an appeal made by a bipartisan group of senators. At the time, pension administrators denied the request in the best interest of 5.5 million pension plan participants.

Skip to the present post-coronavirus world: Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia — who oversees the Thrift Savings Plan — sent a letter to fund managers saying the risks of investing in China outweigh the benefits. And the letter included the demand: “immediately halt all steps associated with investing” in the index.

“While Mr Scalia cannot force a reversal,” says the Financial Times, “[Scalia] noted that Mr Trump had recently nominated three people to replace three of… five [TSP] board members.”

So one way or another, the federal pension fund will cease and desist when it comes to investing in China.

Market Rundown for Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The S&P 500 Index is down 13 points to 2,857.

Oil is down 1.8% to $25.32 for a barrel of WTI.

Gold’s up $6.50 per ounce to $1,713.30.

Bitcoin’s added $308.25 to $9,135.80.

Have a wonderful day; we’ll talk again Friday. 

For the Rundown,

Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler

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Aaron Gentzler

Aaron Gentzler is the publisher of Seven Figure Publishing. He is also the editor of The Rundown and has been with Agora Financial / Seven Figure Publishing since 2005. He's been covering technology and markets for over a decade.

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