Treasury official is running the bailout. It’s been great for his family
- Deputy Treasury Secretary Justin Muzinich has an increasingly prominent role.
- He still has ties to his family’s investment firm, which is a major beneficiary of the Treasury’s bailout actions.
- Behind the scenes, however, the Treasury’s responsibilities have fallen largely to the 42-year-old deputy secretary, Justin Muzinich.
- A major beneficiary of that bailout so far: Muzinich & Co., the asset manager founded by his father where Justin served as president before joining the administration.
- Today, Muzinich retains financial ties to the firm through an opaque transaction in which he transferred his shares in the privately held company to his father.
- Ethics experts say the arrangement is troubling because his father received the shares for no money up front, and it appears possible that Muzinich can simply get his stake back after leaving government.
What we know about the extremists taking part in riots across the US
- Trump tweeted Sunday that the United States would designate Antifa, which is short for anti-fascists, as a terrorist organization, and Attorney General William Barr also singled out the group in a statement denouncing the violence as domestic terrorism, announcing federal law enforcement would use its network of Joint Terrorism Task Forces to apprehend and charge those taking part in the violent confrontations.
- Federal law enforcement officials tell CNN they are aware of organized groups who are seeking to carry out the property destruction and violence, using the cover of the legitimate protests in Minneapolis and elsewhere.
- In the past, some of the groups have been known to organize and travel specifically to confront police and destroy property, according to federal law enforcement officials, who say they've seen a similar pattern in Minneapolis and other cities where protests have turned violent in recent days.
‘They can’t draw any cash on the line’: Athabasca Oil eyes support from Ottawa after banks slash credit facility by 65%
- CALGARY — Athabasca Oil Corp.’s bankers have cut the oilsands producer’s credit by more than half, forcing the company to seek federal aid to survive the coronavirus-pandemic induced oil price crash.
- Athabasca’s banking syndicate reduced its credit facility to $42 million after a review, which represents a 65 per cent cut from $120 million previously, the company said.
- Other Canadian oil and gas companies have also been through credit facility reviews this spring and had their facilities cut by an average of 15 per cent, National Bank Financial analyst John Hunt said in an interview, underscoring Athabasca’s fiscal challenges.
- In the company’s release, Athabasca said it still has $330 million cash or “near cash” on its balance sheet, but financial analysts have flagged that the company is burning cash following the collapse in oil prices.
Leaked drafts reveal 'awkward' talks to save the arts
- Leaked draft communiques from a meeting last week between federal and state cultural ministers suggest Scott Morrison's decision to offer financial support to the entertainment sector was not without persuasion.
- For example, it said the meeting "noted the disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on the cultural and creative industries and subsectors in Australia, including the extent of business closure, employment and income loss for artists, arts workers and arts organisations''.
- The states also wanted the meeting to have "discussed the role that the Commonwealth government could play in sharing the financial risk of a staged return to operations for arts and cultural sector organisations, given the challenges presented by necessary social distancing".
'Hundreds of millions': Robodebt bill looms for taxpayers
- As Scott Morrison expressed regret for the controversial robodebt scheme, lawyers for a major class action against the government said taxpayers could still be on the hook for damages and interest charges.
- Last year it settled a landmark lawsuit brought by Victoria Legal Aid on behalf of Deanna Amato, which claimed a debt raised against Ms Amato under the scheme was unlawful.
- At the time, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert announced he would pause the recovery of debts raised under the scheme.
- Gordon Legal launched the action on behalf of an estimated class of up to 600,000 people last year, claiming the government unjustly enriched itself and breached its duty of care to people who “were vulnerable to any unlawful or unreasonable” action by the government.
- Labor government services spokesman Bill Shorten said the government had "behaved unlawfully for years" and should pay compensation, including interest on the debts now being refunded.
States must drag PM to tax reform table
- But with the NSW government's review of federal financial relations expected to recommend replacing stamp duty with an opt-in land tax system, the question now is whether the national cabinet can become a vehicle to drive meaningful reform of Australia's economically damaging taxation system.
- The original aim was to broaden the focus of the antagonistic premiers' conference that perennially squabbled over federal grants to the states, and instead create a forum to promote national co-operation and facilitate the national competition policy reforms.
- The state and federal treasurers will also join the Prime Minister and premiers on the National Federation Reform Council.
- Just like the Prime Minister is getting employers and unions in the room to broker a consensus on workplace reform, the national cabinet's purpose is to promote co-operation between the federal government and Labor state leaders to drive reform of the federation.
Military puts police units on alert for possible deployment to Minnesota for protests
- Three defense officials confirmed to CNN that military police units at three US bases -- Fort Riley in Kansas, Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York -- have received "prepare to deploy" orders should Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz request federal assistance.
- Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley "have personally spoken with Governor Walz twice in the last 24-hours and expressed the department's readiness to provide support to local and state authorities as requested," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Rath Hoffman said in a statement Saturday.
- During a news conference Saturday in Minneapolis, Walz told reporters he spoke with Esper and Milley about the possibility of deploying military police to areas where protests are happening.
- A defense official emphasized to CNN "unequivocally" that President Donald Trump "did not direct" options for invoking the Insurrection Act, which could pave the way for sending troops even if a governor does not ask for them.
The Battle of Boca Chica (2014)
- (Among other advantages to the Boca Chica site, the Gulf’s deep waters offer an ideal splashdown zone for when the rockets parachute back to earth.) News reports have estimated overall project costs at $80 million to $100 million, and the Brownsville Economic Development Council (BEDC) estimates that SpaceX will create one hundred short-term construction jobs, five hundred permanent technological jobs, and as many as six hundred ancillary jobs in supply and manufacturing.
- This swath of the Valley is home to a variety of animals, such as the Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, the aplomado falcon, and the piping plover, that are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The refuge scientists must balance their criticism of SpaceX with their obligations to their agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which asserts that, despite increased traffic, high fences, bright lights, and possible fuel spills, the launchpad is likely to pose no persistent threat to endangered species.
Schools struggle with shifting rules on federal coronavirus relief money
- Guidance issued by US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in late April instructed states to allocate a bigger portion of the federal assistance to private schools, which some Democrat and Republican lawmakers and state leaders say is counter to the intent of the law.
- Instead of basing the allocation of money on the number of low-income students enrolled it calls for counting all private school students in the calculation.
- This guidance "could significantly harm the vulnerable students who were intended to benefit the most from the critical federal Covid-19 education relief funds Congress has provided," Carissa Moffat Miller, executive director at the Council of Chief State School Officers, wrote in a letter sent to DeVos earlier this month.
- The state will allocate the funds based on how many low-income students are enrolled in a private school rather than the total number of students.
The Justice Department has opened an investigation into the killing of George Floyd - Business Insider
- Attorney General William Barr on Friday announced a federal investigation into the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
- He added that the Justice Department, including the FBI, is also "conducting an independent investigation to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated" related to Floyd's death.
- Mark Osler, a former federal prosecutor and law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, told Business Insider it's unusual for the Justice Department to get involved so early in the process and that the department typically doesn't intervene unless state prosecutors have already tried and failed to charge or convict a police officer.
- The men were first acquitted on state charges of assault and excessive use of force, but later convicted in federal court of violating King's civil rights.