Monday, 28 Sep 2020

Sweden Proposes Raising Limit on Some Public Gatherings to 500

White House’s Meadows to Hold Stimulus Talks With Pelosi Today

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows will hold his first discussions on the next round of pandemic relief with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in three weeks Thursday afternoon, as U.S. fiscal stimulus talks remain at a stalemate.

The two will have a 2:30 p.m. phone call, according to a person familiar with the discussion who asked not to be named. Those talks will mark the first time that White House officials and Pelosi have spoken since stimulus talks hit an impasse on Aug. 7.

Meadows on Wednesday predicted there would be no stimulus deal with House Democrats until the end of September and they may be combined with the stopgap continuing resolution needed to prevent a Oct. 1 shutdown of federal agencies.

The sides are about $1 trillion apart in the talks with aid to state and local governments and the level of weekly unemployment insurance the biggest sticking points.

'Powell is on the side of the bulls' — Cramer calls Fed chief's speech 'incredible' for investors

CNBC's Jim Cramer on Thursday praised the Federal Reserve and its chairman, Jerome Powell, for updating their approach to monetary policy to help the U.S. economy recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Powell is on the side of the bulls," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street." 

The Fed earlier Thursday said it would be willing to let inflation run hotter than usual in order to help the labor market and broader U.S. economy as it digs out of a deep hole caused by the Covid-19 crisis. 

"[Powell] basically just said, 'Hey guys, just go. Go get the economy back. I am not going to get in the way of it,'" Cramer said, calling the approach "incredible" for investors because it allows corporate America to worry less about Fed intervention. 

"He's not listening to people who say, 'You better start worrying about inflation now.' He's looking about employment and realizing, you know what, we've got to be sure that we don't go back into a depression after we've had some nice comeback," Cramer said.

LANXESS Issues AGM Statement; Board To Waive Substantial Share Of Pay

LANXESS (LNXSF.PK) said, for 2020, the company projects EBITDA pre exceptionals to be between 800 million euros and 900 million euros. The company plans to save 50 million euros to 100 million euros in the current fiscal year through cost discipline, and free up another 50 million euros by postponing investment projects.

The Board of Management, the Supervisory Board and LANXESS’ top management have decided to waive a substantial share of their pay. For the members of the Supervisory Board, this refers directly to their remuneration, while for the members of the Board of Management and top management, to their future bonuses.

LANXESS CEO Zachert said: “We are more strongly positioned than ever before – both
strategically and financially.”

CIBC to Use Some Savings From Job Cuts for Strategic Investments

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is looking to “repurpose” some savings from job cuts announced earlier this year for “strategic investments,” Chief Executive Officer Victor Dodig said.

The Toronto-based bank expects to finish a workforce restructuring by the fourth quarter and deliver C$260 million ($198 million) in run-rate savings by the beginning of fiscal 2021, Dodig said Thursday on an earnings conference call with analysts.

“We are repurposing a portion of the expected savings towards targeted, strategic investments,” he said. “To that end, we continue to invest in technology and innovations to simplify our bank and create an engaging and modern banking experience for our clients.”

Dodig told employees at the end of January that he was planning job cuts in a bid to control costs and improve efficiencies. The lender — Canada’s fifth-largest — took a C$339 million charge to cover severances in its fiscal first quarter. CIBC said at the time that the reductions would affect almost 5% of its workforce, equal to about 2,200 employees, in what would be the biggest cut in two decades.

CIBC had 43,952 full-time employees at the end of July, down from 45,083 at the end of January, according to financial disclosures.

Sweden Proposes Raising Limit on Some Public Gatherings to 500

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Sweden’s national health agency has proposed raising the limit on certain public gatherings to 500 from 50 owing to a stabilization in Covid-19 infection rates.

“We have made a consultation response following a request from the government,” state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell told reporters in Stockholm.

The agency, which continues to steer the country’s virus response, said the proposal applies to events with numbered seats.

Tegnell also signaled a further increase of the gathering limit was under consideration. “The outcome will be evaluated after a month or so, to see if you can raise the bar further,” he said.

The potential easing of restrictions comes at a time when the pace of new infections and deaths in Sweden has slowed markedly compared to the end of June. On Thursday, Sweden reported a total of 5,820 deaths from the virus and 83,898 cases.

But its mortality rate, at about 57 per 100,000, remains among the highest in the world and many more times than in neighboring Denmark and Norway.

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