The US stock market's bull run and a rush of interest in companies that cater to the "new normal" life during a pandemic have prompted a surge in initial public offerings that could achieve the highest dollar value since 1999, according to data from Ally Invest and Bloomberg. By the end of August, 143 companies had raised $50.4 billion, and Ally Invest expects those figures to reach 206 flotations with potential proceeds of $72 billion by the end of the year.
Modern Money Murmurs: My, how things change over just a few months. What started out as one of the slowest years for IPOs is shaping up to be quite the opposite.
New York held its position as the world's top financial hub in the Global Financial Centres Index, with London taking second place despite the imminence of Brexit. The survey showed "increased confidence in the leading financial centres, but a general reduction in confidence in other centres," noted Michael Mainelli, executive chairman of Z/Yen, which conducts the survey the index is based on.
Borrowing under the Federal Reserve's Main Street Lending Program could reach $30 billion this year, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told the Senate Banking Committee. "The total loans might be, I don't know, you know, $10, $20, $30 billion by the end of the year, that's with leverage," he said.
Analyses of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's spending plans by economists at Moody's and Oxford Economics find they could drive growth and speed up the economic recovery for the US. The Oxford analysis found that even a modified version of Biden's plan with smaller tax increases and less spending, which would likely be needed to pass in the Senate, would accelerate growth.
Former Federal Reserve economist and chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee Robert Litterman says the financial stability risk of climate change underscores the need for establishing a carbon dividend plan. Litterman says that "soon after the election" he expects there will emerge a bipartisan Congressional bill for a carbon tax.
The forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program loans is more complicated than federal officials said it would be, with about 80% of the forms submitted needing to have errors or missing information reconciled, says Consumer Bankers Association President and CEO Richard Hunt. The CBA and other groups are asking for clarity on forgiveness and for Congress to approve automatic forgiveness of loans less than $150,000.
U.S. Bank has revamped some of its branches, removing bank tellers and replacing them with staff members that greet customers at the door, and adding refreshment stations. The changes reflect consumer preferences for a personal banking experience even as more switch to digital banking.
A coalition that includes Bank of America and the World Economic Forum's International Business Council is creating uniform environmental, social and governance standards for public companies. "We want to set a benchmark with the IBC work so that we can have metrics that are completely transparent to the world from all companies," BofA Vice Chairman Anne Finucane said.
Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard is reportedly on Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's short list to serve as Treasury Secretary. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., reportedly remains in contention for the post but may be a polarizing choice for her criticism of the banking industry.
Investors appear to be shunning bank stocks despite banks' strong performance in the first half of the year and upbeat third-quarter projections. Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg said the sell-off in the sector has been excessive and increased his earnings estimates for most banks.
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