Cumberland Advisors Market Commentary – Politics: Aaarrgh!

Author: David R. Kotok, Post Date: December 30, 2020
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About 20 million people in America were at sharply increased financial risk if Trump hadn’t signed the new stimulus bill. I asked Mike Englund of Action Economics for a breakdown. Here’s what he sent.

Market Commentary - Cumberland Advisors - Politics Aaarrgh!

“This is taken straight from the initial claims report from the DOL:

Unemployment Insurance Benefits in All Programs

Week ending December 5
Regular State 5,457,870
Federal Employees    17,269
Newly Discharged Veterans 9,501
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance 9,271,112
Pandemic Emergency UC 4,793,230
Extended Benefits 712,878
State Additional Benefits     2,560
STC / Workshare    99,255
TOTAL                     20,363,675

 

Here’s the link to the Department of Labor release: https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf.
We thank Mike for helping us.

Even though Trump did finally sign the bill on Sunday, his failure to sign it by Saturday means that folks on unemployment will potentially lose a week of benefits (since the legislation has those benefits expiring on March 14) and may be hurt by new holdups in processing their claims. This Bloomberg piece cites Mike Englund on the likely damage:

“Given the potential lapse in funding, it could take as long as a month before people receive their funds and even longer for the effects to filter into the economy, according to Michael Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC.”
(“Benefits Lapse for Millions as Trump Fails to Approve Bill,” https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-12-26/benefits-lapse-for-millions-as-trump-fails-to-approve-stimulus)

David R. Kotok
Chairman of the Board & Chief Investment Officer
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