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Spiro

Good Wednesday. We’re back! We took a few weeks to move email providers and work out some kinks. There might still be kinks but everything is kinky right now. Right? Don’t answer that.

Reality Check. The EU may block American visitors when it relaxes border controls on July 1 because of the coronavirus threat they present. The shoe is on the other foot now.

In Case You Missed It. Major League Baseball is back. The league approved a truncated 60 day season with Spring Training set to start on July 1st. Maybe with only 60 games my Phillies will have a chance.

Coronavirus Update: Total confirmed cases as of 5 a.m. ET: 2,347,102 — Total deaths: 121,225 — Total recoveries:  647,548

In Today’s Newsletter:

  • Coronavirus resurgent
  • Second stimulus checks not so certain
  • Kentucky primary too close to call

INTEREST RATES


CONFIRMING LOAN
Program Rate Change APR Change
30 year 3.52% 0.01% 3.60% 0.01%
15 year 2.90% 0.01% 3.04% 0.01%

The Lead: A Flood of New Cases

credit: giphy

Reopening is not going as planned. Southern states are facing a massive onslaught of new cases of Covid-19. But they might not need to shut down again if they play their cards right according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The White House coronavirus advisor testified before Congress on Tuesday. Fauci specifically mentioned Texas, Arizona, Florida, Alabama, and other states with “a serious problem” that might need to consider partial shutdowns.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say an absolute shutdown, lockdown, but if someone is going from gateway to phase one to phase two and they get into trouble in phase two, they may need to go back to phase one,” Fauci said.

Cases have been rising in recent weeks in more than two dozen states, mostly across the South and West. On Tuesday, California, Arizona and Texas all reported more new cases in a single day than ever before.

Wasn’t the heat supposed to kill this virus? Tell that to Arizona

Vastly underfunded

Fauci wasn’t the only one spreading bad news at the hearing. Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the panel that core public health capabilities in the US had been vastly underfunded for a long time and needed urgent support.

“We have all done the best that we can do to tackle this virus and the reality is that it’s brought this nation to its knees,” Redfield told the House energy and commerce committee.

“We are probably going to spend $7 trillion because of one little virus,” he added.

He said that the US had “used the capacity that we have” to confront the pandemic but that “the critics will be there”.

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News By The Numbers

24. A 24-year-old real estate investment CEO won Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff for a western North Carolina congressional seat over President Donald Trump’s endorsed candidate for the nomination. Madison Cawthorn defeated Lynda Bennett to complete an upset for the GOP nomination in the 11th Congressional District.

77%. That’s the percentage rise in Covid-19 cases in Arizona. Cases there increased by a single-day record of 3,591.

50. That’s how many years ago the U.S. had the worst air pollution on record. That’s about to change this week as a massive plume of dust from the Sahara desert is set to blow onshore over the southeastern United States. Good thing we’ve got some masks handy.

Banks Are Get Strict

giphy.gif credit: shutterstock

The lending industry is showing that it did learn its lesson from the 2008 mortgage collapse. Now that we are in a similar – or worse – position of volatility, lenders are getting stricter about qualifying new borrowers.

In 2008, mortgage companies were lazy or downright negligent about qualifying people who should have never been qualified for loans that they neither understood nor could afford. To prevent that from happening again, lenders are extra tight with their belts, not lending to anyone without dotting i’s and crossing t’s – and then circling to do it again.

Some lenders are going as far as to re-verify a borrower’s employment within 24 hours of closing to be sure that the borrower has not since lost their job in the pandemic. They also require an affidavit to verify that the same borrower has not been notified of a layoff or pay reduction.

And who can blame them? Almost 5 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks. As painful as this sounds, it is comforting to know that some hard-learned lessons stick.

Stimulus Update

The White House says a new stimulus is coming soon along with direct checks to the American people.

In the past 48 hours, the White House sent up three flairs indicating they’ve heard the siren song of American’s struggling to pay their bills. The first signal came from President Trump himself during an interview with a Scripps reporter.

Joe St. George: I have a lot of viewers in Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan who are still struggling economically, sir. They spent all of that first stimulus check. Are you going to get them a second stimulus check?

President Trump: Yeah, we are. We are.

The next flare came from National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow during an interview with FOX Business.

“I think the tax rebates or the direct-mail checks are on the table … There are a lot of discussions going on,” Kudlow said. “Probably, we would want to target those to those folks who lost their jobs and are most in need. All right, that’s the speculation on my part, but I think … that’s where it’s going.”

If that wasn’t enough, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, straight off lunch with Senate Republicans indicated a new stimulus is likely going to be highly targeted with incentives to get back to work.

The comments from Kudlow and Mnuchin come as President Donald Trump has expressed support in private for another round of stimulus checks, The Washington Post reported. Trump told aides the measure would both bolster his odds of winning reelection and strengthen the economy.

So now we have Trump saying “more checks” publicly and privately. Let’s have someone watch if he says it in his sleep too.

All Eyes on Kentucky

credit: morning invest

Stop me if you’ve heard this before. We have an election that’s too close to call.

The Kentucky primary race between Democrats Amy McGrath and Rep. Charles Booker is only separated by 2,000 this morning. Those votes only include the ones cast at the polls and don’t take into account the thousands expected mail-in ballots.

In recent weeks the Kentucky primary has garnered national attention thanks to a few big factors:

• McGrath’s lackluster performance and a surprising surge from Booker

• Black Lives Matter protests with Booker in attendance and McGrath staying at home

• Senator Mitch McConnell is widely disliked at home and would face the Democrat in November

• Senator McConnell’s slow response in passing a second stimulus

• Senator Bernie Sanders endorsement of Booker

Senator McConnell will have to wait a few more days to see who he’ll face in November.


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