September 17, 2020
AFSPA Partner

Paving the Payments Future

How a Biden presidency could change your tax bill

Biden's multitrillion-dollar agenda would be funded in large part by higher taxes on wealthy households

A victory by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the November election could significantly change tax bills for a slew of Americans.

The former vice president has unveiled a multitrillion-dollar agenda that would be funded in large part by higher taxes on wealthy U.S. households - which he describes as anyone earning more than $400,000 annually - and corporations. That includes higher income tax rates, an expansion of the payroll tax for Social Security, new tax credits and fewer deductions.

"I will raise taxes for anybody making over $400,000," Biden said during a recent interview with ABC's David Muir. "Let me tell you why I'm going to do it. It's about time they start paying a fair share of the economic responsibility we have. The very wealthy should pay a fair share - corporations should pay a fair share." Read more at FOX BUSINESS

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Lending as a Service

White Workers Are Getting Hired Back Twice As Fast As Black Workers

At first glance, the unemployment rate seems a lot less terrible than it did a few months ago. In April, at the start of the COVID-19 shutdown, the jobless rate was a record-high 14.7%. This month, the Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate had dropped to 8.4%.

But digging deeper into the jobs report, you'll find nearly all the improvement in the unemployment rate over the past few months has been for white workers. The Black unemployment rate is still in double digits at 13%. The rate for white workers is 7.3%, nearly half of what it is for Black workers.

In other words, white workers are getting hired back nearly twice as fast as Black workers.
Read more at HUFFPOST

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The IRS continues to try to reach out to those individuals who might not have received their stimulus payment and to those who receive federal benefits may still be eligible for an additional $500 per child, if they haven't yet received it.

This week's outreach bundle includes materials in English and Spanish to remind people who don't normally file a tax return to sign up for an Economic Impact Payment by Oct. 15.

For more information, visit

More than half of businesses that closed during the pandemic won't reopen

New York (CNN Business)About 60% of businesses that have closed during the coronavirus pandemic will never reopen, and restaurants have suffered the most, according to new data from Yelp.

The reviews site has been keeping tabs on closures since March. Businesses can update their status to temporarily or permanently closed on Yelp.
As of August 31, nearly 163,700 businesses on Yelp have closed since March 1, the company said, marking a 23% increase from July 10. Of those, about 98,000 say they've shut their doors for good.

Of all closed businesses, about 32,100 are restaurants, and close to 19,600, or about 61%, have closed permanently.
Read more at CNN BUSINESS


Nearly half of Americans who lost job to pandemic can't last a month on savings

More than one-quarter - 26% - said they could not last two weeks off their savings

Nearly half of all Americans who lost a job during the coronavirus pandemic are strapped for cash, with little money in savings for emergencies.

That's according to a new study published by SimplyWise, a technology company that provides resources on Social Security and retirement, which found that 45% of workers who are furloughed or unemployed because of the COVID-19 crisis could not last a month off their savings. More than one-quarter - 26% - said they could not last two weeks off their savings.

Forty-two percent of Americans said they could not come up with $500 in cash right now without taking out a loan or selling something. That's up from the 38% recorded in May and 40% in July, the bimonthly survey showed. For workers furloughed or let go because of the pandemic, 63% said they could not come up with $500 in case of emergency.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS


PNC looks to shutter 280 branches by the end of next year

  • PNC is on track to close almost 160 branches this year and 120 more in 2021, William Demchak, the bank's chairman and CEO, said Tuesday at the Barclays Global Financial Services Conference. The bank reported 2,256 branches in its last quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
  • The bank has long had a goal to reduce its physical footprint. Dawn Fabian, PNC's retail transformation manager, said in November branch consolidation would likely become "more aggressive," with 80 to 100 per year expected over the next five years. The bank announced 29 branch closures in August alone.
  • The coronavirus is pushing several banks to shift focus toward their digital efforts - and, in many cases, away from branches. KeyBank CEO Chris Gorman said Monday at the same conference that the pandemic has accelerated his company's digital transformation by five years, giving the bank an "opportunity to continue to ramp up" branch closures - though he didn't put a target number on the effort.

Read more at BANKING DIVE

Dreher Tomkies LLP

Fed signals interest rates will stay near zero through 2023 to bolster US economy

It was the central bank's first meeting since it adopted a new strategy in August that will keep the benchmark federal funds rate near zero, even after inflation has surpassed its 2% target

The Federal Reserve concluded its final policy-setting meeting before the November presidential election on Wednesday with a renewed pledge to hold interest rates near zero and keep them there until inflation is consistently rising.

The U.S. central bank, as widely expected, held the benchmark federal funds rate at a range between 0 percent and 0.25 percent, where it has been since mid-March. Updated guidance shows that Fed officials expect rates to remain near-zero through 2023. Officials also changed their projections to reflect a smaller decline in the nation's GDP and a lower unemployment rate of 7.6% at the end of 2020.

The economic projections from individual Fed members showed that a majority of policymakers expect to keep the benchmark federal funds rate at near zero through the end of 2023. One official saw rates increasing in 2022, and four officials saw them increasing in 2023.
Read more at FOX BUSINESS


Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Announces Advisory Committee Members

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathleen L. Kraninger has announced the appointment of members to the Consumer Advisory Board (CAB), Community Bank Advisory Council (CBAC), Credit Union Advisory Council (CUAC), and Academic Research Council (ARC). These experts advise Bureau leadership on a broad range of consumer financial issues and emerging market trends.

In spring 2019, Director Kraninger announced a series of enhancements to the Bureau's advisory committee charters, including: expanding the focus of the meetings to cover broad policy matters; increasing the frequency of in-person meetings from two times a year to three times a year for the CAB, CBAC, and CUAC; elevating the ARC to a Director-level advisory committee and increasing its meeting frequency; and increasing term lengths from one year to two years, among other enhancements.

The CAB is mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to advise and consult with the Bureau's Director on a variety of consumer financial issues.
Read more at CFPB-Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


Is Aaron's (AAN) a Solid Growth Stock? 3 Reasons to Think " Yes "

Growth investors focus on stocks that are seeing above-average financial growth, as this feature helps these securities garner the market's attention and deliver solid returns. But finding a great growth stock is not easy at all.

By their very nature, these stocks carry above-average risk and volatility. Moreover, if a company's growth story is over or nearing its end, betting on it could lead to significant loss.

However, the Zacks Growth Style Score (part of the Zacks Style Scores system), which looks beyond the traditional growth attributes to analyze a company's real growth prospects, makes it pretty easy to find cutting-edge growth stocks.
Read more at NASDAQ


COVID-19 Abruptly Ends Decade of State Tax Revenue Growth

The COVID-19 outbreak doomed a 10-year stretch of growth in state tax collections. A final, pre-pandemic ranking shows that tax revenue in all but six states had fully recovered from the Great Recession by the end of 2019-by double-digit gains in half of states but just barely in a few, after adjusting for inflation. Now states have entered a new recession with another tax revenue roller coaster ride ahead.

As of the final quarter of 2019, the last one unscathed by the coronavirus, total state tax revenue had climbed to its highest level since falling during the 2007-09 recession. States collectively took in 18.2% more than when tax dollars peaked in the middle of that downturn just before plunging amid a financial and home mortgage crisis.
Read more at The Pew Charitable Trusts


Mortgage lending volume in 2020 likely to break records

Origination volume will reach $3.9 trillion, boosted by $2.4 trillion in refis, Fannie Mae says

Fannie Mae, the world's largest mortgage financier, said mortgage lending this year probably will reach an all-time high of $3.9 trillion.

The dollar-volume record will be boosted by $2.4 trillion in refinancings, the highest level since 2003 and more than double the level seen in 2019, the mortgage giant said in a forecast on Tuesday.

"We continue to believe that a low-rate environment will support refinance demand over the forecast horizon," Fannie Mae said in the forecast. "At the current interest rate of 2.86%, we estimate that nearly 69% of outstanding first-lien loan balances have at least a half-percentage point incentive to refinance."

The low rates likely will boost the sales of new houses to 777,000 this year, a gain of 14% from 2019, the forecast said. Read more at HOUSINGWIRE



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