November 24, 2020
The Gateway For Payroll Data
Former Fed Chair Janet Yellen reportedly Biden pick for Treasury Secretary
Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will serve as the 78th Treasury Secretary of the U.S., the Wall Street Journal reported Monday afternoon, citing people familiar with President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team.

Yellen, 74, will have her work cut out for her, with the U.S. economy in the midst of the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression. But Yellen’s deep experience with macroeconomics, in addition to her familiarity with the inner workings of Washington, could prove to be useful tools as the Biden administration takes a swing at a fiscal response to the crisis.

If confirmed, Yellen will be the first woman to hold the position, and only the second Fed chair to serve in the role (G. William Miller).
Paving the Payments Future
The cashless economy: How fintech is approaching the future of finance
Cashless payments were on the rise before the pandemic hit, and now, eight months into its grip on the U.S., their use is accelerating even faster. This was the topic of conversation at Fortune’s latest Brainstorm Finance panel on the cashless economy. Host Jen Wieczner and senior writer Robert Hackett were joined by panelists Stephanie Cohen, chief strategy officer at Goldman Sachs, Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi, Craig Vosburg, President of North America at Mastercard, Emilie Choi, COO of Coinbase, and surprise guest Nima Ghamsari, founder and CEO of Blend.

Goldman, SoFi, Coinbase, and Mastercard all work with partners to offer credit and debit cards, which play an important role in all four companies’ consumer finance strategies, even as they look to digital payments (sans plastic) to build out the future financial ecosystem.
Lending as a Service
Consumer borrowing up $16.2 billion in September in credit card bounce back
The increase in overall debt pushed total consumer borrowing to $4.16 trillion in September

WASHINGTON — U.S. consumers increased their borrowing in September, helped by the first gain in the category that covers credit cards in seven months.

The Federal Reserve reported that total borrowing rose by $16.2 billion in September, rebounding after a drop of $6.9 billion in August.

The increase included a $3.98 billion increase in credit card borrowing, the first rise since February. Credit card use had fallen for six straight months as households cut back on use of credit cards once the pandemic hit and millions of people lost their jobs.

The category that covers auto loans and student loans increased by $12.2 billion in September. This category has been rising steadily since a $6.9 billion drop in April.
COVID-19 paid leave tax credits for Small and Midsize businesses

Small and midsize employers can claim two NEW refundable payroll tax credits.

The paid sick leave credit and the paid family leave credit are designed to immediately and fully reimburse eligible employers for the cost of providing COVID-19 related leave to their employees.

Trump aims to nominate OCC's Brooks to 5-year term
  • President Donald Trump intends to nominate acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks to a five-year term, the White House posted in a statement on its website Tuesday.
  • The move, nine weeks before President-elect Joe Biden is set to take office, as various legal challenges from the Trump administration reach resolution, could force Biden's administration to lean on legal authority that has never been used if it wants to try to replace Brooks with its own nominee. 
  • Before that scenario has a chance to play out, Brooks must face a hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, and that panel must approve the nomination. Then, the full Senate must approve him before Jan. 20.

How Prepaid Cards Support Faster, More Accessible Employee Compensation
Companies with global workforces need to overcome numerous challenges to quickly and easily pay their employees. Providing prompt compensation is critical because workers’ loyalty could be damaged if frictions affect their paychecks. Employees’ payment preferences and access to financial tools can vary, however.

Firms recognize that not all employees can receive payments into bank accounts, and these companies must therefore provide secure, convenient alternatives. Employers have commonly relied on paper checks to compensate unbanked employees, but many businesses are finding this method more difficult to use during the COVID-19 pandemic. Accounts payable (AP) staff can no longer simply hand checks to employees at their offices and instead must mail them to their homes, trusting what can be a slow-moving and strained postal system to deliver these payments on time. Issuing physical checks every two weeks can also challenge employers that cannot safely allow AP staff on site to use check printers.
Mnuchin asks Fed to return unused COVID money, says Main Street will end Dec. 31
  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, in a letter Thursday to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, said he would let the Main Street Lending Program and four other coronavirus-inspired aid measures expire Dec. 31, and requested that the Fed return unused funds to the Treasury, allowing Congress to re-appropriate more than $450 billion.
  • The letter prompted a swift rebuke from the central bank. "The Federal Reserve would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for our still-strained and vulnerable economy," the Fed said in a statement Thursday, according to American Banker.
  • Mnuchin also sought a 90-day extension for four other emergency lending facilities, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

'Do the hard things first': What Capital One prioritized in its cloud migration
  • Successful cloud migration strategies identify the most difficult parts of the shift, and begin their cloud journey by tackling those elements, Allison Perkel, Capital One's vice president of technology, said Wednesday at the Lesbians Who Tech & Allies Debug 2020 Summit.
  • The tech leader called on executives heading cloud migrations to "do the hard things first." In Capital One's case, that meant ensuring controls were safe and solid, said Perkel, who joined the bank in October 2019. 
  • Taking a cue from successful software development, cloud strategies should focus on the most complex parts of the process, allowing space to "make adjustments and changes based on the solutions and answers you get from that problem space," Perkel said.

What Does Biden’s Student Loan Plan Mean for You?
The student-debt crisis has been dire for years, but never more than it is right now. Under Trump’s presidency, the total amount of student loans held by Americans increased by over 16 percent to its highest level ever, an eye-watering $1.64 trillion. Federal-student-loan payments are currently frozen as part of the government’s pandemic relief, but that order expires at the end of the year, at which point 45 million Americans will resume staring down bills that average $393 per month, ready or not.

For people of color, student debt is even more insidious. Black and Latinx students borrow more money, on average, than their white peers for the same degrees, and are more likely to default or have trouble paying it back. Forgiving at least some amount of government student debt, as lawmakers like Elizabeth Warren and Chuck Schumer have proposed, could be one of the most effective ways to shrink the racial wealth gap — and boost the country’s economic recovery from the pandemic overall.
Where Visa sees crypto going with bitcoin near all-time high
  • Visa estimates that $18 trillion is still spent using cash and checks and health concerns due to Covid-19 will push more transactions to a cashless society.
  • The payments network company also sees 1.7 billion people around the world who are unbanked or underbanked as targets for growth.
  • One way in which Visa expects more people to pay in the future is with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, which has soared in value this year back near its all-time high as more financial institutions and investors buy in.

Aaron's (AAN) is an Incredible Growth Stock: 3 Reasons Why
Investors seek growth stocks to capitalize on above-average growth in financials that help these securities grab the market's attention and produce exceptional returns. But finding a great growth stock is not easy at all.

That's because, these stocks usually carry above-average risk and volatility. In fact, betting on a stock for which the growth story is actually over or nearing its end could lead to significant loss.

However, the task of finding cutting-edge growth stocks is made easy with the help of 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.
Credit card debt is falling. That’s good news — and bad news
We learned this week that household debt is rising, according to the New York Federal Reserve. You can thank the booming housing market for that, along with student and auto loans.

However, that same report found that credit card debt is falling. That’s good news, right? Well, yes and no.

Ever since the pandemic started, many people have been receiving government relief. Kathy Jones, chief fixed-income strategist at Charles Schwab, said people have also had fewer ways to spend that money.
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