Congress returns to work today with just weeks to craft new agreements on aid to households and protections for businesses, urged on by signs of a faltering economic recovery, a resurgent coronavirus pandemic, and a looming deadline for enhanced unemployment payments, the Wall Street Journal reported.
- Critical for rent collection: What to do about the expiring $600 in weekly aid the federal government has added to state unemployment benefits is probably the most urgent question facing lawmakers. Roughly 25 million Americans currently access the funds, helping to mitigate some of the worst economic consequences of the downturn, but the enhanced payments end this month.
- Be Smart: The fierce resurgence of Covid-19 cases and related business shutdowns are dashing hopes of a quick recovery, prompting businesses from airlines to restaurant chains to again shift their strategies and staffing or ramp up previous plans to do so. Executives who were bracing for a months-long disruption are now thinking in terms of years. Their job has changed from riding it out to reinventing. Roles once thought core are now an extravagance. Strategies set in the spring are obsolete.
- By the numbers: The U.S. posted a single-day record of more than 77,000 new cases on Thursday and its case count on Sunday was more than 3.7 million, a little over a week after reaching 3 million. The accelerating spread has derailed what many businesses had hoped would be a smooth transition to normal levels of activity. Executives are increasingly resigned to the idea that a vaccine is the only path back to normal. [WSJ]