News Highlights of the Week

United States unemployment numbers

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped below one million last week for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, according to Reuters. The weekly $600 jobless supplement has also expired, and it doesn’t look like Congress is making any progress on a second pandemic relief package. Over the weekend President Trump signed an executive order to extend the supplement, reducing the payment to $400 and requiring states to cover a portion of the benefits.

United States and China tensions continue

China has been unusually vocal about being cut out of the global dollar system. Tensions remain high between the two countries as the Trump administration has been pushing for a partial decoupling in key areas related to trade, technology and financial activity. According to Reuters, “Washington has unleashed a barrage of actions penalizing China, including proposals to bar U.S. listings of Chinese companies that fail to meet U.S. accounting standards and bans on the Chinese-owned TikTok and WeChat apps. Further tension is expected in the run-up to U.S. elections on November 3rd….Any move by Washington to cut China off from the dollar system or retaliation by Beijing to sell a big chunk of U.S. debt could roil financial markets and hurt the global economy, analysts said”


College students back to school

As we continue with the pandemic looming, college students are beginning their fall semesters. College and Universities have various reopening plans, from postponing the semester to offering more remote coursework. According to Business Insider, some universities like Harvard are planning for another remote semester, while others, like Rice, expect to reopen campus with social distancing regulations in place. Brown University released its plan which includes a three-term school year where students take turns being on campus. College sports have taken a hit this week, with the Big 10 and Pac-12 football conferences postponing their 2020 fall seasons. Both conferences will attempt to play in the Spring.


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