Gridlock in WashingtonDemocratic House speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday repeated her pledge to continue discussions with the White House on a new spending package, but said Republicans are unwilling to compromise on the size.”We have a massive problem in our country,” she told reporters, adding “it’s hard to see how we can go any lower when you only have a greater needs.” President Donald Trump has balked at calls to ramp up support to struggling state and local governments.White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows threw cold water on hopes of ending the gridlock, saying on Thursday he was “not optimistic” that Pelosi would want to have “meaningful” conversation if dialogue resumes.Economists warn that the better-than-expected economic recovery so far, which has seen the housing market remain strong, could evaporate without more stimulus.”Failure on the part of policymakers to enact another fiscal relief package poses significant downside risks to the economy and labor market as the recovery appears to be losing momentum,” said Nancy Vanden Houten of Oxford Economics.The US is home to the world’s worst coronavirus outbreak but has shown signs of recovering from the economic hit caused by the lockdowns. The unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.7 percent in April but has since dialed back to 8.4 percent.The latest data showed signs of improvement as the insured unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits fell 0.7 points to 8.6 percent in the week ended September 12. And the number of people receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the program for those not normally eligible for benefits, declined by more than 200,000.Rubeela Farooqi of High Frequency Economics warned the decline in the insured unemployment rate could reflect people either being rehired, or exhausting their benefits.”The risk going forward continues to come from virus outbreaks and intermittent interruptions to activity,” she wrote in an analysis. “Overall, the labor market is less weak compared to April but remains at risk of permanent damage from repeated closures.”Topics : New claims for United States jobless benefits inched down last week, but not by much, as a brief outburst of optimism about a new government aid package fizzled Thursday amid a continued impasse in Washington.New filings for unemployment assistance last week fell to 860,000, the Labor Department said Thursday, but despite the decline applications were higher than expected.A surge in workers filed for benefits amid the widespread business shutdowns in March at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and though that wave is well past its peak, weekly filings remain far above the worst of the 2008-2010 global financial crisis. And nearly 29.8 million people continued to receive some form of government aid through the week ended August 29, the latest for which data was available, the Labor Department said, and analysts have grown increasingly concerned of a spiraling employment crisis.”While it is good the numbers are falling, their decline is tapering, so we have over a year to get to normal,” chief economist at the AFL-CIO trade union federation William Spriggs said on Twitter.The data comes amid a continued impasse in Washington over providing additional support to the battered US economy and help for workers who have lost their jobs. The US$2.2 trillion CARES Act passed in March allowed people to receive benefits for an extended period, however, the extra $600 in weekly unemployment payments as well as a program to support small businesses have expired.
Storebrand, one of Norway’s largest pension providers, has agreed to buy asset manager Skagen.Once complete, the transaction will make Storebrand Norway’s largest provider by assets under management, according to IPE data. In a statement, Storebrand said it planned to pay Skagen’s current owners a total of NOK1.6bn (€169m), paid through a combination of Storebrand shares and cash, with the possibility of further gains subject to Skagen’s performance.Skagen – also a Norwegian firm but with branches across Europe – will operate as a separate company within the Storebrand group. Investment processes and philosophy would not change, the asset manager said. “In the current dynamic environment for the asset management industry, Skagen is delighted to be acquired by such a strong and well-resourced parent company,” the asset manager’s statement said. “The transaction will deliver real synergies and maximise the long-term potential of Skagen, allowing the company to develop in the best interests of its clients.”Storebrand CEO Odd Arild Grefstad said the acquisition was “an important building block” in the group’s growth strategy, while the group’s asset management CEO, Jan Erik Saugestad, highlighted the potential for growth in institutional provision.“Skagen is a contrarian and independent asset manager, held in high esteem by their clients,” Saugestad said. “We believe in their active investment philosophy, and will protect this along with their strong brand.”Øyvind Schanke, CEO of Skagen, added that his firm would have “greater ability to invest and innovate” due to its new owner’s resources.According to IPE’s annual Top 400 Asset Managers survey, Storebrand managed €63.5bn at the end of 2016. Skagen ran roughly €9bn.Storebrand said the acquisition would more than quadruple its share of the Norwegian private fund savings market from 4% to 17%.The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Norway and Sweden and is expected to complete before the end of this year.
Bosnia and Herzegovina national team player Miralem Pjanić will wear the FC Barcelona jersey from next season.The midfielder signed a four-year contract with the Spanish giant, to which he was transferred from Italian Juventus.“It was my dream that came true. I am happy and proud, not only for myself, but also for my parents and for the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I never forget where I came from. Barcelona is one of the biggest clubs in the world and being a part of this club is also the biggest step in football for every player. Success does not come by itself, but only with hard work, effort and faith that everything in life can be achieved. And this is proof. Now I have to do my job with Juventus, I am focused on that and then, I can’t wait to go out to Camp Nou”, said Miralem Pjanić.In his career so far, he also played for Metz, Lyon and Roma.He played 92 games for the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina and scored 15 goals.Born on 2 April, 1990 in Tuzla (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Miralem Pjanić is a versatile player who after becoming a key member of the Juventus squad is joining Barça to show his quality in midfield. He began his career in French football at Metz in 2007. Despite relegation, the midfielder had an excellent season and subsequently made the move to Olympique Lyonnais. Pjanić then began to make a name for himself in the world of football and became an essential member of the French side, helping them reach the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time in their history during the 2009/10 season.After playing 115 games and scoring 16 goals he headed for Italy, where he joined AS Roma in 2011. During 5 seasons and 200 games he scored 30 goals and gave 40 assists before signing for Juventus in 2016. In Turin he once again showed his maturing talent and became a vital cog in one of the best club side’s in the world, winning Serie A three times, as well as two Coppa Italia and one Italian Super Cup with la Vecchia Signora.Pjanić played for the Luxembourg national side at youth level but at senior level he chose to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is the 3rd most capped player in their history (92 games) and the 6th best goalscorer (15) and played at the 2014 World Cup and could figure in the Euro2020 competition next summer if Bosnia and Herzegovina can make it through the play offs.Pjanic has played in every midfield position, whether that be as an attacking midfielder at Metz or in a slightly deeper role at Olympique Lyonnais and Roma. His ability to join attacks whilst coming from deep as well as his excellent free kick taking abilities have seen him score his fair share of goals. Furthermore, his technical quality, vision of the game and commitment make him one of the best midfielders in football today.