Weekly Flash Report 8/7 2020.08.07

Current Happenings

  • President Trump signed executive orders on Friday in an effort to force action in Congress. The orders would enhance unemployment benefits with an extra $300/week, suspend payroll taxes for anyone earning less than $100K/year, and defer federal student loan payments and temporarily forgive interest.
  • U.S. employers added 1.8M jobs and the unemployment rate fell from 11.1% to 10.2% for the month of July.
  • Lebanon declared a state of emergency after a massive explosion rocked Beirut, at least 150 people dead and more than 5,000 wounded.

Regulatory Chatter and Industry Trends

  • $10M settlement reached in National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) ERISA Litigation. Beyond the cash reimbursement to the plan, the settlement requires regular fee studies and a recordkeeping RFP process at least once every six years.

  • A judge let the case known as Belknap v. Partners Healthcare System proceed. The lawsuit argues that the qualified pension benefits offered must  be “actuarially equivalent” or in this case the joint and survivor annuity versus a single life annuity.

Investment Manager News

  • Jennifer Oyler has joined Principal Financial Group as the head of customer experience.
  • Terrance Gray and Jian Tao joined Lazard Asset Management as portfolio managers.

What's Ahead

  • •Consumer Price Index – August 12, 2020
  • •EIA Petroleum Status Report – August 12, 2020
  • •EIA Natural Gas Report – August 13, 2020
  • •Jobless Claims – August 13, 2020
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