Compiled by Mary Lou Masters
Cason Smith opened up the show with a recap of the recent Athens Area Chamber of Commerce meeting. During the Zoom meeting on Tuesday, bankers warned that federal emergency loans for small businesses affected by COVID-19 could potentially run out of money by the end of the week. Around $228 billion of the $349 billion is already allocated.
“I’m encouraged that there will be additional funds,” Bill Douglas of Synovus said, “I do worry about the folks that have not reached out to their local banker.”
Additionally, Athens-Clarke County Mayor Kelly Girtz said there could be limited local aid for small businesses in the near future. Athens-Clarke County will be forming a joint development authority with the city of Winterville to be able to help small businesses survive, he said.
Girtz expects to roll out the first phase of emergency aid at Tuesday’s commission meeting.
Wood Smith was up next with updates from the White House. President Trump has assembled several prominent sports league commissioners to serve as advisors on his committee aimed at reopening and resuming professional sports in America.
Among the list are UFC’s Dana White, Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban, and WWE Boss Vince McMahon. The goal of the committee is to chart a path towards reopening sports leagues while still mitigating the coronavirus. The president has expressed optimism about the chances of the NFL season beginning on time in September, although some NFL officials have warned that those games may have to be played without fans.
Cason also had the latest on President Trump’s disapproval of the World Health Organization. President Donald Trump announced in the Rose Garden on Tuesday a complete hold on funds sent to the World Health Organization, demanding they account for their failures to properly warn the world about the coronavirus. Trump said that the WHO played a role in mismanaging and covering up the spread of the virus.
“The WHO pushed China’s misinformation about the virus, saying it was not communicable and there was no need for travel bans,” Trump said.
The president pointed out that the WHO failed to investigate credible information that raised flags as to whether China was telling the truth about the virus. Additionally, he said the WHO failed to acquire samples of the virus for independent study.
“Had the WHO done its job to get medical experts into China to objectively assess the situation on the ground and to call out China’s lack of transparency, the outbreak could have been contained at its source,” Trump said.
Michael White reported on the country’s financial status. The Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all fell on average of 2.5% this morning when markets opened. The drop in the markets comes amid earnings week for many big banks.
Earnings are when publicly traded companies have calls with investors and release their quarterly results. During these calls, companies release key statistics for the prior three months, and lay out their projections for the next three months.
This week, many big-named companies are releasing their earnings, including J.B. Junt, Johnson and Johnson, Delta, Progressive and Rite Aid. However, most of the attention will be on the numerous banks releasing earnings this week, including Wells Fargo, JP Morgan Chase, PNC, US Bancorp, Bank of America and Regions.
This round of earnings was expected to be a telling sign in how the coronavirus shutdown has damaged the economy, as banks are a reliable segment of the economy and should not have been hit hard during the shutdown. Bank of America released their earnings today, missing expectations by 17%. Most other banks who have released their earnings were within 5% of their expectations.
The markets have rejected these earnings and are falling today. It remains to be seen what the markets will do for the rest of the week, as other banks release earnings. Hopefully, the markets will be able to recover these losses.
Wood also had details on Governor Kemp’s most recent decisions regarding COVID-19. Governor Brian Kemp announced Monday that healthcare facilities across Georgia will be receiving additional staffing support to fight the coronavirus outbreak. The State of Georgia has partnered with Jackson Healthcare to help facilitate 570 new healthcare professionals to begin work at Georgia health facilities.
“We are committed to giving our heroic healthcare workers the staffing support necessary to win this fight,” Kemp said. “It has been inspiring to witness the work being done by those on the front lines to combat COVID-19, and I join my fellow Georgians in expressing tremendous gratitude for their service.”