Bankruptcy filings increase 52% | Deferred loans with main US banks top $150B | SEC enforcement chief Peikin stepping down
August 6, 2020
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Corporate Spotlight
Chapter 11 business bankruptcies surged 52% in July compared to the same month last year, while around 40,000 personal bankruptcies were filed in the month, up 11% from April's figure. Filings are expected to increase as government support programs come to an end.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/4) 
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The four biggest banks in the US are carrying at least $151.5 billion of loans whose payments are in some type of deferral. Uncertainty over how long the coronavirus crisis will last and how much damage it will inflict on the economy is making it difficult for banks to judge how many of their loans will have to be written off.
Full Story: Bloomberg (tiered subscription model) (8/5) 
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National News
Steven Peikin, joint chief of enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission, will leave the agency on Aug. 14. Co-chief Stephanie Avakian will continue to run the SEC enforcement division.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/5) 
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Financial and Tax Update
The US federal government will need to maintain borrowing at elevated levels as the coronavirus crisis continues, although it should decline marginally this quarter, the Treasury said. Offerings of all Treasury securities will be increased but the emphasis will be on 7-year and 10-year notes, and bonds with 20-year and 30-year maturities, as the government aims to shift to longer-dated debt.
Full Story: Reuters (8/5),  The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (8/5) 
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Employment Focus
Legislation that has passed a California Senate committee would mandate that businesses inform employees and state officials within 24 hours if a worker is exposed to the coronavirus. The measure, which could carry a $10,000 fine for violations, would be tougher than a recent Virginia law that mandates notifications when an employee tests positive for the coronavirus.
Full Story: The Associated Press (8/5) 
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Supreme Court and Federal Court Watch
The US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit has overturned an injunction against the Trump administration's public charge rule, which eases the denial of legal status for immigrants deemed likely to rely on public assistance. The court held that the Immigration and Nationality Act enables the administration to enforce the rule and that the Department of Homeland Security likely has interpreted the meaning of "public charge" in an appropriate way.
Full Story: Reuters (8/5),  Bloomberg Law (free content) (8/5),  The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (8/5) 
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The US Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision has overturned a lower court order that jails in California's Orange County take inmates' temperatures every day and get inmates' input on jail conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic, among other measures. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented, noting that 300 inmates tested positive for the virus in one month, while the county said in a recent appeal that it had "currently zero transmission" of the virus among inmates.
Full Story: Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (8/5),  CNN (8/5) 
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The US Justice Department told a federal judge that California overstepped its authority in enacting net neutrality legislation. A federal appeals court ruled last year that the Federal Communications Commission has no jurisdiction in the matter.
Full Story: Reuters (8/5) 
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Professional and Business Development
The future is barreling down the tracks, and many legal professionals question whether they are prepared, finds the "2020 Future Ready Lawyer: Performance Drivers" survey from Wolters Kluwer. The three changes most expected: Using technology to increase productivity (83%); more specialization (80%) and increased innovation (75%).
Full Story: Above the Law (8/4) 
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Customers will determine when business travel regains momentum, says Susan Liechtenstein of DigiTravel, as they'll need to feel safe again. Some aspects of business travel are already being replaced by video calls, and companies are noticing the cost savings of less travel.
Full Story: BBC (8/4) 
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Lawrence Ferlinghetti,
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