On The Money: Stocks plummet into correction over fears of coronavirus spreading | GOP resistance to Fed pick Shelton eases | Sanders offers bill to limit tax breaks for retiring executives

On The Money: Stocks plummet into correction over fears of coronavirus spreading | GOP resistance to Fed pick Shelton eases | Sanders offers bill to limit tax breaks for retiring executives
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Happy Thursday and welcome back to On The Money, where we're wondering if AOC will end up in the next Hamilton. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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THE BIG DEAL-- Stocks plummet into correction amid fears of US coronavirus spread:

Stocks plunged Thursday amid growing concern about a potential coronavirus pandemic, sinking the market into correction territory as investors brace for the economic fallout.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted 1,190 points, a 4.4-percent drop, falling more than 10 percent below a record high notched earlier in the month. The S&P 500 index also sunk 4.4 percent while the Nasdaq composite fell 4.6 percent.

All three major U.S. stock indexes entered a formal correction, which is a 10 percent drop from its most recent peak. The Dow fell into a correction after only 10 trading days, while the S&P fell into a correction in just six sessions, the shortest reversal of at least 10 percent in its history.

I have more on Wall Street's bloody Thursday here.

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Stay updated on the coronavirus outbreak: 

  • A whistleblower claims the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sent workers to receive the first Americans evacuated from China during the coronavirus outbreak without proper training or protective gear, The Washington Post reported Thursday. 
  • Vice President Pence on Thursday tapped longtime health official and ambassador-at-large Debbie Birx to serve as the White House coronavirus response coordinator.

 

Economic blowback: U.S. stocks have suffered their worst week of losses since the 2007-08 financial crisis and recession amid the growing fears of a pandemic. While the sell-off has fueled fears of a severe global downturn, many economists project the virus will hinder the global economy without igniting a Great Recession-level collapse.

  • Technology, travel and hospitality, and energy companies took the steepest losses Thursday as store closures, quarantines, supply chain disruptions and cancelled vacations and events threaten to wipe out their first-quarter profits. 
  • Economists at Goldman Sachs warned Thursday that corporations may see no earnings growth amid the scramble to contain the coronavirus.

 

LEADING THE DAY

Trump Fed nominee Shelton sees GOP resistance fade: Judy Shelton, one of Trump's two latest Fed nominees, had a confirmation hearing so brutal that Republicans expected the president to pull her nomination.

But Shelton won the support of a key Senate Banking Committee Republican who appeared to be all but certain at first to oppose her confirmation, while another skeptic opened the door to voting for her as well.

Sen. Pat ToomeyPatrick (Pat) Joseph ToomeyAppeals court rules NSA's bulk phone data collection illegal Dunford withdraws from consideration to chair coronavirus oversight panel GOP senators push for quick, partial reopening of economy MORE (R-Pa.) announced Wednesday night that he would vote for Shelton after she satisfied concerns he held about her past call to drop U.S. interest rates in response to global trade conditions. 

Toomey said that a letter Shelton sent him "clarified to me that she will oppose using monetary policy for the purpose of devaluing the dollar. It would have been imprudent and contrary to statutory authorization for the Federal Reserve to go down this path."

Sen. Richard ShelbyRichard Craig ShelbySenate GOP eyes early exit Dems discussing government funding bill into February GOP short of votes on Trump's controversial Fed pick MORE (R-Ala.), the former Banking panel chairman who feared Shelton wasn't a "mainstream" choice, also said Thursday that he would consider voting for her if "a majority" of his committee colleagues were in favor.

Shelton isn't in the clear yet. All it will take to sink her is for one Republican to oppose her in committee, and Sen. John KennedyJohn Neely KennedyMORE (R-La.) said Thursday he's still undecided about her nomination pending a full review of her writings. And even if she clears the committee, other Republicans have expressed concerns about her nomination. But the past two days are two major steps forward for her embattled nomination.

 

Sanders offers bill to limit tax breaks for executive retirement plans: Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersButtigieg stands in as Pence for Harris's debate practice Bernie Sanders warns of 'nightmare scenario' if Trump refuses election results Harris joins women's voter mobilization event also featuring Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda MORE (I-Vt.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenCongress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out Democrats fear Russia interference could spoil bid to retake Senate Mid-Atlantic states sue EPA over Chesapeake Bay pollution MORE (D-Md.) on Thursday introduced legislation that takes aim at tax breaks for corporate executives' retirement plans.

  • Companies can offer executive retirement plans under which highly paid employees of a company can defer compensation at retirement or afterwards. 
  • Executives don't have to pay taxes on the compensation until it is distributed. 
  • Unlike 401(k) retirement plans, there is no limit on the amount of money that can be contributed to the executive plans on a tax-preferred basis.

Under the bill from Sanders and Van Hollen, deferred compensation in executive retirement plans would become included in taxable income when the money vests, rather than when it is distributed. 

"We are going to end these tax breaks for CEOs and use that money to protect 1.7 million workers who are worried about a decent retirement as they face instability in their current pension plans," Sanders said in a statement released by his Senate office.

The Hill's Naomi Jagoda breaks down the bill here.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • The Treasury Department and IRS on Thursday announced the appointment of a new permanent national taxpayer advocate, naming a longtime tax professional to a key IRS watchdog position.
  • A senior adviser to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, said a Sanders administration could begin with a $300 billion federal jobs guarantee before pushing for universal health care, one of the Vermont senator's signature issues.
  • The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are considering either scaling back their Spring Meetings planned for April or holding them via teleconference amid growing concerns of the coronavirus, according to Reuters.