"Amid Exceptional Uncertainty" IMF Projects Growth for Rich Countries, Challenges for Developing Countries

Washington DC - The International Monetary Fund released projections on the world economy as countries continue to wrestle with the coronavirus. The Fund's World Economic Outlook Update projects 5.5% global growth in 2021, while noting developing countries face growing problems.

"While the IMF is uncertain in its predictions, it's clear that the developing world is mired in severe challenges due to high debts, few financial resources and lack of access to vaccines," stated Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte who has reviewed IMF economic reports for more than a decade.

The update to the IMF's flagship report notes that global growth mostly benefits wealthy and advanced economies. The analysis notes that many developing countries will need debt relief and access to liquidity to get through the crisis.

"Developing countries desperately need debts reduced and access to new financial resources," shared LeCompte, a United Nations finance expert. "In order for people to survive this crisis in the developing world, we need to authorize the use of global reserve funds or what's called Special Drawing Rights."

Special Drawing Rights are likened to a type of emergency currency that the IMF can generate when countries face liquidity challenges.

The IMF raised several cautions about economic projections, including how new strains of the coronavirus could push economic downturns.

Read the latest IMF World Economic Outlook Update here.
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Janet Yellen Confirmed as Treasury Secretary

Washington DC - The US Senate voted to confirm Janet Yellen as Secretary of Treasury.

Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and who works closely with US Treasury, releases the following statement on the confirmation of Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen:

"Beyond being the first female Treasury Secretary, Yellen is the first person to serve in the trifecta of US finance. 
 
"She chaired the president's Council of Economic Advisers, the Federal Reserve and now takes the helm of Treasury.

"Yellen is the Treasury Secretary we need to confront the severe economic impacts spurred by the coronavirus.

"During her Senate confirmation, she clearly articulated that too many working people, poor people and people of color are experiencing the worst economic impacts of the pandemic.

"Her proven track record is the experience we need to combat growing inequality and argue for big stimulus packages going forward.

"Yellen knows that significant stimulus is urgently needed now to grow our economy and address poverty and inequality.

"Yellen is in lockstep with current Fed analysis that stimulus must move forward quickly.

"She will need to take these strong domestic positions on stimulus policies and apply them on a global level as the developing world faces lost decades of development.

"I have no doubts that she will work well with the IMF, G7 and G20 to promote global stimulus and financial crisis resolution processes.

"Janet Yellen advocates stronger policies to address the intersection of economic issues and climate change.

"Yellen has strong views on tackling tax evasion and corruption in our financial system."
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High-Level Climate Summit to Launch Action Agenda

Global Economic Decisions Key to Addressing Climate Asserts Jubilee USA

Washington DC - World leaders, including Pope Francis, UN General Secretary António Guterres and the IMF's Kristalina Georgieva, gather for a high-level climate summit hosted by the Netherlands through Tuesday.

"The meeting on addressing climate change is taking place at a critical moment," noted Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA. "As we confront the economic impacts of the coronavirus, some of the most consequential decisions on climate will be made by the G20 and the IMF."

During the opening session, Kristalina Georgieva offered that the institution she leads, the IMF, would work to ensure a greener and more resilient climate economy.

"I'm heartened to hear that Georgieva and the IMF are including climate in their assessments of countries and their advice for finance ministers," stated LeCompte, a UN expert whose organization is raising alarms about significant climate decisions taking place outside of the United Nations system. "Addressing climate change means urgently addressing the global economic decisions that will increase or reduce climate change."
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U.S. News & World Report Quotes Eric LeCompte on Biden Trade Policies

U.S. News quotes Eric LeCompte on how the Biden Administration can approach trade policy to benefit Main Street over Wall Street. Read an excerpt below, and click here for the full story.

Joe Biden’s Economic To-Do List

By Tim Smart

Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, an interfaith network of religious and advocacy groups, says Biden needs to distinguish himself from the pro-corporate, pro-market economic policies of the Trump years.

"Biden must show rural and working people that he prioritizes Main Street before Wall Street," LeCompte says. "Biden needs to focus on trade policies in different ways than previous Democratic administrations did. His policies must prioritize growing American jobs in trade agreements as opposed to growing the value of corporate stocks with trade agreements."

Read more here

 

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Our Biden Work, Student Debt Victory!

Friends,

Our many efforts with the new Biden Administration are moving forward very, very quickly.

Today - after his inauguration, one of the first executive orders that President Biden will issue, is to extend our student debt payment suspension through September. The action will benefit 45 million Americans and ease the suffering too many feel because of the coronavirus economic crisis. Biden also supports Jubilee USA's proposals for student debt cancellation.

Right after the election, Jubilee USA began high-level meetings with the Biden Transition Team. We invited several of our founding national religious institutions to sit with us and the Biden Transition Team leaders for International Treasury, Domestic Treasury, the US Trade Representative, Puerto Rico, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Reserve, Bank and Financial Regulation.

During our Biden meetings we covered all of our efforts to address inequality, end poverty, coronavirus response and stopping financial crises. 

The issues we worked on with Biden's team include: student debt, stimulus plans, trade agreements and access to medicine, debt relief and global bankruptcy, accessing global reserve funds (Special Drawing Rights), climate finance, tax evasion and corruption, Puerto Rico, G7/G20 emergency actions, responsible lending, financial stability, universal basic income, development aid, US and international child poverty reduction and much, much more.

Read and share our initial Biden Transition Team memo about all of our efforts to win a Jubilee across the United States and around the world.

Your partnership and actions are crucial in the coming weeks and months. In recent months your actions propelled and won some of our coronavirus response campaigns, Puerto Rico disaster aid, student debt relief and passing Jubilee's Corporate Transparency Act. Together, we organized hundreds of religious communities and the largest faith, labor, environmental and human right groups on our coronavirus response efforts. Your actions moved the Trump Administration to take stronger positions on debt relief than any other G20 country.

Our bipartisan and interfaith efforts, together, are critical so our country, world and planet emerge from the coronavirus crises with resilience - a world where we all have enough and can live in dignity.

Onward,

Eric

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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President Biden Extends Student Loan Payment Freeze

Washington DC – President Biden will extend the freeze on student debt payments as one of his first executive actions after his inauguration. The Department of Education will be directed to continue the student debt payment suspension through September.

“Extending the suspension of student loan payments translates to relief for millions of people suffering from the crisis,” said Jubilee USA Executive Director Eric LeCompte, whose organization pressed Congress and the Trump Administration on initial student debt relief actions.

Forty-five million Americans holding student debt will benefit from Biden's executive order. Last spring, the CARES Act stimulus package suspended student debt payments until September of 2020, a measure the Trump White House extended twice but was due to expire on Thursday. 

"Suspending student debt payments is a necessary first step," stated LeCompte. "I'm grateful that President Biden already supports additional proposals for student debt cancellation."

In addition to student loan payment relief, Biden will sign 14 additional executive actions during his first day in office.

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Easy Treasury Secretary Confirmation Expected for Janet Yellen

Washington DC –Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen appeared for her Senate confirmation hearing and is expected to face an easy confirmation.

Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of the religious development group Jubilee USA Network and who works closely with US Treasury, releases the following statement on Janet Yellen:

"What a historic moment as Janet Yellen will be the first woman serving as Treasury Secretary.

"Amazingly, Yellen will be the first person to serve in the Holy Trinity of US finance. She chaired the president's Council of Economic Advisers, the Federal Reserve, and will take the helm of Treasury.

"Yellen is the Treasury Secretary we need to confront the severe economic impacts spurred by the coronavirus.

"In her Senate confirmation hearing, she clearly articulated that too many working people, poor people and people of color are experiencing the worst economic impacts of the pandemic.

"Her proven track record is the experience we need to combat growing inequality and argue for big stimulus packages going forward.

"Yellen knows that significant stimulus is urgently needed now to grow our economy and address poverty and inequality.

"Yellen is in lockstep with current Fed analysis that stimulus must move forward quickly.

"She will need to take these strong domestic positions on stimulus policies and apply them on a global level as the developing world faces lost decades of development.

"I have no doubts that she will work well with the IMF, G7, and G20 to promote global stimulus and financial crisis resolution processes.

"More broadly, Yellen advocates stronger policies to address the intersection of economic issues and climate change.

"Yellen has strong views on tackling tax evasion and corruption in our financial system."

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Biden Names Transparency Advocate to Top Regulatory Post

Washington DC – Gary Gensler, former Wall Street regulator will be President-elect Biden's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to Reuters. Gensler will lead the agency created after the 1920's stock market crash to protect investors and enforce stability in the banking system.

"As the world wrestles with financial crises, Gensler is the right pick for this critical position," noted Eric LeCompte who leads Jubilee USA, a religious development group that advocates solutions for financial crises. "The SEC is key for stopping corruption and promoting global economic stability."

In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, Gensler chaired the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and forced oversight on the banking industry. Gensler's SEC will issue enforcement rules on recent legislation passed in Congress like the Corporate Transparency Act that targets shell corporations. These types of corporations can hide the identity of their owner and facilitate crime, development aid theft and human trafficking.

“Gensler understands there is no place for corruption in the financial system and holds a proven track record on promoting transparency,” stated LeCompte.

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White House Announces Puerto Rico Disaster Rebuilding Aid

Washington DC – The White House announced a $3.7 billion disaster grant for Puerto Rico to rebuild reservoirs, dams and wastewater facilities.

“Puerto Rico suffers from a debt crisis and is still recovering from hurricanes and earthquakes,” said Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network, a religious development organization. "The aid is vital as Puerto Rico needs to rebuild infrastructure damaged by disasters."

As earthquakes continue to shake the US Territory, the island feels the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria which hit Puerto Rico three years ago with an estimated $100 billion in damages.

According to the White House, the new grant award from the Federal Emergency Management Administration brings total hurricane recovery funds to $40 billion. In July, Puerto Rico religious leaders wrote Congress citing the need for an additional $60 billion in recovery aid. The letter was signed by the leaders from Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, Christian (Disciples) and Evangelical Churches, the Puerto Rico Council of Churches, Catholic Charities (Caritas) and the Puerto Rico General Bible Society.

Read the Jubilee Puerto Rico Religious Leader Letter to Congress here.

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Historic 2020 Jubilee News Coverage

Friends,

This year hasn't been easy. We've lost too many Jubilee USA friends this year to the coronavirus, inequality is rising and more of us are struggling.

In spite of this, we seized this year to fight for our survival, to protect the poor and our planet. We won multiple coronavirus and stimulus campaigns throughout 2020.

From the Wall Street Journal to Fox News to the Financial Times, the New York Times and your local paper - this year, Jubilee USA appeared in hundreds of thousands of newspapers and shows on our debt, tax, trade, transparency, coronavirus response and Puerto Rico efforts. 

Below you can find a sampling of how the global media told our Jubilee USA 2020 story.

Gratefully,

Zach

Zachary Conti
Director of Policy and Advocacy
Twitter: @JubileeUSA
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

JUBILEE IN THE NEWS 

Devex World 2020: COVID-19, the SDGs, and the Development Finance Agenda Devex (December 10th) 

Devex World 2020: Live updates and news Devex (December 10th) 

Few results from G-20 meeting as decisions await new US administration Devex (November 24th)  

Saudi G20 summit pledges fair global vaccine access but stops short of developing world debt relief The Independent (November 22nd)  

G20 to extend debt relief to mid-2021, pushes private sector to help Reuters (November 22nd)

G20 determined to use all tools to contain pandemic, save jobs, incomes Reuters (November 20th)  

FCDO's foreign nationals policy, G-20 debt framework, and Iota's compounding impact: This week in development Devex (November 19th)  

Africa’s First Pandemic Default Tests New Effort to Ease Debt From China Wall Street Journal (November 18th)  

G20 Releases Debt Framework Details Devex (November 16th)  

World’s poorest countries get fresh debt relief hope from creditor nations Financial Times (November 13th)  

G20 strikes historic debt pact to help poorer states hit by COVID Reuters (November 13th)  

G-20 Looks to Deepen Debt Relief Drive With China’s Coordination Bloomberg (November 12th)  

IMF Eyes New Relationship With Biggest Shareholder After Biden Win US News and World Report (November 11th) 

Francis Names 13 New Cardinals, Including Washington's Archbishop Gregory National Catholic Reporter (October 25th) 

As World Bank pushes others on debt relief, it doesn't participate Devex (October 19th) 

Coronavirus Deals a Blow to Global Battle Against Poverty Wall Street Journal (October 18th) 

'Intense' G20 negotiations fall short on debt support expectations Devex (October 15th) 

IMF warns global economy could be permanently scarred Associated Press and other outlets (October 15th) 

G-20 Extends Debt Relief Plan Amid Warnings It’s Not Enough Bloomberg (October 14th)

G-20 Seen Extending Poor Nations’ Debt Relief Into Next Year Bloomberg (October 13th) 

IMF encourages countries affected by COVID to keep spending on safety net Marketplace (October 13th) 

Proposals and pressure mount for more action on COVID-19 financing Devex (October 5th) 

G7 ministers back extension of debt freeze for poorest nations, urge reforms Reuters (September 24th) 

Le candidat de Trump élu à la tête de la BID Les Echos (September 13th) 

Jubilee USA Network Works Internationally for Economic and Covid Relief Wort FM Radio (September 9th) 

UK aid cuts, G-20 debt delays, and the EU's budget deal: This week in development Devex (July 23th) 

Covid 19: G20 nations put off debt relief decisions until autumn meeting Vatican News (July 21st) 

G20 criticado por adiar decisão sobre extensão da moratória da dívida Sol (July 19th)  

G-20 to Make Debt Relief Extension Call Closer to Year End Bloomberg (July 18th) 

G20 finance officials poised to recommend extension of debt freeze Reuters (July 18th) 

G20 finance officials poised to recommend extension of debt freeze Bloomberg (July 17th) 

Puerto Rico experts, participants discuss its future The Bond Buyer (July 6th) 

PROMESA after four years: Key questions remain  The Bond Buyer (June 30th) 

World Bank chief calls for more private sector buy-in on G20 debt relief Reuters June 22)

An Interview with Eric LeCompte Catholic Profiles (June 14)

UN urges help for countries near ‘debt distress’ from virus Associated Press (June 3)

This crisis is hard on us. It’s even harder on countries that aren’t rich Marketplace (May 21)

 Debt relief needed to help poor nations in pandemic The Tablet (May 18)

Advocates seek debt relief to respond to pandemic Crux (May 15)

Private creditors push back against blanket debt relief for Africa Reuters (May 15)

The World’s Poor are Drowning in Debt. Here’s how to help them Barron’s (May 8)

High-profile economists back Argentina’s debt restructuring bid Buenos Aires Times (May 6)

Canje de deuda: Stiglitz, Sachs, Piketty y más de 130 economistas respaldaron la oferta argentina Pagina12 (May 6)

Restructuring Argentina’s Private Debt is essential Project Syndicate (May 6)

FMI da crédito de emergencia a Ecuador azotado por Covid y bajos precios del crudo Swissinfo (May 2)

Coronavirus could push Latin America, Caribbean into deepest recession since 1930s Miami Herald (April 27)

What will it take to fix flailing SDG funding? Devex (April 23)

Eric LeCompte: El Papa Francisco seguirá pidiendo el alivio de la deuda Perfil (April 22)

Motivation | Natalie Herder The Select 7 (April 21)

IMF, World Bank Pledge Help Amid Calls For More Debt Relief The Jamaica Gleaner (April 19)

G20, IMF deliver on debt relief, but more is needed, experts say Devex (April 17)

World Business Report BBC World News (April 15)

‘Urgent action’ needed on debt relief for poor countries, expert says Crux (April 15)

G20 avala suspensión temporal del pago de la deuda para los países pobres France 24 (April 15)

FMI alivia deuda de 25 países pobres Inter Press Service (April 15)

G20 apoia suspensão por um ano do pagamento de dívida dos países pobres AFP (April 15)

G-20 has agreed to debt standstill for world’s poorest countries, IMF and World Bank heads say Marketwatch (April 15)

Faith groups, AFL-CIO urge U.S., IMF, G20 to cancel debt for poor countries Reuters (April 14)

IMF Predicts Global Coronavirus Crisis Akin to the Great Depression US News and World Report (April 14)

IMF Announces Debt Relief for African Nations to Fight Pandemic Voice Of America (April 14) 

IMF cancels debt payments for 6 months for 25 poor nations Associated Press (April 13)

Amid Pandemic IMF & G20 Called on to Cancel Poorest Nations’ Unsustainable Debt Between the Lines (April 13)

Ilhan Omar Joins Global Call for Debt Relief as Coronavirus Threatens to Push Developing Nations 'Over the Edge' Common Dreams (April 13)

IMF to provide debt relief to help 25 countries deal with pandemic Reuters (April 13)

'Force of nature' Georgieva leads IMF through coronavirus storm Yahoo Finance (April 13)

Bishop, faith groups urge Trump to support debt relief for poor nations Crux (April 10)

IMF’s Georgieva creates external advisory panel on pandemic Reuters (April 10)

Global Business, Workers, Civil Society Join Call for Debt Relief for Poorer Nation Reuters (April 10)

Catholic bishops, faith groups urge Trump to back debt relief for poor countries Reuters (April 9)

Eric Lecompte Interview Voice of America (April 7)

IMF working to support Georgian economy amid coronavirus crisis Click Lancashire (April 4)

The church after coronavirus: new understandings of social mission National Catholic Reporter (April 3)

Declare a jubilee: Pandemic is time to forgive debts, cardinal suggests Catholic News Service (April 1)

IMF head says global economy now in recession Associated Press (March 27)

COVID-19 is hitting Caribbean and Latin American economies hard. Can they survive? The Miami Herald (March 27)

Leaders on Global Finance reform meet at Vatican Catholic Philly (Feb 6)

Game changers: Vatican opens doors to leaders ready for finance reform The Dialog (Feb 6)

Pope’s direct experience of financial crisis informs views on economy, expert says  Crux (Feb 5)

Pope Francis gets involved in Argentina’s debt relief National Catholic Reporter (Feb 5)

The convergence: Third-world debt and the climate crisis are intimately connected Salon (January 26)

IMF boss says global economy risks return of Great Depression The Guardian (January 17)

 

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2020: Sadness, Victory and Profound Loss

Friends, 

In the last days of 2020, we pray you and your loved ones are well.

Just in recent days and over the last year - we lost hundreds of our Jubilee USA friends, members and partners to the coronavirus. Some of us lost are jobs and struggle to pay our bills. The economic and health crises spurred by the pandemic means livelihoods continue to be lost, more friends will die and hunger spreads.

As we remember the loved ones we lost, we also lift 2020 as the most remarkable year in Jubilee USA's history.

We won multiple coronavirus and stimulus campaigns. World leaders looked to the financial crisis solutions that we created. Together, we mobilized hundreds of religious, labor, environmental, human rights groups and institutions to move forward coronavirus response campaigns to lift the poor, our livelihoods and the planet. 

In recent weeks we moved the Trump Administration to support debt relief beyond the policies of other G20 countries. We continue to meet with the leads of the Biden Transition Team on our coronavirus campaigns. Thanks to you, we celebrate our most successful fundraising year on record, allowing us to hire new senior staff.

In order to sustain our COVID campaigns and new team members, your tax-deductible gift is critical now as we stop lost decades of development in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America. Your gift means we move forward our proposals to tackle increasing inequality in the United States and around the world. Your tax-deductible donation today is matched and will be doubled.

This year, your partnership and support of Jubilee USA's bipartisan, interfaith mission meant: 

  • We won a historic G20 debt reduction process for developing countries suffering from the corona health and economic crisis. This is the most significant debt relief and anti-corruption process we won to date. 73 poor countries can access new resources to confront the COVID crisis

  • After 10 years of work, Jubilee's Corporate Transparency Act just passed Congress. Our bipartisan bill sheds light on anonymous shell companies when they shield human traffickers, steal debt relief and promote tax evasion and corruption

  • 29 of the world's poorest countries saw debt cancelled through next spring and 73 developing countries can obtain debt payment relief through at least mid-2021

  • Our campaigns with Puerto Rico religious leaders won a White House award of $13 billion for a total of $26 billion in disaster recovery funds, food aid for the island’s 300,000 schoolchildren and policies to reduce the island's staggering 60% child poverty rate

  • In the stimulus that passed this week, we just won another $600 million for Puerto Rico child poverty reduction. The White House now supports our proposals to bring back jobs for the island

  • Our stimulus package efforts promoted debt relief for poor countries, Puerto Rico disaster aid and student debt relief

  • We are moving forward IMF and G20 approval of global reserve funds (Special Drawing Rights) to provide the aid that is needed for developing countries to survive and rebuild from the crisis

  • Jubilee USA is promoting climate change finance solutions at the IMF, G20 and with President-elect Biden

  • The US - Mexico - Canada (USMCA) trade agreement went into effect with our provisions to ensure vulnerable communities access lifesaving medicines and eliminate harmful arbitration processes

  • We persuaded the White House to freeze student loan payments until end of this year

  • Somalia debt relief succeeded with the White House, Congress, State Department, Treasury, IMF and World Bank

  • Hundreds of thousands of newspapers and television and radio shows covered our Jubilee USA coronavirus response efforts

Because of your support, world leaders are considering Jubilee USA's proposals to change the global financial system to reduce poverty and inequality, protect our planet and prevent future financial crises.

Your tax-deductible gift today is doubled and propels our coronavirus response campaigns into 2021. Please join me and make a gift today. Whether your donation is $50, $1000 or $500 - your gift is matched, doubling our coronavirus response efforts.

In early February, at the Papal Academy of Social Sciences in Rome, we joined Pope Francis, the head of the IMF, Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz and 12 finance ministers to move forward processes to stop financial crisis and end poverty. By the last week of February, Jubilee USA was the first organization to launch coronavirus response campaigns, leading hundreds of organizations on the economic and health responses. By April, we won our first campaigns from the IMF, G20, Congress, Treasury and the White House. In June, we addressed the special session of the United Nations on our Jubilee recommendations to solve the COVID crisis. In July and November, we won another round of our coronavirus tax, debt, aid, healthcare and transparency campaigns. In December, after a 10 year fight, our Corporate Transparency Act became law and we won stimulus money for Puerto Rico.

It was a challenging, heartbreaking year – but because together we fought and we didn't give up, it's a remarkable year.

As our community remembers the lost and acts to save more lives and livelihoods into 2021 - your actions, partnership and support continue to make the difference.

Wishing you and your loved ones a blessed, safe and happy New Year,

Eric

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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