By contrast, about a fifth, $884 billion, went to help workers and families. And even less aimed at the health crisis itself, with 16 percent of the total going toward testing and tracing, vaccine development, and helping states provide care, among other health-related needs.

The division of the funds, laid out in a deeply reported Washington Post investigation into the federal pandemic response, shines a light on the origin of the K-shaped economic recovery. 

It continues to cushion the blow for the well-off while leaving millions of low and middle-income Americans struggling.

“The legislation bestowed billions in benefits on companies and wealthy individuals largely unscathed by the pandemic,” Peter Whoriskey, Douglas MacMillan and Jonathan O’Connell report, “while at the same time allowing special aid for unemployed workers to expire over the summer and leaving some local public health efforts struggling for money to conduct testing and other prevention efforts.”

They point to $651 billion in business tax breaks that “often went to companies unaffected by the pandemic and others that laid off thousands of workers.” That’s in part because the breaks weren’t targeted to sectors that suffered the most acutely during the pandemic shutdowns. And the legislation offered breaks for operating losses dating all the way back to 2018, making companies eligible for relief for setbacks from well before the pandemic struck.

The Cheesecake Factory, for one, said it will claim a tax break for $50 million despite furloughing 41,000 workers. And United Natural Foods, an organic grocer that saw its revenue surge by $1 billion this year, applied for a $28 million refund, the Post team found.

Another source of aid for larger companies came in the form of $454 billion that went to support lending by the Federal Reserve. 

That pot of money helped “stabilize markets, and those

Shares advanced in on Tuesday Asia after hopes for economic aid from Washington helped Wall Street recover its losses from the initial shock of learning President Donald Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump left the hospital after spending less than three days there, returning to the White House late Monday despite uncertainty over his recovery and risks that he is still infectious.

Shares rose in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul.

Overnight, the S&P 500 climbed 1.8%. Treasury yields and oil all rose after Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi both noted the importance over the weekend of additional support for the economy.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1% lower to 5,938.60. Later Tuesday, the treasurer was set to reveal a big spending financial blueprint for the next few years that will drive business investment and job creation while repairing pandemic damage to the economy.

The annual budget is expected to contain a wage subsidy designed to get unemployed young Australians back to work. The government also hopes to bring forward planned income tax cuts.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will also reveal record debt is expected to accrue in the current fiscal year through next June.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 0.5% to 23,425.91 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong jumped 0.7% to 23,922.38. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.6% to 2,371.31.

Shares rose in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Overnight, the S&P 500 jumped 60.19 points to 3,408.63 amid widespread gains, with nine out of 10 stocks in the index rising. Energy producers and tech companies led the way.

The market’s rally accelerated after Trump tweeted in the afternoon that he’ll leave the hospital, though his medical team said he “may not entirely be out of the woods yet.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.7% to 28,148.64 and the Nasdaq composite

Stocks finished higher after President Donald Trump said he’d be leaving the hospital Monday, and on optimism over a coronavirus-relief package.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 465 points, or 1.68%, to 28,148, the S&P 500 climbed 1.8% and the Nasdaq rose 2.32%.

Leading the Dow higher were Amgen  (AMGN) – Get Report and Travelers  (TRV) – Get Report.

The president spent the weekend at Walter Reed Medical Center, recovering from Covid-19. 

While Trump’s medical team was positive about his prognosis, some observers questioned the official details of Trump’s health. Trump’s blood oxygen level had dropped twice in recent days, and doctors had given him a steroid to treat his symptoms.

But in a tweet Monday, the president said he was “feeling really good” and would be leaving the hospital at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Trump tweeted from the hospital over the weekend that “OUR GREAT USA WANTS & NEEDS STIMULUS.”

“WORK TOGETHER AND GET IT DONE. Thank you!” he added.

Renewed hopes for stimulus talks between House Democrats and the White House also were giving stocks a boost.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that Trump’s diagnosis “kind of changes the dynamic” of the stimulus discussions.

Asked Sunday whether the tweet from Trump meant a coronavirus relief package was near, Pelosi responded, “No, it means that we want to see that they can agree on what we need to do to crush the virus.”

“We are encouraging clients to remain invested as additional fiscal stimulus should provide continued support for equity markets,” said Frank Panayotou, managing director at UBS Private Wealth Management. 

Even with the major stock indices close to all-time highs again, we remain constructive on equity markets given the extraordinarily supportive global monetary and fiscal policy.”

Stocks ended lower Friday after

a group of people walking down the street: Ruby Tuesday's restaurant in Times Square in 2016. Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

© Mary Altaffer/AP Photo
Ruby Tuesday’s restaurant in Times Square in 2016. Mary Altaffer/AP Photo

  • In August, retiree Mark Potter suddenly stopped receiving his pension payments from Ruby Tuesday.
  • Documents show that Ruby Tuesday advised its trustee, Regions Bank, to stop paying pensions to at least 112 retirees on July 21, months before declaring insolvency on September 2.
  • But the agreement between Ruby Tuesday and Regions stated the chain had to notify the bank of its insolvency before it could cease pension payments.
  • On September 28, Regions filed a lawsuit against Ruby Tuesday, asking a court to determine whether the chain’s actions were legal.
  • In the meantime, Potter and the other retirees are stuck in pension purgatory, with no idea of when or if their payments will resume.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Mark Potter did everything he was supposed to.


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After 28 years working his way up the ladder at Morrison’s Cafeterias to become a district manager, Potter retired in 1999 with the knowledge that his pension plan was a lifelong one.

Morrison’s Cafeterias had acquired Ruby Tuesday in 1982 before splitting into three companies: Ruby Tuesday, Morrison Healthcare, and Morrison’s Fresh Cooking — a cafeteria company that was later bought by rival chain Piccadilly Restaurants. When Morrison’s split in 1996, the three entities entered a legal agreement to divide their retirees’ pensions, James Holland, a former Morrison’s Cafeterias vice president, told Business Insider.

Holland also explained that if one company filed for bankruptcy, the other companies assume responsibility for its portion of the pension payments. For example, when Piccadilly filed for bankruptcy in 2004, Ruby Tuesday and Morrison’s Healthcare split Piccadilly’s share of the payments.

In August, Potter’s pension payments from Ruby Tuesday suddenly stopped coming. He called Ruby Tuesday repeatedly to ask why,

LONDON (Reuters) – Dave Lewis steps down on Wednesday after six years as Tesco chief executive, during which he got Britain’s biggest retailer back on track after an accounting crisis, leaving new challenges for his successor Ken Murphy.

Murphy, 53, who was formerly at healthcare group Walgreens Boots Alliance

, faces the long-term impact of the coronavirus crisis, a recession and possible disruption when Britain’s Brexit transition period finishes at the end of 2020.

Tesco was on its knees shortly after former Unilever executive Lewis, 55, joined in 2014 when an accounting scandal knocked millions off its profits and billions off its share price.

But by October last year, Lewis declared Tesco’s turnaround complete, its position as clear market leader among Britain’s supermarket groups reinforced.

Lewis received a total pay package of 6.4 million pounds ($8.2 million) in 2019-20.

Murphy, an Irishman who is taking on his highest profile business role, starts as Britain’s supermarkets have seen grocery sales boosted by the pandemic, both in stores and online, but have also seen a big increase in costs.

There are also fears that the pandemic-induced recession will spark a margin damaging price war.

After Lewis sold Tesco’s businesses in Thailand and Malaysia, and in Poland, Murphy will have to decide the future of its central European division, with stores in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, its only remaining overseas supermarket operations apart from Ireland.

A week after Murphy starts, analysts expect Tesco to report second quarter UK like-for-like sales growth similar to the first quarter’s 8.7%, but anticipate increased costs will drag down core earnings.

Murphy’s appointment at Tesco follows Simon Roberts taking over as CEO at arch rival Sainsbury’s

in June. It means that Britain’s two biggest supermarket groups will be run by Boots alumni, who know each other