Fueled by increased consumer product demands during the pandemic, Dallas-Fort Worth industrial building leasing set a record in the first nine months of 2020.

Warehouse and distribution tenants have gobbled up 21 million square feet of industrial space in North Texas through September.

Almost 5 million square feet of net leasing was recorded just in the third quarter, according to a new report from commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield.

“The Dallas-Fort Worth industrial market continues to perform extremely well,” Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director Nathan Orbin said. “Even as concerns over the pandemic and an upcoming presidential election exist, demand remained strong,

“We anticipate demand to remain elevated as we are currently tracking over 14 million square feet of active tenant requirements.”

Expanding e-commerce and consumer products firms are driving the demand for North Texas warehouse space.

In the third quarter, some of the biggest leases were by Uline, a Wisconsin-based distributor of shipping, industrial and packaging materials that took 1.6 million square feet of space at DFW International Airport, and Amazon, which leased another 1 million square feet in southern Dallas. Encore Wire Corp added 724,380 square feet of distribution space in McKinney.

“E-commerce and the increasing demand for industrial product is driving the D-FW industrial market,” said Kurt Griffin, Cushman & Wakefield executive managing director. “D-FW has delivered close to 23 million square feet of industrial product year to date with another 24 million square feet under construction.

“However, tenant leasing is keeping up with new supply, maintaining a below historical level vacancy, which currently sits at 6.5%.”

Most of the ongoing industrial development is in southern Dallas County, in the AllianceTexas development area of North Fort Worth, at DFW International Airport and in South Fort Worth.

More than 23 million square feet of warehouse space is under construction in North Texas.
More than 23 million square feet of warehouse

DENVER — D.j. Mattern had her Type 1 diabetes under control until COVID-19’s economic upheaval cost her husband his hotel maintenance job and their health coverage. The 42-year-old Denver woman suddenly faced insulin’s exorbitant list price — anywhere from $125 to $450 per vial — just as their household income shrank.

She scrounged extra insulin from friends, and her doctor gave her a couple of samples. But, as she rationed her supplies, her blood sugar rose so high that her glucose monitor couldn’t even register a number. In June, she was hospitalized.

“My blood was too acidic. My system was shutting down. My digestive tract was paralyzed,” Mattern said, after three weeks in the hospital. “I was almost near death.”

So she turned to a growing underground network of people with diabetes who share extra insulin when they have it, free of charge. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, many thought, after Colorado last year became the first of 12 states — including Illinois — to put a cap on the co-payments that some insurers can charge consumers for insulin.

But, as the coronavirus pandemic has caused people to lose their jobs and health insurance, demand for insulin sharing has skyrocketed. Many who once had good insurance are now realizing the $100 cap for a 30-day supply is just a partial solution, applying only to state-regulated health plans.

It does nothing for the majority of people with employer-sponsored plans or those without insurance coverage. According to the Colorado chapter of Type 1 International, an insulin access advocacy group, only 3% of patients with Type 1 diabetes under 65 could benefit from the cap.

Such laws, often backed by pharmaceutical companies, give the impression things are improving, said Colorado chapter leader Martha Bierut. “But the reality is we have a

Despite the warnings, the federal government largely left it to states to detect which applications are fake. But state workforce agencies, stymied by decades-old IT systems and flooded with applications, have been ill-equipped to find and prevent the fraud, which appears to be far more extensive than the usual attempts to bilk government programs. Now states are asking for help.

“We’re fighting this fight with ’70s era technology with some modern Band-Aids put on top of it,” Ryan Wright, Kansas’ acting secretary of Labor, said in an interview. “I would like to have seen a more aggressive response from the federal government.”

Last year, Wright said, his agency had no cases of impostors using fake employers to apply for benefits; in recent months, it has stopped 55,000 such claims. The fraud “now is reaching a scope that is difficult for states to weed through,” he said.

Labor Department Communications Director Megan Sweeney told POLITICO in a statement that the agency “is actively working with all states to combat fraud in UI programs,” especially in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which expanded jobless benefits to the self-employed. “The Department requires states to work with the Department’s Office of the Inspector General and to work collaboratively with other federal, state, and local law enforcement to investigate and prosecute fraud and to work closely with financial institutions to recover fraudulent payments,” Sweeney added.

State officials are seeing big surges in unemployment applications indicating that criminals are trying to game the system. And while they have been successful at blocking some of the theft attempts, the sheer scale is making it difficult to stop entirely.

Colorado officials estimated that three-quarters of unemployment applications they received over the summer were fraudulent, and they reported averting as much as $1 billion in attempted thefts. But criminals still may

(Bloomberg) — The U.K.’s financial regulator imposed just four fines so far this year — a record low — as the Covid-19 pandemic interrupted investigations.



a clock tower in the middle of a city at night: Businessmen pass an illuminated clock near the offices of global financial institutions in the Canary Wharf business, finance and shopping district at night in London.


© Bloomberg
Businessmen pass an illuminated clock near the offices of global financial institutions in the Canary Wharf business, finance and shopping district at night in London.

While the Financial Conduct Authority has levied more than 100 million pounds ($129 million) in financial penalties, the number of fines was down from 17 in the same period a year earlier, London law firm RPC said in a statement. The FCA’s investigations were likely hindered by difficulties conducting interviews with witnesses or suspects during the lockdown, the firm said.

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“While the FCA has issued relatively few fines in the last few months, it will want to make up for time lost during lockdown when it will, understandably, have experienced disruption and delay in a number of investigations,” said Jonathan Cary, an attorney at RPC.

An FCA executive this month acknowledged that the coronavirus pandemic had taken up executives’ time throughout the year. The agency is also going through a leadership change, with Nikhil Rathi taking the top spot at the start of October.

The FCA said it was continuing to pursue cases, and that figures rise and fall naturally as investigations proceed.

“Enforcement has continued as normal during the pandemic,” a spokesman said. “The FCA will open cases where it suspects serious misconduct, with the number of new cases fluctuating month on month and year on year.”

The watchdog’s monitoring and supervision has also come under criticism recently. The FCA faces “some painful lessons” over the next few months as investigators prepare to publish several reviews of its potential failures, the former head of the FCA Christopher Woolard said last month.

London Capital & Finance

* Bank lending rises 6.4% in September vs 6.7% in August

* Major banks’ lending slows as big firms pay back loans

* Smaller borrowers continue to rely heavily on lending

(Adds details, quotes from BOJ briefing)

By Chris Gallagher and Leika Kihara

TOKYO, Oct 12 – Japanese bank lending rose at a slower
annual pace in September than the previous month as corporate
funding strains caused by the pandemic eased mainly among big
borrowers, central bank data showed on Monday.

But lending by regional banks remained high as smaller firms
continued to borrow heavily to meet immediate funding needs, the
data showed, underscoring the lingering economic pain brought by
the health crisis.

“Big companies that had borrowed huge amounts of funds as a
precaution around spring are now paying back some of the loans
due to easing uncertainty over the pandemic,” a BOJ official
told a briefing.

“But that’s not to say conditions have improved. There are
gaps among industries on how much their profits have recovered.”

Total bank lending rose 6.4% in September from the same
month a year earlier, slower than a 6.7% gain in August, to a
record 573.7 trillion yen ($5.43 trillion), Bank of Japan data
showed.

The pace of lending by major banks slowed to 7.3% in
September from 8.0% in August.

Lending by regional banks rose 5.3%, roughly unchanged from
the previous month’s 5.4% increase. Those by “shinkin” credit
associations, which lend mostly to small firms in regional areas
of Japan, rose 7.8%, the fastest pace on record, the data
showed.

Bank deposits rose 9.0% in September from a year earlier,
the biggest increase on record, as households held back on
spending and instead saved government pay-outs aimed at
cushioning the blow from the pandemic, the official said.

($1 = 105.6300 yen)

(Reporting