July 12, 2020

The Federal Reserve and Treasury Department disagreed over how easy loan terms should be while crafting their $600 billion Main Street Lending Program meant to help support businesses through the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The differing viewpoints slowed the program's start before it opened this past week, current and former government officials told the Journal. While the disagreements were over narrow design issues, the Journal notes it reflects a broader difference in approach by the two agencies.

Ultimately, the Treasury Department has been more cautious about the lending terms, preferring the government take on less risk, while the Fed supports more generous terms for borrowers.

Some Fed officials have reportedly privately expressed frustration over the situation, but on the record both sides played it cool. "Would the program be exactly the way I would have designed it, or exactly the way someone else would have designed it? No, but we all need to work together, and we have worked together quite effectively," said Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin doesn't even consider the holdup the result of disagreements. Instead, he said the two sides simply got into "even more levels of complexity that required considerable thought." Read more at The Wall Street Journal. Tim O'Donnell

October 6, 2015

Russia says that its warplanes accidentally violated Turkey's air space over the weekend due to weather conditions, but NATO said Tuesday it rejected the explanation.

The Russian Defense Ministry claims an SU-30 warplane entered Turkish air space along the border with Syria "for a few seconds" on Saturday due to bad weather. NATO said a plane also entered Turkish air space Sunday, an incident that Russia said it is looking into. U.S. officials told Reuters the planes were in Turkish air space for much longer than a few seconds, and it was "far-fetched" to say it was accidental. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said he would not speculate on Russia's motives, "but this does not look like an accident and we have two of them." He also said there are reports of a substantial increase in the number of Russian ships in the eastern Mediterranean and ground troops in Syria. Catherine Garcia

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