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Vaccine Optimism, Covid Surge, Stimulus Endgame

Britain’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine means that shots will be given within days. The US is expected to approve vaccines by Pfizer by December 10 and Moderna by December 17, with shots being given by December 20. This optimism is tempered by record numbers of infections and hospitalizations nationwide going into winter. US officials indicate that 100 million Americans will be vaccinated by March 1, with over 70% of the population Congress is scheduled to adjourn for the year after December 11. The spikes in infections combined with the expiration of unemployment benefits and eviction moratoriums on December 31 is putting enormous pressure on Congress to finally pass another stimulus bill. Today, lots of optimism after months of failed attempts: a group of senators is circulating a $900 billion package that has bipartisan and bicameral support. Hopes are high but nothing is certain. The 10 year treasury hit 0.92% today. Stimulus and 2021 recovery hopes are contributing to the long term optimism. The Federal Reserve has indicated they will do everything in their toolbox to keep interest rates low. In order to assure low rates going into 2021, the Fed is expected to announce adjustments in their bond buying, which is now at $120 billion per month. The central bank is considering increasing their purchases of 10 year Treasuries, which will keep yields low going into 2021. Commercial real estate capital markets and borrowers will benefit from this policy. By David R. Pascale, Jr. , Senior Vice President at George Smith Partners