Remarks by Secretary Janet L. Yellen at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Event Dreaming of a Better Restart

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on human life and our economies. It has also exacerbated global inequality, potentially undoing years of gains in reducing poverty and international economic convergence. Low-income countries are in a particularly difficult situation. Not only are they are facing rising poverty levels, but also increasing debt burdens, and little policy space.

Many low-income countries lack the resources to pay for vaccines, support households and businesses hurt by the economic crisis, and meet their debt payments. I am concerned about a persistent spike in global poverty and a long-lasting global divergence in prosperity.u

The United States is committed to working with our international partners to tackle these challenges to foster a better future for all.

We have made some progress already including through stepped up support by the IMF and World Bank, a suspension of debt service payments for the poorest countries, and the development of a multilateral framework for debt treatments. But we must do more.

Our first priority must be ending the pandemic. The international community must work together so that no countries are left behind in receiving safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics.

We need to address vaccine manufacturing shortages, secure purchases, and finance and facilitate distribution. The United States is working with our partners to increase vaccine supplies and explore options to share excess vaccines. We have committed $4 billion to the COVAX Facility, which will play a central role in expanding vaccine access, and fully support the broader efforts of the ACT-Accelerator.

Intellectual property protections are important, but in service of ending this pandemic, President Biden supports waiving those protections for COVID-19 vaccines.

Since last March, the multilateral development banks have committed $22 billion in financing to buy and deliver vaccines. The U.S. is urging the World Bank to use its leadership and convening role to support timely access to vaccines, particularly for the poorest countries.

We are working with Kristalina at the IMF on a new allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), which would make $650 billion in liquidity available to IMF members to support the global recovery, including $21 billion to the lowest-income members.

Countries can use their new SDRs to bolster foreign exchange reserves, purchase vaccines or undertake other critical spending to limit damage from the virus on lives and livelihoods.

Major economies like the United States are also currently exploring options for rechanneling a portion of our own SDRs to further boost this financing effort. Likewise, we supported early replenishment of the World Bank’s International Development Association to enable its continued support for the poorest countries through concessional and grant finance.

We aim to limit economic scarring and give everyone a chance, not just to survive, but to flourish.

As you know, the United States has a long history of assistance to countries to address unsustainable debt for the poorest countries. In the early 2000s, the United States and other creditor nations forgave more than $100 billion in debt from countries participating in the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC).

Since then, the lending landscape has changed. The United States and many others shifted the balance of our assistance, both multilateral and bilateral, toward grants rather than loans. At the same time, many countries increased their borrowing from new creditor countries such as China, which has often applied nontransparent and difficult repayment terms. Private creditors also have become a growing share of credit to developing countries.

Let me assure you, that despite these changes, the United States continues to play a leadership role in helping low-income countries. Providing an avenue for debt relief to help the poorest remains a high priority for us.

In April of last year, the United States and our G20 partners established the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI). This initiative supports the world’s poorest countries in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The DSSI provided needed assistance during a difficult time but is only a short-term solution. The G20 agreement on the Common Framework is designed to help countries restore debt sustainability and return to a sustainable growth path.

The Common Framework is a landmark achievement that, for the first time, brings non-traditional creditors, namely China, into a multilateral framework for debt treatment. An IMF program and debt sustainability analysis will underpin Common Framework debt treatments, which would also involve private creditors.

Debt burdens are not limited to the poorest countries. Other low- and middle-income countries are facing rising debt. The United States supports expanding the Common Framework to these countries, but we will need to gain consensus in the G20 to move forward.

Corporate Taxation

Let me close with a few words about two other global issues we are working to address.

The first is the race to the bottom on corporate tax rates. Our challenge is to make sure governments have stable tax systems that raise sufficient revenue to invest in essential public goods and respond to crises, and that all citizens fairly share the burden of financing government.

We are working with G20 nations to agree to a global minimum corporate tax rate that can stop the race to the bottom. Together we can use a global minimum tax to make sure the global economy thrives based on a more level playing field in the taxation of multinational corporations, and spurs innovation, growth, and prosperity.

Climate

And finally, on climate—as Pope Francis recently noted at President Biden’s virtual climate summit, we can come out of this crisis either better or worse. We must collectively work to exit this crisis on a stronger footing, addressing worldwide inequalities and striving to be “stewards of nature.”

President Biden and I are committed to using the full power of the U.S. federal government to address climate change. At the recent White House Leaders Summit on Climate, President Biden announced a new target aimed at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas pollution by half (compared with 2005 levels) by 2030.

The cost of inaction is too great. We must fuel a clean energy revolution that creates good jobs, achieves justice, reduces emissions and pollution, and tackles the climate crisis at home and abroad.

The United States is committed to working with our international partners to tackle climate change and to support international efforts to mobilize investment to help low-income countries meet the climate challenge. Multilateral financial institutions will be at the center of developing urgently needed long-term solutions for low-income countries that are constrained by limited fiscal space and debt burdens as they recover from the pandemic.

Simply put, Treasury is focused on mobilizing finance for climate mitigation and climate adaptation and supporting the broader alignment of the financial system with net zero.

This moment requires unprecedented global cooperation, and a shared sense of urgency and commitment. We must work together.

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BRP WILL PRESENT ITS FIRST QUARTER FY2022 RESULTS AND HOLD ITS ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

Valcourt, Quebec, May 13, 2021 – BRP Inc. (TSX:DOO; NASDAQ:DOOO) will hold its first quarter FY2022 financial results conference call on Thursday, June 3, 2021, followed by its Annual Meeting of Shareholders.

José Boisjoli, President and Chief Executive Officer, and Sébastien Martel, Chief Financial Officer, will present the results of the first quarter of FY2022 and address questions from analysts on a conference call at 9 a.m. (EDT).

Messrs. Boisjoli and Martel will then discuss the results for the fiscal year ended January 31, 2021, at BRP’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders at 11 a.m. (EDT).

First Quarter FY2022 Results
The press release will be distributed on Canadian and American newswires on Thursday, June 3, at approximately 6 a.m. (EDT).

For investors and analysts:

Telephone: 1 (833) 449-0987 (toll-free in North America)
Event code: 8940019
Click here for international dial-in numbers

Webcast: Click here to access the webcast

Business media are allowed to join the call but will not be permitted to ask questions. This webcast will also be live on the Internet here and accessible to media and interested participants. An archived recording will be available here two hours after the event for 30 days following the original broadcast.

Annual Meeting of Shareholders (in French with simultaneous interpretation)
BRP is holding the Annual Meeting of Shareholders as a completely virtual meeting, where shareholders regardless of geographic location and equity ownership will have an equal opportunity to attend. Registered shareholders and duly appointed proxyholders are encouraged to vote their shares in advance of the Meeting. Media and anyone can join via live webcast but will not be able to ask questions.

Date: Thursday, June 3, 2021

Time: 11 a.m. (EDT)

Webcast: https://web.lumiagm.com/468941035 
Login: enter the 15-digit control number located on the form of proxy      
Password: brp2021

Anyone can join the Meeting as a guest by clicking on “Guest” 

Registered shareholders and validly appointed proxyholders are also entitled to submit questions to BRP in advance of the Meeting by e-mail at [email protected], and during the Meeting which questions will, subject to certain verifications by BRP, be addressed at the Meeting. Questions provided in advance by e-mail must be provided by no later than 11:00 a.m. (Eastern time) on June 1, 2021, or if the Meeting is postponed or adjourned, by no later than 48 hours prior to the time of such postponed or adjourned meeting (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).

Following the Annual Meeting of Shareholders, the webcast will also be accessible on BRP’s website at www.brp.com.

About BRP
We are a global leader in the world of powersports vehicles, propulsion systems and boats, built
on over 75 years of ingenuity and intensive consumer focus. Our portfolio of industry-leading and distinctive products includes Ski-Doo and Lynx snowmobiles, Sea-Doo watercraft, Can-Am on-and off-road vehicles, Alumacraft, Manitou, Quintrex boats and Rotax marine propulsion systems as well as Rotax engines for karts and recreational aircraft. We complete our lines of products with a dedicated parts, accessories and apparel business to fully enhance the riding experience. With annual sales of CA$6 billion from over 130 countries, our global workforce is made up of more than 14,500 driven, resourceful people.

www.brp.com
@BRPNews

Ski-Doo, Lynx, Sea-Doo, Can-Am, Rotax, Evinrude, Manitou, Alumacraft, Quintrex and the BRP logo are trademarks of Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

-30-

For media enquiries:
Magali Valence
Manager, External Communications
[email protected]
For investor relations:
Philippe Deschênes
Manager Treasury and Investor Relations
Tel.: 450.532.6462
[email protected]

Treasury Distributes $742 million to States and Territories through Homeowner Assistance Fund

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced that it has distributed $742 million to 42 states and 3 territories through the Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF). A part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Rescue Plan, HAF was designed to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

“Today there are over 3 million homeowners behind on mortgage payments, and the pandemic has exacerbated the country’s already severe housing affordability crisis,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “Treasury is focused on ensuring the American economy recovers from the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis, including providing relief for our country’s most vulnerable homeowners facing the loss of basic housing security through no fault of their own.”

The Homeowner Assistance Fund provides:

  • A minimum of $50 million for each state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
  • $498 million for Tribes or Tribally designated housing entities and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
  • $30 million for the territories of Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

The HAF infusion comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that the Department of the Treasury, in coordination with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the White House American Rescue Plan Implementation Team allocated $21.6 billion for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA), which will help prevent evictions and ensure basic housing security for millions of Americans. These programs represent the Administration’s all-of-government approach that leverages authorities and agencies across the entire Administration to help people remain stably housed during the pandemic, an important step towards building stronger and more equitable communities.

Treasury will continue to distribute HAF funds in the coming months. For more information, visit https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/coronavirus/assistance-for-state-local-and-tribal-governments/homeowner-assistance-fund.

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Nearly 1 million additional Economic Impact Payments disbursed under the American Rescue Plan; Total payments reach nearly 165 million

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Bureau of the Fiscal Service announced they are disbursing nearly 1 million payments in the ninth batch of Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan.

Today’s announcement brings the total disbursed so far to approximately 165 million payments, with a total value of approximately $388 billion, since these payments began rolling out to Americans in batches as announced on March 12.

The ninth batch of payments began processing on Friday, May 7, with an official payment date of May 12, with some people receiving direct payments in their accounts earlier as provisional or pending deposits. Here is additional information on this batch of payments:

  • In total, this batch includes more than 960,000 payments with a value of more than $1.8 billion.
  • More than 500,000 payments, with a value of over $1 billion, went to eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue an Economic Impact Payment but who recently filed a tax return.
  • This batch also includes additional ongoing supplemental payments for people who earlier this year received payments based on their 2019 tax returns but are eligible for a new or larger payment based on their recently processed 2020 tax returns. This batch included more than 460,000 of these “plus-up” payments, with a value of more than $800 million. In all, the IRS has made more than 6 million of these supplemental payments this year.
  • Overall, this ninth batch of payments contains nearly 500,000 direct deposit payments (with a total value of $946 million) with the remainder as paper payments.

Additional information is available on the first eight batches of Economic Impact Payments from the American Rescue Plan, which processed weekly on April 30, April 23, April 16, April 9, April 2, March 26, March 19 and March 12.

The IRS will continue to make Economic Impact Payments on a weekly basis. Ongoing payments will be sent to eligible individuals for whom the IRS previously did not have information to issue a payment but who recently filed a tax return, as well to people who qualify for “plus-up” payments.

Special reminder for those who don’t normally file a tax return

Although payments are automatic for most people, the IRS continues to urge people who don’t normally file a tax return and haven’t received Economic Impact Payments to file a 2020 tax return to get all the benefits they’re entitled to under the law, including tax credits such as the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the Earned Income Tax Credit. Filing a 2020 tax return will also assist the IRS in determining whether someone is eligible for an advance payment of the 2021 Child Tax Credit, which will begin to be disbursed this summer.

For example, some federal benefits recipients may need to file a 2020 tax return – even if they don’t usually file – to provide information the IRS needs to send payments for a qualifying dependent. Eligible individuals in this group should file a 2020 tax return as quickly as possible to be considered for an additional payment for their qualifying dependents.

People who don’t normally file a tax return and don’t receive federal benefits may qualify for these Economic Impact Payments. This includes those experiencing homelessness, the rural poor, and others. Individuals who didn’t get a first or second round Economic Impact Payment or got less than the full amounts may be eligible for the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit, but they’ll need to file a 2020 tax return. See the special section on IRS.gov: Claiming the 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit if you aren’t required to file a tax return.

Free tax return preparation is available for qualifying people.

The IRS reminds taxpayers that the income levels in this third round of Economic Impact Payments have changed. This means that some people won’t be eligible for the third payment even if they received a first or second Economic Impact Payment or claimed a 2020 Recovery Rebate Credit. Payments will begin to be reduced for individuals making $75,000 or above in Adjusted Gross Income ($150,000 for married filing jointly). The payments end at $80,000 for individuals ($160,000 for married filing jointly); people with Adjusted Gross Incomes above these levels are ineligible for a payment.

Individuals can check the Get My Payment tool on IRS.gov to see the payment status of these payments. Additional information on Economic Impact Payments is available on IRS.gov.

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READOUT: Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo’s Meeting with the Board of Directors of the Opportunity Finance Network

WASHINGTON – Earlier today, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo met with the Board of Directors of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), led by President and CEO Lisa Mensah. Deputy Secretary Adeyemo shared President Biden and Secretary Yellen’s vision for an equitable and sustainable recovery, including tapping into the unrealized potential of small businesses across the country by supporting Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) and Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) through policies like the $3 billion CDFI Rapid Response Program. Deputy Secretary Adeyemo asked for the Board’s advice on how Treasury can better utilize its tools to serve underrepresented communities and how to ensure the commitments made by the private sector in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent racial justice movement, are realized and are upheld.

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Treasury Identifies Sinaloa-based Mexican Narcotics Trafficker That Helps Fuel the U.S. Opioid Epidemic

Kingpin Act Sanctions Target Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) identified Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas and the Gonzalez Penuelas Drug Trafficking Organization (Gonzalez Penuelas DTO) as Significant Foreign Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act (Kingpin Act).  Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas (a.k.a. “Chuy Gonzalez”) and his drug trafficking organization are among the largest sources of raw opium gum and heroin in northern Mexico, and increasingly are a major distributor of fentanyl to U.S. markets.  OFAC also designated today six individuals and one entity as Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their links to the Gonzalez Penuelas DTO.  OFAC coordinated this action with, among others, the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Department of Homeland Security.  Today’s action is being announced as DEA carries out Operation Money Sweep, a collaborative effort between DEA and other law enforcement partners to disrupt and dismantle drug trafficking organizations, such as the Gonzalez Penuelas DTO, by targeting their money laundering activities.

“Treasury is targeting those criminal leaders such as Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas and organizations that help fuel our nation’s opioid epidemic,” said Andrea Gacki, Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.  “The Gonzalez Penuelas Drug Trafficking Organization smuggles various drugs, including heroin and fentanyl, from Mexico for distribution in multiple U.S. cities.  Treasury and our U.S. government partners, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, will continue to use every available resource to dismantle these criminal networks.”

Mexican national Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas has been the leader of an independent methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin production and distribution organization since at least 2007.  He oversees multiple heroin processing laboratories in Sinaloa.  In addition, the Gonzalez Penuelas DTO is responsible for transporting and selling cocaine and M-30s (fentanyl pills).  The U.S. Attorney’s Offices for the District of Colorado and for the Southern District of California charged Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas with multiple drug trafficking offenses in 2018 and 2017, respectively.

The Gonzalez Penuelas DTO operates primarily in Sinaloa and Sonora, Mexico, various ports of entry in the United States, and numerous U.S.-based distribution cells in California, Texas, Colorado, Washington, Utah, and Nevada.  The upper echelons of the Gonzalez Penuelas DTO hierarchy consist of Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas’ family members.  The Gonzalez Penuelas DTO cooperates with other DTOs within Mexico, including acting as an enforcement arm for the various Mexican DTO’s trafficking routes, and is aligned with Mexican drug kingpins Fausto Isidro Meza Flores and Rafael Caro Quintero, both of whom are subject to Treasury sanctions.

“These sanctions targeting Gonzalez Penuelas and his associates will go a long way to disrupting the heroin supply flowing across the Southwest Border,” said Deanne Reuter, Special Agent in Charge of DEA Denver Field Division.  “DEA applauds the work of our partners in the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Treasury Department in making it harder for Gonzalez Penuelas to commit these crimes that affect our communities.”

OFAC also designated several key associates of Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas today:  his brothers Ignacio and Wilfrido Gonzalez Penuelas, Efrain Mendivil Figueroa, Adelmo Nunez Molina, and Raul and Juana Payan Meraz.  Ignacio Gonzalez Penuelas, a Mexican national, serves as a primary lieutenant for the organization by overseeing the security of narcotics shipments.  In 2018, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado charged Ignacio Gonzalez Penuelas with multiple drug trafficking offenses.  Mexican national Wilfrido Gonzalez Penuelas is involved in heroin and opium trafficking by operating street-level stores within the Gonzalez Penuelas DTO’s territory in Mexico.  Efrain Mendivil Figueroa is also a Mexican national and one of the Gonzalez Penuelas DTO’s fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine distributors and transportation coordinators.  In 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon charged him with trafficking heroin, methamphetamine, and fentanyl.  Mexican national Adelmo Nunez Molina is a raw opium gum source-of-supply for Jesus Gonzalez Penuelas.  In 2019, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado charged Adelmo Nunez Molina with various drug trafficking charges.  Raul Payan Meraz, a Mexican national, oversees poppy production for the Gonzalez Penuelas DTO.  Juana Payan Meraz, also a Mexican national, is a narcotics trafficking associate of Raul Payan Meraz.

OFAC also designated the construction company City Plaza, Sociedad Anonima de Capital Variable, based in Guasave, Sinaloa, for being owned or controlled by Efrain Mendivil Figueroa.

As a result of today’s OFAC action, all property and interests in property of the identified or designated persons that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or persons within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons.

Since June 2000, more than 2,200 entities and individuals have been sanctioned pursuant to the Kingpin Act for their role in international narcotics trafficking.  Penalties for violations of the Kingpin Act range from civil penalties of up to $1,548,075 per violation to more severe criminal penalties.  Criminal penalties for corporate officers may include up to 30 years in prison and fines of up to $5 million.  Criminal fines for corporations may reach $10 million.  Other individuals could face up to 10 years in prison and fines pursuant to Title 18 of the United States Code for criminal violations of the Kingpin Act.
View more information on the entities designated today.

View the Kingpin Act chart on entities designated today.

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Treasury Targets Hizballah Finance Official and Shadow Bankers in Lebanon

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated seven individuals in connection with Hizballah and its financial firm, Al-Qard al-Hassan (AQAH).  AQAH, which was designated by OFAC in 2007, is used by Hizballah as a cover to manage the terrorist group’s financial activities and gain access to the international financial system.  Ibrahim Ali Daher (Daher) serves as the Chief of Hizballah’s Central Finance Unit, which oversees Hizballah’s overall budget and spending, including the group’s funding of its terrorist operations and killing of the group’s opponents.  The other six individuals designated today used the cover of personal accounts at certain Lebanese banks, including U.S.-designated Jammal Trust Bank (JTB), to evade sanctions targeting AQAH and transfer approximately half a billion U.S. dollars on behalf of AQAH.

“From the highest levels of Hizballah’s financial apparatus to working level individuals, Hizballah continues to abuse the Lebanese financial sector and drain Lebanon’s financial resources at an already dire time,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea Gacki.  “Such actions demonstrate Hizballah’s disregard for financial stability, transparency, or accountability in Lebanon.”

While AQAH purports to serve the Lebanese people, in practice it illicitly moves funds through shell accounts and facilitators, exposing Lebanese financial institutions to possible sanctions.  AQAH masquerades as a non-governmental organization (NGO) under the cover of a Ministry of Interior-granted NGO license, providing services characteristic of a bank in support of Hizballah while evading proper licensing and regulatory supervision.  By hoarding hard currency that is desperately needed by the Lebanese economy, AQAH allows Hizballah to build its own support base and compromise the stability of the Lebanese state.  AQAH has taken on a more prominent role in Hizballah’s financial infrastructure over the years, and designated Hizballah-linked entities and individuals have evaded sanctions and maintained bank accounts by re-registering them in the names of senior AQAH officials, including under the names of certain individuals being designated today.  

Daher is being designated pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, Hizballah.

Daher leads Hizballah’s Central Finance Unit, which oversees the receipt of Hizballah’s worldwide income and is responsible for managing and auditing the budgets of all Hizballah units and departments, including coordinating the payment of all Hizballah members.  Daher and the Central Finance Unit, which is comprised of dozens of officers, operate within the group’s Executive Council, and with direction from Hassan Nasrallah on where to distribute funds.  In this capacity, Daher has been a key figure in Hizballah’s financial infrastructure for well over a decade.

Ahmad Mohamad Yazbeck (Yazbeck), Abbas Hassan Gharib (Gharib), Wahid Mahmud Subayti (Subayti), Mostafa Habib Harb (Harb), Ezzat Youssef Akar (Akar), and Hasan Chehadeh Othman (Othman) are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended, for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, AQAH.

The AQAH officials designated today have all participated in evasive “shadow” banking activity.  Yazbeck, Gharib, Harb, Akar, and Othman maintain joint bank accounts in Lebanese banks that have allowed them to transfer more than $500 million within the formal financial system over the past decade, despite existing sanctions against AQAH.

Yazbeck, AQAH’s financial director, and Gharib, AQAH’s informatics manager, both hold several “shadow accounts” through which transactions are conducted on Hizballah’s behalf.  Harb, Akar, and Othman also hold “shadow accounts” through which transactions are conducted on Hizballah’s behalf.  Another AQAH official, Subayti, has also been involved in conducting transactions through “shadow accounts” on behalf of Hizballah.  Subayti previously played a similar role in maintaining bank accounts in his own name along with other senior Bayt al-Mal officials.  Hizballah’s Bayt al-Mal, along with the Central Finance Unit, acted as Hizballah’s finance ministry.

Hizballah was designated by the Department of State as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 31, 2001.  AQAH was designated as an SDGT on July 24, 2007, pursuant to E.O. 13224, for being owned or controlled by, and providing support to, Hizballah

SANCTIONS IMPLICATIONS

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these individuals named above, and of any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by them, individually, or with other blocked persons, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC or otherwise exempt, OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all transactions by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of designated or otherwise blocked persons. 

Furthermore, engaging in certain transactions with the individuals designated today entails risk of secondary sanctions pursuant to E.O. 13224, as amended.  All individuals being designated today are subject to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations, which implements the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015, as amended by the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2018.  Pursuant to these authorities, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that either knowingly conducted or facilitated any significant transaction on behalf of an SDGT or, among other things, knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah or certain persons designated for their connection to Hizballah.

View identifying information on the individuals designated today.

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Michael J. Hsu Statement to Agency Employees on Becoming Acting Comptroller of the Currency

WASHINGTON — Acting Comptroller of the Currency Michael J. Hsu today shared the following statement with agency staff at the conclusion of his first day in this role.

It is a tremendous honor to serve as Acting Comptroller of the Currency and to work with you who ensure that our federal banking system operates in a safe, sound, and fair manner. I appreciate the confidence Secretary Yellen has shown in me by appointing me to this important post. I am looking forward to building on the agency’s long history and rich heritage. My focus as Acting Comptroller will be on solving urgent problems and addressing pressing issues until the 32nd Comptroller is confirmed.

Like most of you, I am a career public servant and a bank supervisor at my core. My experiences at the Securities and Exchange Commission, Treasury Department, International Monetary Fund, and the Federal Reserve over the past 19 years have spanned periods of growth, crisis, reform, and recovery. What I love most about bank supervision is that it is dynamic: curiosity, collaboration, and problem solving are valued and key to being effective as things change.

My top priority, as we await nomination and confirmation of the 32nd Comptroller, is to focus on what we do best: addressing urgent issues related to our mission to ensure a safe, sound, and fair banking system. The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities, especially communities of color and rural communities, and the recovery threatens to leave many of them even further behind. Climate change poses new risks and challenges for banks, and we need to make sure they understand those risks and are capable of managing them. Technological change and digitalization have accelerated and are changing how people and businesses bank. And complacency about risk-taking is of increasing supervisory concern as we enter a phase of growth and heightened competition. In my discussions with you, I hope to learn about similarly urgent matters requiring agency attention and what we can do to address them.

I am excited to get to know you to help maintain the excellent work of the agency and build on it. The 1,200 national banks and federal savings associations that the OCC supervises are facing more change now than at any point in recent memory—from the largest universals to the midsize and community banks, which play such an important role in supporting local communities. The OCC has a well-earned reputation for having strong examiners, an excellent policy shop, and sharp lawyers, supported by a team of dedicated professionals who enable effective operations. We are going to need to build off of that to adapt to today’s challenges and a rapidly changing environment. I hope to learn more as I engage with each department to understand how leadership can help you be even more effective and agile in what you do every day.

Finally, I will be announcing a review of key regulatory standards, as well as various matters that are pending before the agency. The review will take into account a full range of views, both external and internal. I want to make sure that we distinguish the forest from the trees, that changed circumstances due to the pandemic are considered, and that all alternatives are evaluated.

I want to express my gratitude to Blake Paulson for his steady leadership as Acting Comptroller since January 14 and for his long and distinguished service with the agency. I am looking forward to working with him as Chief Operating Officer.

If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me at any time. I hope to meet as many of you as possible in the coming weeks and months. To support that goal, we will schedule a town hall call soon, which will give us a chance to interact and for me to answer questions. Look for details on that call soon.

Treasury Launches Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to Deliver $350 Billion

Aid to state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments will help bring back jobs, address pandemic’s economic fallout, and lay the foundation for a strong, equitable recovery 

 

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced the launch of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds, established by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, to provide $350 billion in emergency funding for state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments.  Treasury also released details on the ways funds can be used to respond to acute pandemic-response needs, fill revenue shortfalls among state and local governments, and support the communities and populations hardest-hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Eligible state, territorial, metropolitan city, county, and Tribal governments will be able to access funding directly from the Treasury Department in the coming days to assist communities as they recover from the pandemic.  

“Today is a milestone in our country’s recovery from the pandemic and its adjacent economic crisis. With this funding, communities hit hard by COVID-19 will able to return to a semblance of normalcy; they’ll be able to rehire teachers, firefighters and other essential workers – and to help small businesses reopen safely,” said Secretary Janet L. Yellen.  “There are no benefits to enduring two historic economic crises in a 13-year span, except for one: We can improve our policymaking. During the Great Recession, when cities and states were facing similar revenue shortfalls, the federal government didn’t provide enough aid to close the gap. That was an error. Insufficient relief meant that cities had to slash spending, and that austerity undermined the broader recovery. With today’s announcement, we are charting a very different – and much faster – course back to prosperity.”

While the need for services provided by state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments has increased —including setting up emergency medical facilities, standing up vaccination sites, and supporting struggling small businesses—these governments have faced significant revenue shortfalls as a result of the economic fallout from the crisis. As a result, these governments have endured unprecedented strains, forcing many to make untenable choices between laying off educators, firefighters, and other frontline workers or failing to provide services that communities rely on. Since the beginning of this crisis, state and local governments have cut over 1 million jobs.   

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide substantial flexibility for each jurisdiction to meet local needs—including support for households, small businesses, impacted industries, essential workers, and the communities hardest-hit by the crisis. Within the categories of eligible uses listed, recipients have broad flexibility to decide how best to use this funding to meet the needs of their communities. In addition to allowing for flexible spending up to the level of their revenue loss, recipients can use funds to:

  • Support public health expenditures, by – among other uses – funding COVID-19 mitigation efforts, medical expenses, behavioral healthcare, mental health and substance misuse treatment and certain public health and safety personnel responding to the crisis;
  • Address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency, including by rehiring public sector workers, providing aid to households facing food, housing or other financial insecurity, offering small business assistance, and extending support for industries hardest hit by the crisis
  • Aid the communities and populations hardest hit by the crisis, supporting an equitable recovery by addressing not only the immediate harms of the pandemic, but its exacerbation of longstanding public health, economic and educational disparities
  • Provide premium pay for essential workers, offering additional support to those who have borne and will bear the greatest health risks because of their service during the pandemic; and,
  • Invest in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure, improving access to clean drinking water, supporting vital wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, and expanding access to broadband internet. 

Insufficient federal aid and state and local austerity under similar fiscal pressures during the Great Recession and its aftermath undermined and slowed the nation’s broader recovery. The steps the Biden Administration has taken to aid state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments will create jobs and help fuel a strong recovery. And support for communities hardest-hit by this crisis can help undo racial inequities and other disparities that have held too many places back for too long.

For an overview of the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program including an expanded use of eligible uses, see the fact sheet released today. For additional details on the state, local, territorial, and Tribal government allocations, see the full list

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Michael J. Hsu to Become Acting Comptroller of the Currency May 10, 2021

News Release 2021-51 | May 7, 2021

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced that Michael J. Hsu will become Acting Comptroller of the Currency on May 10, 2021, pursuant to 12 USC 4 as designated by Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen.

Blake Paulson, who has served as Acting Comptroller of the Currency since January 14, 2021, will return to his role as the Senior Deputy Comptroller and Chief Operating Officer within the agency.

“It is a tremendous honor to serve as Acting Comptroller of the Currency alongside those who ensure our federal banking system operates in a safe, sound, and fair manner,” Mr. Hsu said. “I appreciate the confidence Secretary Yellen has shown in me by appointing me to this important post. I am looking forward to building on the agency’s long history and rich heritage. My focus as Acting Comptroller will be on solving urgent problems and addressing pressing issues until the 32nd Comptroller is confirmed.”

Prior to joining the OCC, Mr. Hsu served as an Associate Director in the Division of Supervision and Regulation at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. There, he led the Large Institution Supervision Coordinating Committee (LISCC) Program, which supervises the global systemically important banking companies operating in the United States. His career has included serving at the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Mr. Hsu began his career in 2002 as a staff attorney in the Federal Reserve Board’s Legal Division. He holds of a bachelor of arts from Brown University, a masters of science in finance from George Washington University, and juris doctor degree from New York University School of Law.

“Everyone at the OCC congratulates Mike on becoming Acting Comptroller and welcomes him to our agency and mission,” said Mr. Paulson. “It has been a great honor to serve as Acting Comptroller of the Currency. I look forward to supporting Mike in his new role and continuing to contribute to the agency’s important mission as the agency’s Chief Operating Officer.”

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