Joint Statement by the Department of the Treasury, Federal Reserve, and FDIC

Department of the Treasury, Federal Reserve, and FDIC

March 12, 2023

Washington, DC — The following statement was released by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen, Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome H. Powell, and FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg:

Today we are taking decisive actions to protect the U.S. economy by strengthening public confidence in our banking system. This step will ensure that the U.S. banking system continues to perform its vital roles of protecting deposits and providing access to credit to households and businesses in a manner that promotes strong and sustainable economic growth.

After receiving a recommendation from the boards of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve, and consulting with the President, Secretary Yellen approved actions enabling the FDIC to complete its resolution of Silicon Valley Bank, Santa Clara, California, in a manner that fully protects all depositors. Depositors will have access to all of their money starting Monday, March 13.  No losses associated with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank will be borne by the taxpayer.

We are also announcing a similar systemic risk exception for Signature Bank, New York, New York, which was closed today by its state chartering authority. All depositors of this institution will be made whole.  As with the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank, no losses will be borne by the taxpayer.

Shareholders and certain unsecured debtholders will not be protected. Senior management has also been removed. Any losses to the Deposit Insurance Fund to support uninsured depositors will be recovered by a special assessment on banks, as required by law.

Finally, the Federal Reserve Board on Sunday announced it will make available additional funding to eligible depository institutions to help assure banks have the ability to meet the needs of all their depositors. 

The U.S. banking system remains resilient and on a solid foundation, in large part due to reforms that were made after the financial crisis that ensured better safeguards for the banking industry. Those reforms combined with today’s actions demonstrate our commitment to take the necessary steps to ensure that depositors’ savings remain safe.

USDA to Offer $29 Million in Grants to Promote Fertilizer Production in USA

By Sam K. Jones, The Chicago Times

March 11, 2023

ORLANDO, FL – The United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Friday that the USDA received $3 billion in applications from more than 350 independent businesses from 47 states and 2 territories for the first two rounds of a new grant program to add innovative domestic fertilizer production capacity.

The USDA also announced the first round of $29 million grant offers to encourage independent businesses to increase production of American-made fertilizer.  It is hoped that it will encourage competition, give U.S. farmers more choices and fairer prices and reduce dependence on unreliable foreign sources like Russia and Belarus.  

“Vilsack made the initial announcement to dedicate $250 million at the 2022 Commodity Classic, the same event where he is making the first awards a year later. From the start, it has been clear there is strong demand for the program and even before applications were being taken, President Biden directed USDA to increase the program to $500 million at a farm visit in Illinois in May 2022. This fall, demand for the program was immediately evident by the sheer number, range and diversity of applications. More than 350 applications came in from applicants of every size and business model, including cooperatives, Tribal communities, female-owned companies and public bodies. These applicants requested between $1 million and $100 million for projects across 47 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.” according to a USDA press release.

In all, $3 billion in funding was requested for projects that are expected to increase production immediately for Crop Years 2023 and 2024, as well as promote the long-term availability of  fertilizer made in the USA.  The USDA also revealed that projects were proposed for both fertilizers and nutrient alternatives, and represented different technologies, including composters, complex manufacturing, farm supply blenders and distributors.

Paramount Global Declares Quarterly Dividends

By Phillip Russo, The Chicago Times

March 10, 2023

NEW YORK – Paramount Global announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.24 per share on both its Class A and Class B Common Stock. The dividend will be payable on April 3, 2023, to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 20, 2023.

In addition, the Board of Directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $1.4375 per share on its 5.75% Series A Mandatory Convertible Preferred Stock. The dividend will be payable on April 3, 2023, to stockholders of record at the close of business on March 20, 2023.

Lockheed Martin to Partner with Korea Aerospace and Red 6 on ATARS

By Frank Savage, The Chicago Times

March 10, 2023

BETHESDA, MD – Lockheed Martin announced Tuesday that it has partnered with Korea Aerospace Industries and Red 6 Aerospace to deliver advanced 21st Century Security capabilities across a spectrum of training and combat aircraft.

According to Lockheed, the partnership will bring the Airborne Tactical Augmented Reality System (ATARS), developed by Red 6 into the TF-50 and variants.  ATARS provides pilots and ground operators capabilities to interact with synthetic threats in real-time environments.

The TF-50A variant was recently submitted by Lockheed to the U.S. Air Force after a February 2023 request for information for a two-seater aircraft to cover three near-term missions including tactical training, adversarial air support and a tactical fighter surrogate role. The TF-50A is designed as a light attack fighter and trainer with enhancements including radar, electronic warfare system, tactical data link, and other capabilities to meet Air Combat Command requirements.

Lockheed and partners believe the ATARS system will go beyond use in the TF-50 and its variants.  It is hoped that ATARS could have operational use in the F-16, F-22, and F-35.

Ride Metra for St. Patrick’s Day Festivities

By Jeff L. Tucker, The Chicago Times

March 5, 2023

CHICAGO – Metra announced that it will be offering extra trains to bring passengers to this year’s Chicago St. Patrick’s Day and South Side Irish parades on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. 

“Riders know the value of taking Metra to big events and that’s why we’re happy to provide extra service for one of Chicago’s most iconic celebrations.  With our Weekend Passes and Family Fares, My Metra is the most affordable, smartest and safest choice for anyone planning to go to the parades.”  said Metra CEO/Executive Director Jim Derwinski.

In a press release, Metra shared that organizers of Chicago’s 68th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade urged the use of public transportation to the event.  In response, Metra will be offering extra trains, including express service, on seven of its 11 lines on Saturday, March 11.  

Metra also said the Rock Island Line’s 103rd Street/Beverly Hills and 111th Street/Morgan Park stations are within walking distance of the South Side Irish Parade scheduled for March 12 in the Beverly and Morgan Park neighborhoods.

“Metra’s Saturday or Sunday Day and Weekend passes offer values that can’t be beat. Our $7 Saturday or Sunday Day Passes allow for unlimited travel on either day. Our $10 Weekend Pass (available only through the Ventra App) allows for unlimited travel on both days. To make it an even better deal, either pass can be used in conjunction with Metra’s Family Fares, which allow up to three children 11 and under to ride for free with a fare-paying adult.” Metra said.

According to Metra, the expectation of high ridership on the Saturday of St. Patrick’s Day weekend, Metra personnel will be checking tickets and requiring ticket purchases prior to boarding at downtown terminals. 

“Customers are advised to purchase tickets in advance, and ticket agents will staff some outlying stations Saturday to accommodate purchases. While the Saturday or Sunday Day Passes will be for sale in advance at ticket windows and vending machines, Metra recommends downloading the free Ventra App from the App Store or Google Play, as the fastest and easiest way to purchase your ticket and keep it with you. Please note that student fares will not be available for onboard purchase on Saturday, March 11.” Metra said.

Metra also announced that alcohol and bicycles are banned on all Metra trains on Saturday, March 11 and on Rock Island Line trains on Sunday, March 12.  In addition, passengers are asked to not bring backpacks or water bottles on the trains Saturday and should also expect slower boarding at stations due to increased passenger loads and train crews taking extra time to ensure everyone’s safety.