Afternoon Coffee: Fed to keep rates near zero; Beeline and The Mom Project partner up; Switzerland and Vietnam deemed ‘currency manipulators’

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The Federal Reserve announced it will keep its short-term interest rate near zero following the latest policy meeting Wednesday, according to CNN Business.

The Fed cut rates to that level in March — and indicated it will likely remain there for several years as the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 disruption. Additionally, the Fed launched several lending programs and other stimulus efforts this year to support the economy during this time. But Fed Chair Jerome Powell stressed that the Fed — and Congress and the White House — may need to do more to help struggling Americans, CNN reported.

"Economic activity and employment have continued to recover but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year," the Fed said in its statement. "The path of the economy will depend significantly on the course of the virus. The ongoing public health crisis will continue to weigh on economic activity, employment and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.”

Beeline and The Mom Project partner for diversity

Beeline, a global extended workforce solution provider, and The Mom Project, a digital talent marketplace/community focused on women and diversity, have come together to address diversity in the contingent workforce. The Beeline Diverse Talent Cloud provides Beeline customers with the ability to source from a diverse talent pool populated and managed by The Mom Project.

According to a press release announcing the partnership, The Mom Project was “created to ensure women can choose to remain active in the workforce through every stage of their lives.” Since its 2016 launch, The Mom Project has become “the leading career destination for women, connecting more than 350,000 moms, dads and allies to over $100 million in economic opportunity.”

Beeline CEO Doug Leeby said the partnership has been going for more than a year.

“Our values are closely aligned with those of The Mom Project and we have enjoyed a strong, results-based partnership for over a year," Leeby said in the press release. "Together, we will help companies achieve their DE&I goals.”

Spend Matters was informed by Beeline that The Mom Project is set up in the VMS as a supplier on a client’s preferred supplier list. It is up to the client to establish its tiering and routing rules, and clients that are focused on diversity can make the Mom Project a tier 0 or tier 1 supplier for specific reqs. Engaged workers are W-2 employees of either The Mom Project or one of the other sub-contracted suppliers.

US Treasury Department labels Switzerland and Vietnam as currency manipulators

The US Treasury Department designated Switzerland and Vietnam as currency manipulators on Wednesday, saying the two countries intervened in foreign-exchange markets in a persistent and one-sided manner to limit appreciations of their currencies, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Treasury said it determined that at least part of both countries’ foreign-exchange intervention in the last four years aimed to prevent effective balance of payment adjustments. It also said Vietnam had sought to gain unfair competitive advantage in international trade through its exchange-rate management, the WSJ reported.

“The Treasury Department has taken a strong step today to safeguard economic growth and opportunity for American workers and businesses,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “Treasury will follow up on its findings with respect to Vietnam and Switzerland to work toward eliminating practices that create unfair advantages for foreign competitors.”

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