Progress on a bipartisan infrastructure bill, a cybersecurity summit, stock sell-offs, a ramp-up in banks’ bond purchases, and hopes for a downtown Hartford renaissance are among the top business news items this morning.
The House of Representatives has voted to advance a vote on a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill, resolving a dispute in the Democratic Party over whether to first take action on this measure or a $3.5 trillion bill focusing on social goals. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a vote will be held on the infrastructure bill by Sept. 27.
President Joe Biden is convening a summit of CEOs from several industries, including financial services, insurance, tech, energy, and education to discuss cybersecurity defenses. The meeting follows several high-profile cyberattacks against American companies earlier this year.
Booming stock prices are causing many publicly traded companies to cash out shares for a quick infusion of capital. Some businesses have been able to benefit from “meme stocks,” in which small traders boost the company’s stock price and allow it to make a profitable sell-off.
Banks have been ramping up bond purchases amid sluggish lending. The slowdown in loans is credited to factors such as the availability of funds through direct stimulus and pandemic relief programs for businesses, though factors such as the spread of the Delta variant could continue to depress demand.
Developers are hoping that Hartford is on the cusp of gaining enough downtown residents to support a boom in retail, restaurants, and other businesses that rely primarily on foot traffic. The city has traditionally catered to commuters who depart their workplace at the end of the day, but is expected to hit the residential density necessary to support a vibrant downtown within three years if current trends continue.