The Vermont State Treasurers Office has unveiled an initiative to invest a significant portion of Vermonts short-term cash in Vermont Banks. Currently, such funds are invested primarily in government agency securities, high quality corporate commercial paper, and money market accounts at large financial institutions. The new Treasurers Bank in Vermont Program is consistent with an ongoing effort by State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding to support Vermont-based financial institutions when acceptable rates of return can be achieved.According to Treasurer Spaulding, We are inviting banks to participate in a certificate of deposit (CD) program designed to support community banking, while earning a competitive return on State funds. We will invest on a predictable basis, via a competitive bidding process, in banks with branches in Vermont. The program is designed to be attractive to a wide range of banking institutions and is predicated on the belief that investing Vermont funds in Vermont, consistent with earning a competitive rate of return, is a good policy.Banks will be pre-approved by the Office of the State Treasurer for maximum levels of investment based on a bank’s size and other factors. In addition, participating banks must have at least a satisfactory rating under the federal Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. State funds will be available for bid in various maturities, based on State cash flow projections and projected interest rates. Participating banks will submit bids through the Internet and/or e-mail. The Office of the State Treasurer will award CDs based on rank order of quoted rates and associated dollar levels until the funds are depleted for each scheduled bidding period.Chris D’Elia, Executive Director of the Vermont Bankers Association, reacted to Spauldings initiative positively. “Vermont’s banking community welcomes the opportunity to work with the Treasurer’s Office on implementing this new program. This effort will keep investment funds within Vermont, thus allowing them to be utilized to encourage new economic activity, he said.Kenneth Perine, President of the National Bank of Middlebury, explained his support of the Bank in Vermont Program by saying, I am pleased to see efforts that recognize Vermonts banking institutions as a viable alternative for State of Vermont investments, and am pleased by Treasurer Spauldings effort to reach out to Vermont bankers in designing this program.Other examples of Treasurer Spauldings commitment to supporting Vermont institutions include investments in the Vermont Community Loan Fund and the Vermont Development Credit Union. In addition, the three investment firms used by the Treasurers Office to manage longer-term funds are all based in Vermont. They are National Life Capital Management, Hanson Investment Management, and Prentiss Smith & Company.
State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir came in second place with 57.7 percent, followed by Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto and Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi in third and fourth place, respectively.Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly scored the lowest of the Cabinet; 32.1 percent of respondents approved of his performance. Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Minister Arifin Tasrif and Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) head Bahlil Lahadalia polled at 34.5 percent approval.The pollster’s executive director Burhanuddin Muhtadi said on Thursday that Sri had secured the highest approval rating from the business respondents in several economic sectors, including medium, small, micro and large enterprises, manufacturing, agriculture and transportation and warehousing. Erick surpassed Sri only in the construction sector, while Prabowo polled higher in the mining sector.Read also: ‘No hope for public health’: Lawmakers slam govt’s COVID-19 economic recovery committeeResponding to the survey, presidential spokesperson Fadjroel Rachman said the results were in line with the President’s decision to form a COVID-19 handling and national economic recovery committee.The committee, responsible for streamlining strategic policies to counter the pandemic, is led by Sri and Erick.“Hopefully, the trust of businesses can help the committee accomplish its goals, thanks to the ministers’ approval,” said Fadjroel.However, a separate survey released by Indikator on Tuesday, showed that 64.8 percent of 1,200 general respondents from throughout the country believed that President Jokowi should reshuffle his Cabinet.Regarding the demand for a reshuffle, Fadjroel said the ministers had responded to Jokowi’s warnings quickly, demonstrated by the increasing ministerial budget disbursement.“The key word is not ‘reshuffle’, but ‘acceleration’ of budget disbursement. […] That’s what the President is working on, not a reshuffle,” Fadjroel added.Read also: State secretary plays down reshuffle talk, claims ministers have improvedSaan Mustopa, secretary-general of the NasDem Party, a member of Jokowi’s coalition, said he was aware that several Cabinet ministers had not shown their best performances. However, he hoped Jokowi would wait for them to make improvements.“[The Cabinet reshuffle] can be done, but only when the situation has started to improve,” said Saan.Mulyadi of the Democratic Party, a party outside the coalition, said the President should not ignore that nearly 65 percent of people wanted him to shake up the Cabinet to give more competent officials a chance during the health emergency.Topics : A recent survey of business players by Jakarta-based pollster Indikator Politik Indonesia awarded Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati the highest job approval rating of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s Cabinet.The pollster surveyed respondents by phone between June 29 and July 11, polling 1,176 business actors in nine provinces: North Sumatra, South Sumatra, Riau, Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java and East Kalimantan.Some 61 percent of the respondents said the finance minister’s performance had met their expectations.