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Business leaders call for ‘patience and civility’ ahead of US election, tying economic health to democracy

Business leaders call for ‘patience and civility’ ahead of US election, tying economic health to democracy

Business leaders are calling on Americans to be patient and civil ahead of the 2020 presidential election, citing the importance of maintaining confidence in democracy during the coronavirus pandemic.

Michael E. Porter wearing a suit and tie: Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter.

© David De La Paz
Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter.

More than 50 executives across the fields of tech, finance, retail, and real estate signed onto a statement released Wednesday by the Leadership Now Project, a group founded by Harvard Business School alumni focused on protecting democracy.

“America has successfully held elections through previous challenges, like the Civil War, World Wars l and ll, and the 1918 flu pandemic… we can and must do so again,” the group said in the statement. “As business leaders, we know firsthand that the health of America’s economy and markets rests on the founding principle of our democracy: elections where everyone’s vote is counted.”

The statement was backed by big names in business, including LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, Harvard Business School professor Michael Porter, former Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer, and General Assembly chief executive Lisa Lewin. Massachusetts executives on the list include Seth Klarman of Baupost Group, Tricia Glynn of Advent International, Trinidad Grange-Kyner from Tufts Health Plan, and Eric Spindt from Commonwealth Financial Group.

The group emphasized that it could take weeks or more until election results are confirmed because of the number of citizens voting by mail this year. They asked Americans to stay calm, “making it clear that they will refuse to accept any results called too early or based on insufficient data.”

The statement also called on journalists to “avoid calling the election before sufficient data are available,” and asked business leaders to “promote patience and civility among employees, communities, and the American people.”

LinkedIn’s Hoffman wrote that “election results inaccurately or prematurely reported by journalists, elected officials

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Analysis: U.S. bank stocks are fine, if you are rich in patience

Analysis: U.S. bank stocks are fine, if you are rich in patience

(Reuters) – The U.S. bank sector has been pummeled this year but investors hunting for bargains there may need deep reserves of patience as banks are particularly sensitive to low interest rates, the uneven economic recovery and the muddy stimulus outlook.

FILE PHOTO: A woman counts U.S. dollar bills at her home in Buenos Aires, Argentina August 28, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci/File Photo

The S&P 500 Bank subsector , which kicks off its third-quarter earnings season on Oct. 13, was last down 33.7% for the year-to-date compared with a 5.8% gain for the S&P 500 index.

Banks have been such a drag on the broader S&P financial index that its 19% year-to-date decline is second only to energy’s 49.9% drop among the S&P 11 major sectors.

To be sure, if lawmakers in Washington manage to reach an agreement, a new fiscal stimulus package could help banks if it boosts U.S. loan growth, interest rates and economic activity.

And the bank index is up 12% from its intraday trough on Sept. 2 to a peak on Oct. 6 as yields for longer-dated U.S. treasuries have risen with stimulus hopes as banks profit from higher interest rates.

But investors are unconvinced that recent gains will be sustainable as the Federal Reserve has signaled plans to keep overnight rates low for the foreseeable future in order to aid an economic recovery, which is expected to take years.

“You’re looking at years for this sector to make a full recovery. It will take a lot of positive things to happen in the U.S. economy for it to get back to the type of performance we are seeing in the broader S&P,” said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey. “Investors, in my view, will need to be

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