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Ackman places new bet against corporate credit Ackman places new bet against corporate credit Billionaire says markets are once again complacent about the impact of pandemic Pershing Square founder Bill Ackman made $2.6bn in March from a wager that markets were underestimating coronavirus risks © REUTERS Be the first to know about every new Coronavirus story Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has put on another bet that companies will struggle to pay their debts, just eight months after he cashed in a $2.6bn profit from a similar trade at the start of the pandemic. The founder of Pershing Square told attendees at the Financial Times’ Dealmakers conference on Tuesday that markets had once again become too complacent about the coronavirus.  At the start of this week he put on a new trade hedging his equity exposure with insurance against corporate defaults, he said. “I hope we lose money on this next hedge,” Mr Ackman said. “We’re in a treacherous time generally and what’s fascinating is the same bet we put on eight months ago is available on the same terms as if there had never been a fire and on the probability that the world is going to be fine.” He said the new hedge is close to 30 per cent the size of the bet he placed in late February, when he bought a set of huge insurance policies linked to $71bn of corporate debt. Video: Bill Ackman: markets had once again become too complacent about Covid-19 The billionaire investor anticipated governments would be forced to shut large swaths of their economies in order to curb the spread of coronavirus, leaving many indebted companies exposed. When that swiftly proved accurate , the value of the insurance ballooned and Pershing Square exited the trade in mid-March, pocketing $2.6bn in profits after having only paid $27m in premiums. Mr Ackman chose to plough the winnings back into equities, adding to several of Pershing Square’s existing stakes and acquiring new content positions that set the company up to profit from a stock market rally.  Pershing is up 44 per cent, year to date, having been down 7 per cent before the successful bet. Mr Ackman said he remained optimistic about the economy over the long term, saying that it was likely to see a “robust recovery”, but he predicted the next few months would be “a challenging time”. Pershing Square placed its new bet against corporate credit on the day that Pfizer and BioNTech released positive trial data on their Covid-19 vaccine, causing markets to take a sudden bullish turn. The news was “actually bearish for the next few months,” however, Mr Ackman said, because it was likely to make people more complacent about wearing masks and less likely to view the virus as a threat. Get alerts on Bill Ackman when a new story is published

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It is a visionary document for projects that have multiple parties involved. The agreement generally sets forth the project scope, estimated costs and the legal documents that will be needed to complete the project,” the agreement states.  The partners listed in the umbrella agreement are the Early Learning Center, the Boys & Girls Club, the Discover! Children’s Museum and the City of Centralia. To cover the costs of construction of the United Learning Center, the United Way of Lewis County will contribute $3 million, the City of Centralia will contribute $1.9 million, the Discover! Children’s Museum will contribute about $1 million and the Boys & Girls Club “will contribute funds for the cost of construction of the children’s museum and to cover a portion of the costs of the overall United Learning Center,” according to the umbrella agreement. The city owns the land that the ULC will be built upon and will ground lease parcels of the land to each of the partners for the construction for an initial term of 20 years with an option to renew. The umbrella agreement gives an overview of the construction process in two phases — the first commencing on or before April 30, 2021, and is expected to be completed by the same date the following year. “The second phase is dependent in part on the availability of funds and amounts that the other participating agencies may devote,” the agreement states.  In August, the Centralia City Council approved the allocation of $1.9 million in city funds collected through the real estate excise tax to go toward the construction of the United Learning Center after hearing letters of support from over a dozen community members and testimony from State Rep. Richard DeBolt, R-Chehalis.