Two trillion dollars: The Tipline for 27 March 2020

In spy parody movie Austin Powers, Dr Evil originally proposes to hold the world ransom for one million dollars. When his henchmen say that isn’t enough, he ups the ransom to $100 billion. The US Senate’s covid-19 recovery package goes far beyond either of Dr Evil’s numbers, providing a total of $2.2 trillion in financial relief in response to the coronavirus crisis. The package significantly outstrips annual defence spending, a major US government outlay. The DOJ settled concerns over a major deal in that sector yesterday, with antitrust chief Makan Delrahim saying divestitures in three markets would protect taxpayers from any competitive harms that would result from the merger of United Technologies Corporation and Raytheon.

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