Coronomics (A New Term)

This damn virus, the Covid-19, has brought about a whole bunch of new thinking and responses to a crisis……even some new terms for the analysis…..Coronomics is the one that I wish to introduce to my reader.

Economics is not something that most people will want to read about….but maybe they should because this virus is playing fast and loose with their economic future.

The ugly side of the economics of the pandemic……

The chart shows that 9.9 million initial unemployment insurance claims have been made over the last two-week period, creating a graphic described as "difficult to stomach" by economic analysts. (Source: The Block/FRED)

That extension of the Unemployment insuarnce has its dark side as well…..

It’s worth noting that UI claims do not include many workers who are out of work due to the virus, including independent contractors, those who don’t have long enough work histories, those who had to quit work to care for a child whose school closed, and more, so the actually number of people out of work is higher than today’s’ data show us. One of the most effective parts of the CARES ACT, the relief and recovery act that Congress passed last week, is a $250 billion expansion of unemployment insurance, including an increase in the level of benefits and the creation of a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program which will be available to many workers who are not eligible for regular unemployment insurance. These provisions are very important and will help millions. However, the broader stimulus package contains many weaknesses that reduce its effectiveness, which is regrettable because the job loss we have seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Based on new GDP forecasts, we project that nearly 20 million workers will be laid off or furloughed by July, with losses in every state. And importantly, the GDP forecasts these projections are based on include the impact of the CARES Act and they assume that Congress will pass another relief package focused on aid to states. That implies that far more than 20 million workers will be laid off or furloughed if there is not another meaningful relief and recovery bill.

(commondreams.org)

Small businesses are suffering because of this shelter in place orders and there are those that will take advantage of the situation…..those crooks in the “pay day loan” business…..

one industry, which offers an obscure form of financing to small businesses called Merchant Cash Advances (MCA), has seemingly taken a different approach.

“There’s lots of talk about helping small businesses. But in the last few days, lawyers running lawsuit mills are suing small businesses to extract cash,” Federal Trade Commission member Rohit Chopra tweeted on March 19 about the MCA industry. “The lawyers work for lenders that offer pricey payday-style loans using sketchy contract terms to restaurants and businesses.”

MCAs are a form of financing typically leveraged by small businesses that don’t have access to traditional loan options. MCAs are not loans, rather, they’re the sale of a portion of a business’s future income at a discount. Typical MCA agreements require businesses to make payments every business day of a set dollar amount until the agreement is settled.

MCA agreements often include “confessions of judgment,” clauses that force businesses to plead liable if the MCA provider alleges that the agreement has been breached, which can occur if the business misses just one or two of their daily payments. The agreements typically grant providers the immediate right to the outstanding balance from the business in the event of a breach.

https://dailycaller.com/2020/03/30/itria-ventures-merchant-cash-lawsuits/

Your ordinary economic solutions will be as worthless as the promises from the White House……

We have seen crashes before, recessions and depressions, but nothing like this. Our fear of coronavirus has hindered and halted every aspect of daily life. We look out of our windows and barely recognise the country we’re in: police film dog-walkers and pour black dye into lagoons to deter swimmers. We wait in queues for empty-shelved supermarkets. The stock market collapses, surges, then collapses again. None of the old rules make sense. Welcome to the world of Coronomics.

If this were a normal recession, the remedy would be simple: encourage people to go out, spend money and boost the economy. But today’s public health concerns require the government to repress the economy, while trying to keep it afloat at the same time. Streets are quiet, hotels are empty, restaurants, pubs and high-street shops are shuttered. To tackle the virus, the economy must hibernate.

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/coronomics-ordinary-remedies-wont-be-enough-for-a-surreal-crash

The Atlantic has offered up 4 Rules for the economics of this pandemic……

Rule 1: “Save the economy or save lives” is a false choice.

Last week, a group of economists from the Federal Reserve and MIT published a paper on the 20th century’s most murderous flu, the 1918 outbreak. Because the federal government in 1918 offered little if any economic assistance to suffering Americans, the local response from city leaders varied widely. Some places, such as New York and St. Louis, quickly ordered social distancing and other interventions, while others, such as New Haven and Buffalo, allowed public gatherings even weeks after the flu reached crisis levels. This variance gave researchers the ability to see which cities recovered the fastest after the outbreak.

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/new-laws-pandemic-economics/609265/

These small businesses pay their taxes (or they should be) and if the government needs to step in and protect them from failing then I have NO problem with that solution.

I ask just one thing….please stop jumping down my throat when I write about socialism for this solution is socialism 101….

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29 October In History

The year is 539 BC……Persian king Cyrus the Great conquers Babylon and frees the Hebrew slaves and allows them to return to their homeland……but that is not important for we hate Iran (Persia)…..

But what happened here in the good old U.S. of A.?

Does anyone know what happen 90 years ago today?  (Of course you don’t for it does not concern you)……

……..I will wait while the Google machine gets a work out…….

It was called “Black Tuesday”….does that help?

The great Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the beginning of what would be called the “Great Depression”….a time that changed much here in the US.

On October 29, 1929, Black Tuesday hit Wall Street as investors traded some 16 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a single day. Billions of dollars were lost, wiping out thousands of investors. In the aftermath of Black Tuesday, America and the rest of the industrialized world spiraled downward into the Great Depression (1929-39), the deepest and longest-lasting economic downturn in the history of the Western industrialized world up to that time.

https://www.history.com/topics/great-depression/1929-stock-market-crash

Let us look closely at what happened that caused this “crash”?

The stock market crash of 1929 – considered the worst economic event in world history – began on Thursday, October 24, 1929, with skittish investors trading a record 12.9 million shares. On October 28, dubbed “Black Monday,” the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged nearly 13 percent. The market fell another 12 percent the next day, “Black Tuesday.” While the crisis send shock waves across the financial world, there were numerous signs that a stock market crash was coming. What exactly caused the crash – and could it have been prevented?

https://www.history.com/news/what-caused-the-stock-market-crash-of-1929

Now we know what happened so the question now is could it happen again?

Few people are alive anymore who remember living through the stock market crash of 1929. But plenty of people still view that fateful plunge as a worst-case scenario for what might befall investors.

The roughly 20% decline for large stocks in October 1929 actually wasn’t the market’s worst month ever, but the drop incited nearly three years of relentless selling and helped to usher in the Great Depression. Could a 1929-style market setback happen again?

Yes, it could.

https://www.azcentral.com/story/money/business/economy/2019/10/13/stock-market-crash-october-1929-great-depression-economic-downturn/3910471002/

More thoughts on the possibility of the Crash happening again…..https://www.washingtonpolicy.org/publications/detail/the-crash-of-1929-could-it-happen-again

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What Happened After 2008?

A decade on…..and counting.

Remember those days….the economic crash caused by banks playing loose and fast with accounts and trickery…..it all came back to bite them in the ass and we all then decided that banks need to be watched and regulated for the protection of our cash held by them.

For awhile it look good…it looked like we would do what needed doing to make goddamn sure that this could never happen again……and then the big banks started their assault on the people that would control their thievery and then we elected a tool of big capital and most of the regs are being pushed back….and history will be repeated…but while we wait for the next “market correction”…….

A few years ago, one of Karen Petrou’s banking clients gave her an unusual assignment: It wanted her to write a paper laying out “the unintended consequences of the post-financial-crisis capital framework.” Petrou is the co-founder of Federal Financial Analytics Inc., a financial services consulting firm in Washington that focuses on public policy and regulatory issues. She is also, as the American Banker once described her, “the sharpest mind analyzing banking policy today — maybe ever.” Whenever I’m writing about banking issues, she’s the first person I call.

Writing that paper caused Petrou to ask a question she’d never really considered before: Did the bank regulations enacted after the 2008 crisis — along with the Federal Reserve’s post-crisis monetary policy — exacerbate income inequality? Her answer, which she laid out in a series of blog posts, as well as a lecture at the New York Federal Reserve in March, was yes. “Post-crisis monetary and regulatory policy had an unintended but nonetheless dramatic impact on the income and wealth divides,” she wrote recently.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-08-06/inequality-why-bank-rules-and-fed-rates-hurt-middle-class

While the nation is focused on Russia and whether they are bad players on the world stage….the inequality in this country grows with every economic report and NO ONE cares….instead they will slobber over slogans and BS and a promise of better days and yet those days are getting further and further away for most in the middle class.

This recovery has not been great for workers. They have seen modest real wage gains over the last five years, but these gains have not come close to making up the ground lost in the recession and the first years of the recovery.

Nonetheless, real wages have been growing for most of the last five years. The last month has been an exception to this pattern, not because nominal wages have grown less, but because we had a large jump in energy prices, which has depressed real wage growth. Here’s picture for the last five years.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/08/07/the-story-of-stagnant-wage-growth/

The Economy Is Booming

Our Dear Leader tells us every Tweet that the economy is booming thanks to him and his policies.  Speaker Ryan Tweets every day that the economy is good and our people are doing better and better…..

I hate to tell these two deluded slugs but just because the wealthy are making money hand over fist does not mean that the rest of us are doing so as well…..no we are not doing good…..for most wage slaves the economy is crummy at best…..

We humans have stopped waiting for the trickle down….it has not made it to us in 30+ years and I do not think it ever will…..and yet the GOP voters keep believing it will eventually get to them as they struggle every day…..I believe that Einstein had something to say about doing the same thing over and over……..

For about a year now, the unemployment rate has been around 4%. That’s supposed mean full employment, labor shortages, and rising pay. But the latest earnings report is the same old story: no gains in real hourly wages from June of 2017 through June of 2018. Most employers have been able to find new workers without having to raise pay offers.

What’s going on? There are screwball right-wing diversions and explanations. A Trump economist, D. J. Norquist, opines that it will take time for the Republican tax-cuts to work their way through the economy. As an explanation, this is nonsense. Just because the lords of creation get more money doesn’t mean more will filter down to workers. We have the evidence of forty years on that issue. Then we have Stephen Moore at the Heritage Foundation. He suggests that the economy might be creating a disproportionate number of low-wage jobs, which could outweigh rising wages higher on the job ladder. But this is not happening. And if it were, we would be right back to asking why a booming labor market was generating more lousy jobs.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/18/the-crummy-good-economy-and-the-new-serfdom/

Will another shoe drop thanks to the tariffs and the trade war that looms?

When it goes to Hell how long before it is Obama’s fault?  (After all that is Dear Leader’s favorite scapegoat)

Nothing Learned In A Decade

A decade ago one of the worse financial crisis hit the world…..a crisis that could have been avoided….a sadly nothing has been learned from this collapse…

Ten years ago this month, the French bank BNP Paribas decided to limit investors’ access to the money they had deposited in three funds. It was the first loud signal of the financial stress that would, a year later, send the global economy into a tailspin. Yet the massive economic and financial dislocations that would come to a boil in late 2008 and continue through early 2009 – which brought the world to the brink of a devastating multi-year depression – took policymakers in advanced economies completely by surprise. They had clearly not paid enough attention to the lessons of crises in the emerging world.

Anyone who has experienced or studied developing-country financial crises will be painfully aware of their defining features. For starters, as the late Rüdiger Dornbusch argued, financial crises can take a long time to develop, but once they erupt, they tend to spread rapidly, widely, violently, and (seemingly) indiscriminately.

Source: The Lost Lesson of the Financial Crisis by Mohamed A. El-Erian – Project Syndicate

With no lesson learned then this will repeat itself…..only a matter of time.

Pension Panic

Note:  The site where I found this article is a bit of a conspiracy site and I am not sure about the validity of this news but seeing how we all have to retire or die at our desks I thought it would make a good conversation piece.

One sad situation in life is that we will all grow old and have to be put out to pasture (retire)….and the big question is will most Americans have enough cash saved to live a comfortable life?

I was unfortunate enough that hurricane Katrina injured me and I had to retire….but I was employed by the state and had a good retirement plan….sadly those days are slipping away….now employees are forced to “invest” their money and in doing so are at the mercy of the economic system under which we live….

For some the only retirement they have is their Social Security and the way things are going it looks like that will not be there when a person retires.

What is the future of our swindling pensions?

For millions of public sector workers in the U.S., state-run pension funds are the only chance left for a comfortable retirement. In the hopes of providing a stable future for their families, an entire generation was duped into putting decades of their earnings into these supposedly ‘risk-free’ investments. Unfortunately, those who have entrusted the government to manage their life savings may end up destitute as a result.

Budgetary shortfalls that have plagued Detroit for years are now spreading to other municipalities. Since 2008, six local governments have been forced to renegotiate their debts in bankruptcy court, with many others on the same trajectory. The scale of the problem has been repeatedly understated by the media, but across the nation, a somber reality is beginning to set in.

Source: Pension Panic: The Coming Financial Bubble Nobody Is Talking About

It appears that it is only a matter of time before all Americans are suffering from some sort of pension panic.

Will you?

What’s Killing the American Middle Class?

For decades I have been watching the middle class slowly disappear…..for me it was most pronounced with the election of Bill Clinton and the leadership of the DLC……I admit it has been in decline before he was elected but with that election the downward spiral became more pronounced…..NAFTA was a horrible idea for the working class of the US and yet we are doing similar agreements almost every administration……

So the question should be…..What is killing the American middle class?

Richard Eskow: Americans work more hours than citizens of any Western European country, a burden that keeps them away from their families, friends, and personal activities.

A new study by the Pew Research Center spurred a rash of headlines last week about “the dying middle class.” But the word “dying” might be more appropriate if we were watching the regrettable but inevitable effects of natural forces at work. We’re not. We’re seeing the fruits of deliberate action – and sometimes of deliberate inaction – at the highest levels of power.

The great American middle was never large enough, even at its height. It always excluded too many people – sometimes, shamefully, merely for their skin color. And now, instead of growing and becoming more inclusive, it’s fading away instead.

It’s true that the middle class is dying, but not from natural causes. It’s being killed. What – and, for that matter, who – is responsible for its slow death?

Source: What’s Killing the American Middle Class? – LA Progressive

Sadly I do not see the situation improving much no matter who is elected….but as usual we Americans will soldier on and make others rich…..it is the American way.