Forget what’s happening around you for a moment, and let’s play a game of pretend, shall we? Let’s pretend that we’re talking about a mythical country where the stock market lost 20% of it’s volume in three weeks. Let’s pretend that a credit card processor reported that payments to businesses were down as much as 26% and 30% in major cities on the west coast. Let’s pretend that 20% of workers are reporting that they have either lost hours on the job, or lost the job altogether. And finally, let’s pretend that the Federal Reserve has had to ride in like the cavalry and do no less than SEVEN adjustments within the last week alone. Have you broken out in a cold sweat yet? Welcome to Trump world 2020 and it’s not going to get better. This is just the beginning of an economic reversal not only not seen in our lifetimes, but possibly not seen ever — and this is not hyperbole or fear mongering. This is real. The Atlantic:
State jobless filings are growing geometrically, a signal of how the national numbers will change when we have them. Last Monday, Colorado had 400 people apply for unemployment insurance. This Tuesday: 6,800. California has seen its daily filings jump from 2,000 to 80,000. Oregon went from 800 to 18,000. In Connecticut, nearly 2 percent of the state’s workers declared that they were newly jobless on a single day. Many other states are reporting the same kinds of figures.
These numbers are subject to sharp changes; things like large plant closures lead them to jump and fall and jump and fall. But for them to rise so precipitously, across all of the states? To stay high? That is new. The economy is not tipping into a jobs crisis. It is exploding into one. Given the trajectory of state reports, it is certain that the country will set a record for new jobless claims next week, not only in raw numbers but also in the share of workers laid off. The total is expected to be in the range of 1.5 million to 2.5 million, and to climb from there. […]
The economy had been plodding along in its late expansion, growing at a 2 or 3 percent annual pace. Now, private forecasters expect it will contract at something like a 15 percent pace, though nobody really knows. A viral quarantine is impossible to model, because modeling would mean knowing how long the necessary emergency measures will last and how well the government will respond with some degree of accuracy. Still, real-time measures show a consumer-economy apocalypse. One credit-card processor said that payments to businesses were down 30 percent in Seattle, 26 percent in Portland, and 12 percent in San Francisco. Nearly every state is seeing dramatic declines, with hotels and restaurants hit particularly hard.
Huge industries are at a standstill. The entertainment and travel industries have seen massive setbacks as festivals, theater plays, movie theaters sit empty. Airlines, hotels, cruise lines, restaurants, bars, caterers are all closing their doors right now and sending people home.
And do not forget this statistic: since the stock market started contracting during this crisis, it has been “the fastest and sharpest bear market on record, faster than 1929, faster than 1987, 10 times faster than 2007.” That pretty much says it all in a nutshell. Meanwhile, Donald Trump is busy undercutting Anthony Fauci and any adviser who dares tell him the truth, rather than what he wants to hear and making noises about firing Jerome Powell. Acting out like a two year old and looking to eke out revenge on perceived enemies are his only coping mechanisms and he is incapable of behaving like a normal adult in the business world, of which he is supposedly emperor, let alone a leader, let alone a leader at a time of war-level national crisis. We need FDR and we’ve got Barney Fife.
America is facing the greatest challenge, on both a health and economic level, in her entire history of 240 years, and we have no government. We have a puppet show cartoon going on in the White House, when we desperately need leadership as we have never needed it before. I wish we could move up the election, I truly do. This is scary.