Daily Digest 4/29 – Unemployment Could Hit 20% by June, Millions of Americans Can’t Afford Food or Rent


White House economist: Unemployment could hit 20% by June (Sparky1)

Kevin Hassett, a senior economic adviser to President Donald Trump, warned Tuesday that the jobless rate in the United States could spike to between 16% and 20% by June.

That would be a startling spike from current levels of 4.4% and would mark the highest unemployment since the 1930s. (Unemployment spiked at 25% in 1933, according to estimates from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.)

How Las Vegas Became Ground Zero for the American Jobs Crisis (tmn)

“You are pushing people up against a corner,” said Mrs. Anderson. Referring to those in charge of the pandemic response, she added, “They want you to stay home, and you’re doing that, but they’re not helping you financially to keep you afloat while you’re at home.”

She added: “It doesn’t make sense.”

COVID-19 in Quebec: Some businesses will reopen in May, but no return to ‘normal life,’ says premier (Eugenio)

On May 11, all manufacturing companies will also be able to restart activities, but with a reduced workforce. To give workers more space, manufacturers can have 50 employees plus half of their remaining regular staffing work at the same time.

On May 25, those restrictions will also be lifted. At that point, 176,000 people in the manufacturing sector will be back at work, Fitzgibbon said.

Millions of Americans can’t afford food, rent and other basics, report finds (Sparky1)

The cratering economy — which has left an estimated 1 in 6 U.S. workers without a job — is especially hurting younger Americans, minorities and those without a college degree. Twice as many black and Hispanic Americans as whites say they are no longer earning any income, according to new data from NORC at the University of Chicago, a non-partisan research group.

Finally, It Matters What The Fed Can And Can’t Print (CleanEnergyFan)

Sound money advocates have been proclaiming that “the Fed can’t print gold” pretty much since the end of the last gold standard in 1971. But no one outside our little echo chamber paid attention, fixating instead on what the Fed could print: trillions of dollars that were perfectly fine for buying anything a creditworthy person could want. To paraphrase the old Saturday Night Live skit, “Fiat currency has been berry berry good to me.”

Trump Mocks Man’s Mask at White House as Pence Refuses to Wear One at Mayo Clinic (Boogalula Blasphemer)

The hastily organized White House event, which a limited number of reporters were allowed to attend, also seemed to be part of a new media strategy, intended to give the president an opportunity to cast his response to the crisis as a roaring success without too much scrutiny from the media. Before he took a few questions from reporters, Trump even told the business owners that they were there, in part, to keep the media from being too harsh on him. “I think with you in the room, I have a feeling that they’ll ask me much nicer questions,” Trump said, again speaking the quiet part out loud. “They’ll tone ’em done, right?”

Cooper: ‘Enormous’ 32% tax hike needed to endure Covid-19 crisis (Nashville) (thc0655)

About 45% of that revenue loss will happen between April and June, ending the city’s current fiscal year. To erase that gap, Cooper said he’s saved or reduced $124 million of spending but also had to almost totally drain the city’s remaining reserves — down to a balance of $12 million, which wouldn’t even account for two full days of spending in his proposed $2.48 billion budget.

China Threatens Australia Over ‘Dangerous’ Investigation Into Coronavirus (CleanEnergyFan)

“The parents of the students would also think whether this place which they found is not so friendly, even hostile, whether this is the best place to send their kids here,” Cheng continued (via the Daily Wire). “It is up to the people to decide. Maybe the ordinary people will say ‘Why should we drink Australian wine? Eat Australian beef?’”

Golden Vaccines and Dow to Gold Ratio (GE Christenson)

When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

The Fed’s tools are interest rate policy and monetization of bonds—QE4ever. The economy will be hammered with low rates (already happened) and Fed purchases of Treasury debt, mortgage-backed securities and other debt.

Barclays CEO says ‘putting 7,000 people in a building may be thing of the past’ (tmn)

“There will be a long-term adjustment in how we think about our location strategy…the notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past,” he told reporters after the bank reported a fall in first-quarter profits.

Staff including investment bankers could work instead from branches as well as other locations, he said.

New drug could cure nearly any viral infection (from 2011, Mark M.)

The drug works by targeting a type of RNA produced only in cells that have been infected by viruses. “In theory, it should work against all viruses,” says Todd Rider, a senior staff scientist in Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group who invented the new technology.

Because the technology is so broad-spectrum, it could potentially also be used to combat outbreaks of new viruses, such as the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak, Rider says.

Modifying Mother Nature to Kill Nasty Viruses (from 2011, Mark M.)

Draco, who wrote Athens’s first constitution in about 620 B.C., decreed that just about every crime should be punishable by death, because that was what petty criminals deserved and he could think of no harsher penalty for serious criminals. “Draconian” means indiscriminate as well as harsh.

Sean Penn’s nonprofit to expand free virus testing sites: “This is right now an active shooter scenario” (Sparky1)

“All of these volunteers are occupying positions that used to be L.A. firefighters on this site,” Pen said. “The L.A. firefighters have skill sets very specific … and we all need them out there on the street. We need the paramedic core. God forbid, there’s a brush fire.”

Penn didn’t just mobilize his team, he often works alongside them. And each night, he gets on a Zoom call with site team leaders to ensure their response is efficient and effective.

Trump orders meat processing plants to stay open (Sparky1)

The administration is also working with the Department of Labor on issuing guidance about which employees who work at these meat processing facilities should remain home, including workers who are part of populations most vulnerable to the coronavirus.

When Trump announced the executive order, he also told reporters that his administration was working with Tyson Foods.

Coronavirus: Belgians urged to eat more chips by lockdown-hit potato growers (tmn)

Since mid-March, restaurants in Belgium and many other markets for potato growers have closed. The cancellation of Belgium’s many spring and summer festivals has added to their woes.

Moreover, the international trade in potatoes has been hit. Belgium is one of the world’s top exporters of potato products, including frozen chips. It sends more than 1.5m tonnes annually to more than 100 countries.

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