Jules

Financial Assistance During the COVID Crisis

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14 countries that are paying their workers during quarantine — and how they compare to America's $1,200 stimulus checks

In response to the economic fallout, some governments have stepped in to cushion the blow felt by sudden closures and the shrinking of entire industries. In many countries, workers in specific sectors and self-employed citizens have found themselves particularly impacted.

The United States Treasury Department announced that at least 80 million Americans will have their $1,200 stimulus checks direct-deposited this week — and tens of millions should have received them already. On top of that stimulus check, House Democrats just introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act; the bill would give $2,000 every month — for six months — to Americans over the age of 16 making less than $130,000 a year.

But the level of support from different countries has varied around the world. The United States is solidly in the middle of the pack, while countries like Germany lead by offering over $5,000 in assistance to freelancers.

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Unless you earned too much money LAST year... and then you get nothing.

(Though I'd rather get nothing than have my life savings inflated away to nothing, which is what's more likely to happen)

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6 minutes ago, Jules said:

On top of that stimulus check, House Democrats just introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act; the bill would give $2,000 every month — for six months — to Americans over the age of 16 making less than $130,000 a year.

That would take WAY too much money out of the billionaire's trough for McConnell to ever let it pass.

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Just now, B.J. Porter said:

That would take WAY too much money out of the billionaire's trough for McConnell to ever let it pass.

McConnell may be the most powerful man in America.  How did we ever let that happen?

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1 minute ago, Jules said:

McConnell may be the most powerful man in America.  How did we ever let that happen?

There's no "may" about it. He's turned a razor thin majority in the Senate - which represents ~45% of actual people - into a complete seizure of power for the interests of the billionair class and corporations, with complete disregard for the American public.

Fun fact - the 53 GOP senators represent 15 Million fewer people than 47 Democratic/Independent senators do.

 

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Let's do the math on this brilliant proposi

14 minutes ago, Jules said:

House Democrats just introduced the Emergency Money for the People Act; the bill would give $2,000 every month — for six months — to Americans over the age of 16 making less than $130,000 a ye

Let's do that math on this brilliant idea.  There's probably about 265 million Americans over the age of 16... so at 2k / month for 6 months, that's just another... 3.18 TRILLION dollars. So that won't inflate away our savings.

Wake up. The people who are pushing this agenda are the same ones who want to completely overthrow the existing social order. They banked on Bernie and he flamed out, so they've glomed onto this idea. And it's working, b/c the Republicans have discovered that being a petty dictator and deciding who gets to go outside is pretty awesome.

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Besides. What's the point of giving everyone $2k a month, if we can't go outside or buy anything? It would just be to pay are mortgages or rent? And if the government is going to force everyone to go bust, why should they get a break?

Money is just a marker for goods & services. If there's no goods or services, it's best use is as toilet paper.

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4 minutes ago, Starboard!! said:

Let's do the math on this brilliant proposi

Let's do that math on this brilliant idea.  There's probably about 265 million Americans over the age of 16... so at 2k / month for 6 months, that's just another... 3.18 TRILLION dollars. So that won't inflate away our savings.

Wake up. The people who are pushing this agenda are the same ones who want to completely overthrow the existing social order. They banked on Bernie and he flamed out, so they've glomed onto this idea. And it's working, b/c the Republicans have discovered that being a petty dictator and deciding who gets to go outside is pretty awesome.

The rich guys always get what they want. For instance after 2008, they got asset values restored through repeated money-printing. This ensured fewer debtors would walk away from their debts, ensuring the creditors (the rich guys) got paid.
Same thing applies now. Wanna know why the stock market ain't at 13,700 DJIA? Because the presses are running 25 hours/day.

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The tragedy of this whole situation is that it's the perfect alignment of interests, between the authoritarians, wall street (for the moment), and the "burn the whole world" crowd. 

The health outcome is less important than the new political/economic/social order they get to have, when it's over.

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Spain has said a lot of things about a payment to their citizens. As to this date nothing has been paid. Zero!! Nothing will be paid until may 10 or if that does not go through the people will have to wait until June. Despite this, taxes are still being paid by the subcontractors. I believe the govt has no money to pay. It’s all done for the media,  public image and votes of course. 
 

So there should be no praise for the Spanish govt! 

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I should elaborate a little. In Spain there is a system in place where the an employer can suspend their employees without having to fire them. Not sure what this system is called in English. By doing this the govt pays 70% of their wages. It’s called an ERTE. At the start of the declared state of emergency (mid March) millones of Spanish were put in this system. Zero has been paid out. Nothing will be paid until may 10 or June 10.

Too little too late, like the overal response to this tragic crisis. 

Lots of angry people that live month to month on there wages. 

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So who got there checks so far?

NOT ME!

 

‘This is such chaos’: Americans report continuous problems with the IRS coronavirus stimulus check tracking tool

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Canada: My wife applied a few days ago for our emergency benefit for self-employed workers. Got it 2 days later direct deposit to our bank account.

(For those not eligible for regular EI, $2,000 every 4 weeks for up to 16 weeks, have to live in Canada, had income of at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the 12 months prior to the date of their application. And have to be 15 or older :)

Does not come with  Trudeau's face or name on the electronic payment.

some of the business programs:

- The new Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020
(a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75% of the employee's pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less.)
- defer Sales tax remittance until June 
- loans of $40K with first 10K a freebie

 

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35 minutes ago, Zonker said:

Does not come with  Trudeau's face or name on the electronic payment.

You gotta know how to self promote
TrumpCOVIDcheck.jpg.4542c9d75107b09ad349ca21e9ecd527.jpg

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6 hours ago, Starboard!! said:

Besides. What's the point of giving everyone $2k a month, if we can't go outside or buy anything? It would just be to pay are mortgages or rent? And if the government is going to force everyone to go bust, why should they get a break?

Money is just a marker for goods & services. If there's no goods or services, it's best use is as toilet paper.

Mortgage/Rent, utilities, health insurance, food.

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4 hours ago, Not for nothing said:

So who got there checks so far?

NOT ME!

 

‘This is such chaos’: Americans report continuous problems with the IRS coronavirus stimulus check tracking tool

Didn't get a check, but we did get a direct deposit on the 15th NZ time.

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4 hours ago, Jules said:

You gotta know how to self promote
TrumpCOVIDcheck.jpg.4542c9d75107b09ad349ca21e9ecd527.jpg

I like the April 1 date, especially when the check bounces. What a fool.

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9 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

There's no "may" about it. He's turned a razor thin majority in the Senate - which represents ~45% of actual people - into a complete seizure of power for the interests of the billionair class and corporations, with complete disregard for the American public.

Fun fact - the 53 GOP senators represent 15 Million fewer people than 47 Democratic/Independent senators do.

 

Hack the vote: terrifying film shows how vulnerable US elections are

Even as much of America grinds to a halt, coronavirus has yet to derail the date of the 2020 election. Which introduces a perhaps underestimated terror, as explained in one of the more deceptively scary documentaries to drop in recent weeks: the vulnerable voting machine. 

The process of voting in the United States is idiosyncratic and often chaotic, but no matter how each polling station is managed, the vast majority rely on electronic machines produced by three companies with removable hardware such as USB flash drives or memory cards. Individual incidences of alleged voting malpractice – for example, the purge of 340,000 voters, mostly people of color, from the Georgia rolls in 2018 – are thus part of a pattern of election vulnerabilities across the country known in cyberwarfare as a kill chain, as the voting security expert and veteran hacker Harri Hursti explains in the film. Most Americans vaguely know of Russian interference in 2016, but Kill Chain offers forensics on specific events in this pattern: the scanning and examining of state election registration databases; the hacking of the Election Assistance Commission, in which an unknown Russian actor accessed and sold information from a federal database on election technology throughout the country.

 

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8 hours ago, Jules said:

You gotta know how to self promote
TrumpCOVIDcheck.jpg.4542c9d75107b09ad349ca21e9ecd527.jpg

The scary thing is, there's a shitload of people in the US that would see something like that and say "Fuck Yeah!"

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9 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Mortgage/Rent, utilities, health insurance, food.

But why does the government get to tax / deflate the value of our money just to bail out those industries? 
 

If I - and everyone else — has to lose our jobs and businesses - why are landlords  or the utility company the the only ones who should feel no pain?

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Starboard!! said:

But why does the government get to tax / deflate the value of our money just to bail out those industries? 
 

If I - and everyone else — has to lose our jobs and businesses - why are landlords  or the utility company the the only ones who should feel no pain?

 

 

I listed those items because you seemed asked "Why give people money if they aren't going to buy anything?"

 

 

Honestly, I'm more concerned about families getting evicted, kids not getting food, or people dying from preventable illnesses than I am about investors and businesses.

However, there IS a ripple through effect on the whole economy.

But if you're going to bail out businesses, I still think you're better off giving the money directly to consumers who are at risk instead of to the businesses.

Of course, if you do that, how can Trump self deal to his hotels with the $500 Billion slush fund?

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I think Trump wants to see our dollar collapse, especially if he thinks he’s not getting reelected again.  
 

He owes billions and billions of dollars so devaluing our currency is probably the only way he ever gets out of debt.

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7 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

The scary thing is, there's a shitload of people in the US that would see something like that and say "Fuck Yeah!"

Just what I thought when I first saw it.  How anyone can watch his COVID briefings (which are anything but brief) and see a world leader is beyond me.

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2 hours ago, Starboard!! said:

I think Trump wants to see our dollar collapse, especially if he thinks he’s not getting reelected again.  
 

He owes billions and billions of dollars so devaluing our currency is probably the only way he ever gets out of debt.

It would be in Trump's interests, and indeed the interests of countries that end up with huge debt levels, to have inflation come in at 6 or 8%. Give It a few years and you have inflated away much of what you owe.

My two sons have now both received their first $2000 payments in Canada. Payments appeared in their accounts two and three days after they applied. Remarkably efficient for anyone let alone government. If it is going to work that well they could put Trudeau's signature or image wherever they want, not that they have done so, the idea of that is just too ludicrous to even consider. Glad I live in advanced, first world country.

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9 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

The scary thing is, there's a shitload of people in the US that would see something like that and say "Fuck Yeah!"

Well and that's the problem.

Screen-Shot-2020-04-16-at-2.13.31-PM.png

Despite all the compelling evidence that DJT is the worst president the US has ever had, 44% of the US population still approve of him.

I think most of the world feels deeply sorry for the other 56% but still 44% is such a large share of the population that it has fundamentally shifted perceptions about America.

Add in that America’s economic bounty is less equally shared than any other major democracy the CIA (not usually viewed as anti USA) data puts the US at 39 out of 159 countries with lower being more unequal.

There is no more shining city on a hill.

America used to be a beacon for the world to aspire to now it is a warning of what to avoid.

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1 hour ago, KC375 said:

Despite all the compelling evidence that DJT is the worst president the US has ever had, 44% of the US population still approve of him.

I think most of the world feels deeply sorry for the other 56% but still 44% is such a large share of the population that it has fundamentally shifted perceptions about America.

That group also includes the predatory capitalists, who have done very well under Trump, died-in-the-wool Republicans and affirmation-seeking conservatives, who cringe at even the thought of going outside their trusted sources.

So when you consider how many Americans are strip-mining the country, willfully blind or poorly informed, that number isn't very impressive.  The percentage of people who can actually watch Trump speak and walk away proud to support him is probably pretty small.

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3 minutes ago, Jules said:

...died-in-the-wool Republicans...

Wishful thinking.

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How the hell can someone pick one guy as the worst president ever?  Have you checked history?  Woodrow Wilson signed off on the federal reserve act, then took usa into ww1 after running on the platform of keeping usa out of the war.  FDR might be another candidate for worst...

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If you push aside one's dislike or liking of POTUS, the stimulus packages are being designed across party lines with one sole objective in mind and that is to allow the economy to restart when the virus is past.

Unlike the packages designed to save our banking system in the Global Credit Crisis these packages are much more aimed at Main Street than Wall Street.

FWIW, the banking system is essential to economic activity and its nigh impossible to rebuild if it breaks. The 1930s depression partially came about from lacking the tools to save the banking system.  The 2009/10 recession started from failing to act quickly enough to mitigate the fall out from the over valued mortgage market in the US. There was too much concern about moral hazard.....and the feeling was that Lehman should be allowed to fall, because risk of failure is essential to the capitalist economy. In hindsight, the cost to the economy would have been much more muted if shareholders had been wiped out at Lehman but the company saved.   The Fed and administration acted quickly thereafter to prevent a recession becoming a depression.

However, the good news is that in the CV19 crisis, the banking system is not the industry at risk.   That is a very good thing for all of us who want to go back to work after this is over. The most exposed businesses are airlines, hotels, restaurants etc.   It sounds awful to say this, but airlines and hotels does not put the economy at risk. They are asset based industries and if they go bust, there is simply a change of ownership. The assets have not gone away.  If you board a plane with a different colored livery, then you still get to LA.  If the bank system goes bust, your money becomes meaningless which makes it very hard to restart the system.........which is why Dodd Frank etc got enacted. If the banking system has to stay secure then it has to be very heavily regulated, so much so that it has in effect become overall a utility with low returns.  The banking system will exist in 2021. The planes, cruiseships and hotels will still be there (not sure who will own them by then) which leaves 2 outstanding problems

1. Small businesses...the heart of the American economy. There are no big levers to pull...hence the innovative stimulus packages to try and make small businesses sufficiently confident to restart at full speed when virus passes. This is extraordinary hard because the natural instinct of every business is to start slowly and see how it goes.  If everyone starts slowly, then what they will see is a very weak demand and we spin into recession. If everyone ramps then there is a chance we get back on track......hence the $1,200.  The whole effort is aimed at main street and small businesses to start the economy from the bottom up.

2. Oil......the industry everyone likes to hate but also important to every American business.   THe US is self sufficient in oil  but cannot produce oil for under $35 per barrel (and really needs north of $50) .The collapse in the oil price does three things :

(i)  It acts as a huge stimulus to China and Japan (China and Japan import oil, so fall in prices is a massive tax cut the the whole area) and acts as a equally huge cost to the US economy (and Russia and saudi...but not our problem)

(ii) We move from oil exporting to oil importing , so hit to balance of payments.

(iii) Massive hit to wide swathe of industrial employment......the direct oil service companies (where american technology is so dominant) but also all the myriad of businesses who supply components....pumps, controls, software etc etc.

#2 is the piece that threatens the small business stimulation and could send us into recession even after CV19.  Normally I would say, the oil companies can go bust and there will simply be a change of ownership .....but there is no capital that wants to buy rigs in the Bakken or Permian because the price of oil doesnt cover the cost of getting it out,. US unconventional oil has one of the highest cost bases in the world .  Hopefully the threat of contagion from the energy sector can be contained but its worrisome. There are two ways to save the US energy sector -----(i) Agree to US production quotas.We should have done this a decade ago to have an environmental licensing system that combines environmental goals with resource goals ...or (ii) Tariffs on foreign oil....which would be terrible IMHO , but it is a genuine threat that the US can make to encourage other producers to make the right cuts.  

There is another side effect, cheap overseas oil will put the brakes on the US shift to green solutions.  Solar panels and electric cars need oil to be expensive.

 

Anyway...long explanation of why the stimulation package is about helping main street, not wall street.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, Jules said:

Just what I thought when I first saw it.  How anyone can watch his COVID briefings (which are anything but brief) and see a world leader is beyond me.

How they can see a rational, functional and sane human being is beyond me.

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1 hour ago, Jules said:

The percentage of people who can actually watch Trump speak and walk away proud to support him is probably pretty small.

I suspect a great number of his most ardent fans don't tune in to the daily campaign ads ranting meltdowns COVID-19 briefings.

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1 hour ago, david r said:

How the hell can someone pick one guy as the worst president ever?  Have you checked history?  Woodrow Wilson signed off on the federal reserve act, then took usa into ww1 after running on the platform of keeping usa out of the war.  FDR might be another candidate for worst...

Trump makes it pretty easy.

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1 hour ago, Mambo Kings said:

If you push aside one's dislike or liking of POTUS, the stimulus packages are being designed across party lines with one sole objective in mind and that is to allow the economy to restart when the virus is past.

Unlike the packages designed to save our banking system in the Global Credit Crisis these packages are much more aimed at Main Street than Wall Street.

$500 Billion of $2.2 Trillion is direct to citizen funding.

I'm not really seeing those objectives.

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7 minutes ago, B.J. Porter said:

 

I'm not really seeing those objectives.

but...but...muh trikkkle down!

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18 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Didn't get a check, but we did get a direct deposit on the 15th NZ time.

no DD yet, can I hold back that amount from what I owe the IRS

If I get a check sign by the king, I'm giving it to Biden, to wave it , with a thanks to trump on the first debate!

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Checked my account balance last night, stimulus check "installed".

And turned right around and plowed it into the WA state/King county coffers via my 1st 6 month property tax installment.

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7 minutes ago, animeproblem said:

Checked my account balance last night, stimulus check "installed".

And turned right around and plowed it into the WA state/King county coffers via my 1st 6 month property tax installment.

So the Fed's didn't bail you out, they bailed out King County.

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5 minutes ago, Starboard!! said:

So the Fed's didn't bail you out, they bailed out King County.

Seems like the debt was his, and he would be the one standing to lose his property if he failed to pay it.

The money is going to move around, it's what money does. The argument is asinine that where it is spent is who got "bailed out."

The difference is that if you give the money to individuals, they will spend it where they need it to stay afloat. It will then move to other business and entities which then get made whole, and they spend the money somewhere else which also satisfies things.

If you give $1,000 to a homeowner and he pays his mortgage with it, you make two entities whole - the homeowner, and the bank. If you give it to the bank, they get made whole but the homeowner is left high and dry. And a year or three from now the CEO will get a nice bonus, eh?

Bailouts that start at the top of the economic food chain instead of the bottom do not multiply.

 

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That why the trickle down theory never works,  The middle class always spent , the rich never do

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5 minutes ago, Not for nothing said:

That why the trickle down theory never works,  The middle class always spent , the rich never do

Yeah, supply-side has been pretty much debunked as the scam it is.

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On 4/16/2020 at 3:04 PM, Jules said:

You gotta know how to self promote
TrumpCOVIDcheck.jpg.4542c9d75107b09ad349ca21e9ecd527.jpg

 

F7BFA854-18B4-4CA2-93A0-AA3EE04FEC22.jpeg

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1 hour ago, silent bob said:

 

F7BFA854-18B4-4CA2-93A0-AA3EE04FEC22.jpeg

Clever, if Trump actually was sending those checks out.

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16 minutes ago, Jules said:

Clever, if Trump actually was sending those checks out.

Mine's going to BIDEN , I'm sure he'll cash it LOL

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4 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Seems like the debt was his, and he would be the one standing to lose his property if he failed to pay it.

The money is going to move around, it's what money does. The argument is asinine that where it is spent is who got "bailed out."

The difference is that if you give the money to individuals, they will spend it where they need it to stay afloat. It will then move to other business and entities which then get made whole, and they spend the money somewhere else which also satisfies things.

If you give $1,000 to a homeowner and he pays his mortgage with it, you make two entities whole - the homeowner, and the bank. If you give it to the bank, they get made whole but the homeowner is left high and dry. And a year or three from now the CEO will get a nice bonus, eh?

Bailouts that start at the top of the economic food chain instead of the bottom do not multiply.

 

Thanks Beej, obviously you get it, the taxes had to paid anyway, getting what amounted to basically double my income tax return took quite a bit of the sting out of that expense.

I would still like to upgrade my downstairs entertainment set-up since that account is still in pretty decent shape, but I'm still waiting on some pretty hefty hospital bills from the wife's lung biopsy & continue to believe throwing money on frivolous things like that would be the pinnacle of irresponsibilty.

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15 hours ago, B.J. Porter said:

Seems like the debt was his, and he would be the one standing to lose his property if he failed to pay it.

The money is going to move around, it's what money does. The argument is asinine that where it is spent is who got "bailed out."

The difference is that if you give the money to individuals, they will spend it where they need it to stay afloat. It will then move to other business and entities which then get made whole, and they spend the money somewhere else which also satisfies things.

If you give $1,000 to a homeowner and he pays his mortgage with it, you make two entities whole - the homeowner, and the bank. If you give it to the bank, they get made whole but the homeowner is left high and dry. And a year or three from now the CEO will get a nice bonus, eh?

Bailouts that start at the top of the economic food chain instead of the bottom do not multiply.

 

And yet I can guarantee the argument will be made about bail outs.

Thus far the banks are not receiving any bail outs.......because they dont need them.  Certainly they will have a significant number of loan defaults from both individual and small business customers but their balance sheets are strong enough to withstand the shock.  Remember the banking system is an agency model...its not that complicated.....depositors (you) put your money in bank accounts....the banks lend it to individuals (mortgages, credit cards etc) and businesses......and then pay the depositors interest.  If the banking system failed (it wont) then 90% of the assets are depositor assets . The Fed and the FDIC job is to make sure that this never happens.....society would never recover.

The CV19 shock is to main street economy not to the financial economy....which is why this stimulus look so different to 2008/09 (TARP etc).

They key to not entering a prolonged recession is providing businesses, large and small with enough confidence to immediately re-hire all their employees and start the engine where they left off.  This is through a combination of demand stimulation (the helicopter money that everyone is receiving) and the extensive loan  programs that the Fed and the Treasury are providing to small and large businesses so they have enough cash to keep the businesses afloat with either no revenue or significantly less revenue .  

If businesses reopen cautiously ("Maybe I'll hire back 80% of my employees and see how it goes") there will be a recession.  If they reopen aggressively the economy will rebound. 

I will give an example

Darden, the restaurant chain, has closed every Olive Garden for dining in and is running a take out service, so revenues are down about 75-80%. They have 180,000 employees, obviously many are furloughed.  They are burning $25 million a week during the close down.  But they have ample liquidity with access to loans (over $2 bn) so they are at no risk of failing.  Their employees are getting govt checks (and helathcare from the company.   So they plan to reopen as soon as it is safe and bring back their employees and serve their customers.  If this can be mirrored throughout the economy with fiscal stimulus keeping the employees in shape and monetary policy keeping the businesses afloat we will be okay-ish.

The cost will be massive and it will have to be spread out gradually over the next decade.....but it was a pandemic and it caused productive activity to cease and there was a cost, and it should be shared.  Over time we will repay the cost with taxes on our productive efforts and we will repay the helicopter money.......but it will seem money well spent and easier to repay because our economy will be afloat and prosperous.

If we allow the economy to collapse, we will be paying the pandemic cost in a dreadful way in a recession.

Its regrettable that its a election year. Economic stimulus is bi-partisan, both sides know it has to be done and done right.......but it will get politicized at a time when we really need the sensible people on both sides to be working together.  Our futures depend on this being done perfectly.

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