May 20 2020
The White House’s rosy view of the U.S. economy’s trajectory clashes with the dire predictions of many mainstream economists, as well as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, a political risk consultancy founded in 1998, and host of “GZERO World with Ian Bremmer”.
Coronavirus: How we decide the risks we’re willing to take to venture out when safety is somewhere between staying home or carrying on
“We need to balance our needs with what we know about coronavirus,” said Stanford University professor Jeff Hancock. “Abstinence doesn’t work. Plans that are practical and recognize basic human needs will be more successful than those plans that don’t…Do we need a vacation in Costa Rica with lots of friends? No. Do we need intimate and social moments? Yes.”
“We thought the first day back, this place would be packed. It’s one of the biggest party places on the planet. It feels like a ghost town. Like we’re not supposed to be here.”
“This is worse and weirder than anything I’ve ever seen,” Heidi Shierholz, a director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, said. “We know how to wrap our brains around the bursting of an asset bubble of seven trillion dollars in the housing market, or the end of the dot-com boom, but we don’t have practice in dealing with the fallout from this pandemic.”
Although caution is a logical response to that uncertainty, hunkering down also poses a risk to the recovery in an economy dominated by consumer spending. A so-called V-shaped recovery can’t happen if consumers are sitting on the sidelines.
For parents, they’ll have to sign a contract prior to sending their child back to school, acknowledging the risks of the virus and committing to following whatever social distancing practices are required outside of school. Then, each day they’ll be asked four questions about the child’s health, including whether or not they’ve taken their temperature that day. And those parents will be paying 30% higher tuition than they were in March when the school shut down.
“We’re trying to keep other employees employed, including myself. We are just opening up so we really need to be able to make ends meet.”
“The mantra for anything that hasn’t gotten started is: delay, defer and, in many cases, renegotiate…If I’m going to have vintage May 2020 on my books, I want to be able to demonstrate to my investors that I got an exceptionally good deal.”
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