Coronavirus news as global recession deepens

Years ago, during the Great Financial Crisis and the European Sovereign Debt Crisis. I used to do a daily news round-up with links to some of the day’s must-read articles. So I thought I would start up that practice again today.

Let me say first that acknowledgement of the severity of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic deepens every day. I think back to March 6, when I first asked if we were already in a recession. At that time, it was a legitimate question. And I remember that another analyst asking that question around the same time was pilloried for being a doomsayer. But here we are.

The scale, scope, and speed of the coronavirus economic shutdown is breathtaking. It’s like nothing we’ve seen outside of war. And I think – without wanting to be a doomsayer – we have to be thinking of this as a potentially becoming a Depression, not a recession. As with my March 6 question, it’s not clear today it has to become a Depression given the firepower policy makers are throwing at this economic slump. But by next week, it will be.

I am writing this at just after 7:30AM. In less than an hour, we’ll get the first semi-post-coronavirus US jobless claim number. I expect it to be elevated. But the full scale of the impact won’t come until next week and the weeks after. Be prepared for unemployment to skyrocket right across the advanced economies. And there’s only so much even a robust policy response can do. After all, what are you going to buy when you’re locked up in your home? Stimulus is just a means of preventing deprivation and homelessness, of keeping the wheels turning until the acute phase of this crisis is over.

May 15 is my bogey right now. That’s the earliest we can expect daylight. I don’t reasonably expect us to see daylight at that juncture. But, still we can hope.

Here are the links. I will usually add a blurb to each one to show why it makes sense except where the headline says it all.

Links 2020-03-19

Live Updates

Personal toll


Job loss and consumption decline


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