6/10/20 Power Five

  1. Joe Stiglitz & Ray Dalio on Building a Better Economy – Highly recommend this interview with a Nobel prize winner and a billionaire founder of the world’s largest hedge fund. “Inequality in America has become a national emergency.”
  1. When 511 Epidemiologists Expect to Fly, Hug, and Do 18 Other Everyday Activities Again – “As much as I hate working at home, I think that working in a shared indoor space is the most dangerous thing we could do.”
  1. The Looming Bank Collapse – “Just as easy mortgages fueled economic growth in the 2000s, cheap corporate debt has done so in the past decade, and many companies have binged on it.
  1. Why Ta-Nehisi Coates is Hopeful – “George Floyd is not new. The ability to broadcast it the way it was broadcasted is new. But black folks have known things like that were going on in their communities, in their families, for a very long time.”
  1. My Restaurant Was My Life for 20 Years. Does the World Need it Anymore? – It’s clear we still don’t know the long-term impact this economic retraction will have on small businesses, unemployment, etc. But one thing that is certain is there are going to be a lot of restaurants that disappear. From the wonderful Gabrielle Hamilton: “The conversation about how restaurants will continue to operate, given the rising costs of running them has been ramping up for years now; the coronavirus did not suddenly shine light on an unknown fragility. We’ve all known, and for a rather long time. The past five or six years have been alarming. For restaurants, coronavirus-mandated closures are like the oral surgery or appendectomy you suddenly face while you are uninsured. These closures will take out the weakest and the most vulnerable. But exactly who among us are the weakest and most vulnerable is not obvious.”

Reopening Restaurants

Just because states are beginning to ease restrictions doesn’t mean an automatic shift in aggregate demand. Millions are still out of work and consumer confidence has to be rebuilt before we return to “normal.”

4/3/20 Power Five

  1. Heather Boushey’s Five Predictions for the CV19 Recession – This will be long, painful for millions, and will require a lot more than some SBA loans and $1,200 a person to fix.
  1. Yayoi Kusama in Your Living Room – Visited the Infinity Mirrored Room last year at The Broad – highly recommend.
  1. Administration Ended Coronavirus Detection Program Two Months Prior to China’s First Case – Almost too unbelievable to be true. USAID pulled $200m from a coronavirus research for labs in…Wuhan.
  1. On Bookshop: The latest David looking to take down Goliath – Could Indie booksellers gain up to take back market share from Amazon and B&N?
  1. When Should I Rebalance? – You finally have the perfect asset allocation in place…and then suddenly the bottom falls out. Do you react and rebalance asap? Or wait it out?

4/2/20 Power Five

  1. America’s Work Obsession – “Even if Americans stayed home for the next several weeks, the average American would still finish the year having worked as many hours as Germans work in a typical year.”
  1. On Restaurant Margins – Recommended. Infographics break down financial statements from Boston’s Mei Mei.
  1. How Jay Powell’s Career Prepared Him for the Crisis – Bernanke was eminently prepared to deal with the last crisis as an expert on the Great Depression. Powell’s preparation – corporate law, Wall Street, and public service.
  1. Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s Original Watercolors for The Little Prince – “On July 31, 1944, he left on a reconnaissance mission, never to return. He was 44 years old when he perished – a biographical detail that lends eerie poignancy to the fact that, perched atop his little planet, the Little Prince watched the sun set exactly 44 times.”
  1. 15 Pastas to Make From Scratch – Quarantine is a perfect time to try something new.

Unemployment Claims

Another staggering claims release this week. So far, over 10 million people have applied for unemployment insurance in two weeks.

For reference, 9 million people lost their jobs during the Great Recession

I’m afraid we’re just getting started.

Unemployment Trends

A surreal look at the initial unemployment impacts. Will only get worse. If there’s any silver lining, this is a great test of current automatic stabilizers and is/will lead to a national conversation on how to improve the social safety net. Both parties can debate how big and small they need to be, but we have to discuss improvement.

From the AP
WSJ
WSJ