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Across the US, worries about having enough to eat are adding to the anxiety of millions of people, according to a survey that found 37 per cent of unemployed Americans ran out of food in the past month and 46 per cent said they worried about running out.

“Even those who are working often struggle. Two in 10 working adults said that in the past 30 days, they ran out of food before they could earn enough money to buy more. One-quarter worried that would happen…

“There is no parallel in U.S. history for the suddenness or severity of the economic collapse, which has cost more than 36 million jobs since the virus struck. The nationwide unemployment rate was 14.7 per cent in April, the highest since the Great Depression.”

https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/fears-of-hunger-rise-amid-pandemic-economic-collapse-poll-20200515-p54t7i.html


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“Since COVID-19 shuttered much of the global economy, airlines, major retail chains, oil companies and other hard-hit businesses have been able to tap bank facilities and public debt markets for the funds they need to keep paying the bills and stay afloat.

“But many firms now bleeding cash are in for a tough ride until the economy fully rebounds, which will likely come only after a vaccine is developed and broadly employed.”

https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1188387.shtml


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No economic collapse in modern times has ever happened so fast.

“Government cash receipts were $1.3 billion above projections through March with only three months left in the fiscal year; now revenues are projected to miss the mark by $9.7 billion through June 30.”

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-05-14/california-54-billion-coronavirus-deficit-choices-news-analysis


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The pandemic has also revived all the worst-case scenarios about U.S.-China ties, edging them closer to confrontation than at any point since the two sides established relations four decades ago.

“From supply chains and visas to cyberspace and Taiwan, the world’s two largest economies are escalating disputes across several fronts that never really fell silent.”

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/05/15/world/worst-case-u-s-china-scenarios/#.Xr5H52hKjIU


The World Trade Organization chief announced Thursday he will step down on August 31, a year before his term ends, despite the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the global economy. Roberto Azevedo said it had been a “personal decision” reached with his family…”

https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2020/05/15/wto-chief-to-step-down-early-as-global-economic-crisis-rages.html


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The economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic will be “far, far worse” than the banking crisis in 2008, a former chancellor has warned.

“Alistair Darling said the UK was already in a “very deep recession”.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-52660820


UK Police have said they will break up anti-lockdown protests advertised on social media for this weekend if necessary, amid warnings that the events could be exploited by the far right.”

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/may/14/police-vow-to-break-up-planned-anti-lockdown-protests-in-uk-cities


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Calle Núñez de Balboa, in the Salamanca district [Madrid, Spain], has seen some of the worst riots in its history tonight

“After four days of street protests against Pedro Sánchez, the National Police has been deployed…”

https://www.euroweeklynews.com/2020/05/14/breaking-news-riots-erupt-in-spains-capital-madrid/


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“For years, the Ronda della Solidarieta (Solidarity Patrol) charity has served up free dinners twice a week for Rome’s needy, passed out at twilight in the shadow of the city’s ancient ruins.

“But as Italy begins to feel the effects of its most punishing economic crisis since World War II, triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the number of those in need has shot up…”

https://www.thelocal.it/20200514/italys-new-poor-the-people-left-in-poverty-by-the-coronavirus-crisis


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The fear of multiple bankruptcies and mass unemployment because of measures imposed to contain the covid-19 pandemic is the main reason European governments are subsidising businesses on a vast scale

“Yet rescue measures probably just postpone a surge in bankruptcies…”

https://www.economist.com/business/2020/05/16/a-wave-of-bankruptcies-is-coming-in-europe


Damage from the coronavirus slammed into the European Union’s fastest-growing region in the first quarter, with more pain coming as the bloc’s eastern members head for the worst recession since the fall of the Iron Curtain.”

https://www.bloombergquint.com/global-economics/eastern-eu-tumbles-toward-worst-economic-slump-since-communism


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Developing countries face a delicate balancing act of responding forcefully to coronavirus-triggered recessions without causing long-term damage to public finances, currency or inflation-fighting credibility. None more so than Brazil.

“Latin America’s largest economy is hurtling toward its biggest ever downturn already shouldering one of the largest debt loads, widest budget deficits and weakest exchange rates of any emerging market in the world.”

https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/brazils-economic-fragility-magnifies-rock-183851135.html


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“The spread of global infection is never-ending. The world economy is facing a once-in-a-century crisis and is not even comparable to the Lehman shock,” Abe [Japanese PM] said, referring to the giant investment bank and the financial crisis of 2008.

“He added that even the world’s largest corporations are suffering significant damage and that it is “absolutely necessary to prevent chain bankruptcy.””

https://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/japanese-pm-calls-global-economic-collapse-once-in-a-century-crisis


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Oil supply is expected to fall to a nine-year low this month, the International Energy Agency said, as global producers make big cuts to offset a record collapse in demand.”

https://www.ft.com/content/ea63c5da-7b6d-4de9-bba1-0342a20c230b


Saudi Arabia has announced a tripling of its value added tax from July and halted a monthly allowance to state employees from next month as oil prices collapse, while simultaneously going on a buying spree of overseas assets including an English soccer club.”

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/05/15/business/saudi-arabia-austerity-drive/#.Xr5OG2hKjIU


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In what could potentially be the sharpest drop in global remittances in recent history, money sent to low and middle-income countries is expected to decrease by 19.7 percent to $445 billion.

“This comes after a record-breaking year in 2019 ($554 billion), representing a huge loss for vulnerable people.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/madhvimavadiya/2020/05/14/the-business-of-sending-money-back-home-could-collapse-how-is-covid-19-affecting-migrants/#4ce06b20684b


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The pandemic caused severe disruptions in global supply chains. Cargo containers full of consumer goods are piling up at ports and warehouses

“First, China shut down all of its manufacturing, then retail shops in the U.S., Europe and elsewhere closed. And that has left a lot of consumer goods out there with no place to go.”

https://www.npr.org/2020/05/14/856347538/the-pandemic-disrupts-global-supply-chains-leaving-ports-worldwide-overstuffed


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“…a cascade of protectionist restrictions, transport disruptions and processing breakdowns has dislocated the global food supply and put the planet’s most vulnerable regions in particular peril.

““You can have a food crisis with lots of food. That’s the situation we’re in,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, a senior economist at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-global-food-crisis-shortages-11589385615


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After weeks of relative optimism in financial markets about a re-opening of frozen economies, effectively shut for months to contain the pandemic, a dark cloud has descended once again over the investment outlook

“”We have become increasingly gloomier on the global economy,” Deutsche Bank’s chief economist David Folkerts-Landau told clients…

“”A highly uncertain and worrying outlook lies ahead, and it is likely that any short-term stability will come at a huge long-term cost,” he added. “This crisis is also going to permanently scar government balance sheets, with war-time level deficits likely across the board.””

https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/increasingly-gloomier-dark-clouds-return-as-world-braces-for-longer-and-deeper-economic-hit-20200515-p54t7b.html


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Central banks in about a dozen emerging economies have started their own quantitative easing programmes. Yet without big domestic savings pools, most rely on foreign investors to cover balance of payment deficits and underpin currencies.

“That, along with inflation risks, constrain how much money they can print to support growth. Bond buying programmes in Brazil or South Africa could see real interest rates at the back end of the yield curve push up sharply, said Manik Narain, head of EM strategy at UBS.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-world-debt-analysi/coronavirus-to-leave-a-legacy-of-unprecedented-global-debt-idUKKBN22Q2J8


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“One of the main policy responses to COVID-19 has been for central banks to flood markets with even more liquidity (that is, over and above the phenomenal cash injections post-GFC) to back additional bank and other lending to governments, businesses and households to cushion the direct impacts of the recession.

“…this has compounded the debt overhang problem – sovereign (eg, Italy, many emerging nations and now bloated budget financing tasks), increasingly “junk” corporate debt and household debt.

“There will be a day of reckoning, and it won’t be pretty.”

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6756398/there-will-certainly-be-no-return-to-usual/?cs=14264


Read the previous ‘Economic’ thread here and visit my Patreon page here.

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