Ongoing fears of economic fallout from the COVID-19 outbreak mixed with falling oil prices sent stocks plunging Monday, causing the markets to halt trading early in the morning. The spreading disease has led to Wall Street’s weakest performances since the 2008 financial crisis.
To explain what happened, Megan Greene, economist and senior fellow at Harvard University, spoke with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal about the acceleration of the illness and its impact on global supply and demand. They also discussed how these events could play out long term.
“It depends entirely on epidemiology,” Greene said. “And none of us really have answers there. So it really depends on how far this virus spreads.”
Click the audio player above to hear the interview.
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
Which businesses are allowed to reopen right now? And which businesses are actually doing so?
As a patchwork of states start to reopen, businesses that fall into a gray area are wondering when they can reopen. In many places, salons are still shuttered. Bars are mostly closed, too, although restaurants may be allowed to ramp up, depending on the state. “It’s kind of all over the place,” said Elizabeth Milito of the National Federation of Independent Business.
Will you be able to go on vacation this summer?
There’s no chance that this summer will be a normal season for vacations either in the U.S. or internationally. But that doesn’t mean a trip will be impossible. People will just have to be smart about it. That could mean vacations closer to home, especially with gas prices so low. Air travel will be possible this summer, even if it is a very different experience than usual.
When does the expanded COVID-19 unemployment insurance run out?
The CARES Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump in March, authorized extra unemployment payments, increasing the amount of money, and broadening who qualifies. The increased unemployment benefits have an expiration date — an extra $600 per week the act authorized ends on July 31.
You can find answers to more questions here.
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