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
It’s still the question on everyone’s minds: What’s going on with extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?
The $600-a-week payments have ended, officially, as of July 31. For now, there is no additional federal pandemic unemployment assistance. House Democrats want to renew the $600 payments. Senate Republicans have proposed giving the unemployed 70% of their most recent salary by this October, when state unemployment offices have had time to reconfigure their computer systems to do those calculations. Until then, jobless workers would just get another $200. But, nothing has been agreed upon yet.
What’s the latest on evictions?
For millions of Americans, things are looking grim. Unemployment is high, and pandemic eviction moratoriums have expired in states across the country. And as many people already know, eviction is something that can haunt a person’s life for years. For instance, getting evicted can make it hard to rent again. And that can lead to spiraling poverty.
Which retailers are requiring that people wear masks when shopping? And how are they enforcing those rules?
Walmart, Target, Lowe’s, CVS, Home Depot, Costco — they all have policies that say shoppers are required to wear a mask. When an employee confronts a customer who refuses, the interaction can spin out of control, so many of these retailers are telling their workers to not enforce these mandates. But, just having them will actually get more people to wear masks.
You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.
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