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
What’s the latest on the extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?
As of now, those $600-a-week payments will stop at the end of July. For many, unemployment payments have been a lifeline, but one that is about to end, if nothing changes. The debate over whether or not to extend these benefits continues among lawmakers.
With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, are restaurants and bars shutting back down?
The latest jobs report shows that 4.8 million Americans went back to work in June. More than 30% of those job gains were from bars and restaurants. But those industries are in trouble again. For example, because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, increased restrictions on restaurant capacities and closed bars. It’s created a logistical nightmare.
Which businesses got Paycheck Protection Program loans?
The numbers are in — well, at least in part. The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Some of the companies people are surprised got loans include Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s. The companies you might not recognize, particularly some smaller businesses, were able to hire back staff or partially reopen thanks to the loans.
You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.
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