COVID-19

Dallas Fed president calls policies relief, rather than stimulus

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Mar 27, 2020
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President and CEO of the Dallas Federal Reserve, Robert Kaplan. Courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
COVID-19

Dallas Fed president calls policies relief, rather than stimulus

Kai Ryssdal and Sean McHenry Mar 27, 2020
President and CEO of the Dallas Federal Reserve, Robert Kaplan. Courtesy of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
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From emergency cuts to interest rates to providing capital for businesses, the Federal Reserve has taken numerous steps to curtail the economic fallout from COVID-19.

But even with various relief efforts from Congress and the central bank, many small businesses and consumers could take a while to recover, according to Robert Kaplan, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Kaplan spoke with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal about how the Fed is navigating the pandemic, and what the economy will look like when it’s over.

“By the end of the year, we’ll have a higher unemployment rate than we did going into it. And we’ll have to spend 2021 working that down,” Kaplan said. “That’ll be a different situation, very different than the one we’ve been experiencing the last two or three years.”

Click the audio player above to hear the interview.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How are Americans feeling about their finances?

Nearly half of all Americans would have trouble paying for an unexpected $250 bill and a third of Americans have less income than before the pandemic, according to the latest results of our Marketplace-Edison Poll. Also, 6 in 10 Americans think that race has at least some impact on an individual’s long-term financial situation, but Black respondents are much more likely to think that race has a big impact on a person’s long-term financial situation than white or Hispanic/Latinx respondents.

Find the rest of the poll results here, which cover how Americans have been faring financially about six months into the pandemic, race and equity within the workplace and some of the key issues Trump and Biden supporters are concerned about.

Are people still waiting for unemployment payments?

Yes. There is no way to know exactly how many people have been waiting for months and are still not getting unemployment, because states do not have a good system in place for tracking that kind of data, according to Andrew Stettner of The Century Foundation. But by his own calculations, only about 60% of people who have applied for benefits are currently receiving them. That means there are millions still waiting. Read more here on what they are doing about it.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out Tuesday from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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