SF Fed president: “Each one of us in the economy has a role to play”
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San Francisco was one of the first U.S. cities to adopt stay-at-home policies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. And that meant the employees at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco saw firsthand what the pandemic might mean for the economy.
“I’m seeing that the American people are doing the right thing for public health and sheltering in place,” said San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly in an interview with “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal. “And this has caused a hard stop on the economy on economic activity.”
While headquartered in downtown San Francisco, the bank oversees the 12th Federal Reserve district, which includes California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. It is geographically the largest Fed district.
Daly took over as president of the bank in 2018. Her background is unique among Fed officials, as she graduated high school with a GED certificate after dropping out at 15.
“My empathy for those who don’t have an equal footing is always high,” said Daly when asked if her background gave her more empathy for those who lack a voice. “But all you have to do is look out my window in Oakland, California, and see the numerous small businesses who employ one or two people and realize those people aren’t working.”
“This is why each one of us in the economy has a role to play,” Daly said. “Even if you’re not a policymaker, you can pay for services that you would normally get and try to help those individuals who we rely on every day keep some level of income so that they’re as well prepared to come out of this as we are who are lucky enough to telework.”
COVID-19 Economy FAQs
What are the details of President Joe Biden’s coronavirus relief plan?
The $1.9 trillion plan would aim to speed up the vaccine rollout and provide financial help to individuals, states and local governments and businesses. Called the “American Rescue Plan,” the legislative proposal would meet Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccines by the 100th day of his administration, while advancing his objective of reopening most schools by the spring. It would also include $1,400 checks for most Americans. Get the rest of the specifics here.
What kind of help can small businesses get right now?
A new round of Paycheck Protection Program loans recently became available for pandemic-ravaged businesses. These loans don’t have to be paid back if rules are met. Right now, loans are open for first-time applicants. And the application has to go through community banking organizations — no big banks, for now, at least. This rollout is designed to help business owners who couldn’t get a PPP loan before.
What does the hiring situation in the U.S. look like as we enter the new year?
New data on job openings and postings provide a glimpse of what to expect in the job market in the coming weeks and months. This time of year typically sees a spike in hiring and job-search activity, says Jill Chapman with Insperity, a recruiting services firm. But that kind of optimistic planning for the future isn’t really the vibe these days. Job postings have been lagging on the job search site Indeed. Listings were down about 11% in December compared to a year earlier.
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