In the past few weeks, more than 26 million Americans have filed unemployment claims, retail sales plummeted and small businesses have struggled to acquire loans. Despite this, the stock market has looked mostly positive after sharp declines in March.
Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke with Anat Admati, professor of finance at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, about the disconnect between the markets and the real economy.
“The stock market is high because it doesn’t really represent the entire economy,” Admati said. “Small businesses have to survive somehow, and it’s becoming incredibly difficult for them.”
She said investors are likely focusing more on bailouts for big corporations than struggling small businesses and workers.
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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