COVID-19

Trump closes, then reopens, the door on coronavirus relief negotiations

David Brancaccio, Candace Manriquez Wrenn, and Alex Schroeder Oct 7, 2020
Heard on: Marketplace Morning Report
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Win McNamee/Getty Images
COVID-19

Trump closes, then reopens, the door on coronavirus relief negotiations

David Brancaccio, Candace Manriquez Wrenn, and Alex Schroeder Oct 7, 2020
Win McNamee/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

After President Donald Trump tweeted he’s cutting off negotiations on big pandemic relief funding, saying that will have to wait until after the election, the stock market fell with the Dow dropping 375 points, 1.3%.

This morning stock index futures were up modestly after new tweets last evening find the president calling for piecemeal stimulus, including $1,200 pandemic checks for families to be signed by the president and arrive before election day. So, some whiplash here.

Karen Petrou, managing partner of the Washington-based economic consulting firm Federal Financial Analytics, spoke with “Marketplace Morning Report” David Brancaccio about this. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.

David Brancaccio: All right, so with the latest set of tweets in which the president is calling for more aid to small businesses from Congress, $25 billion for airline payrolls support — did the president blink? Is he now negotiating again?

Karen Petrou: I think the president is always negotiating. Even with COVID, even in the fortress of a White House, he’s running the country like building a casino. I mean, he’s just trying to make a deal. That’s the only way I can explain this.

Brancaccio: The promise, at least yesterday, was that if the president wins, he tweeted, we’ll have big stimulus right after the election. Is that how you see it? I mean, if he wins, or if Biden wins, we’re going to get some stimulus soon after the election?

Petrou: If either he or Vice President Biden wins, after the election, the country will be where it is due to the economy and the pandemic — things neither of them controls. And that’s what’s going to determine what happens in the lame duck. Even in Washington, reality matters. And I think we’re going to be facing a very, very difficult reality in November and December of this year.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

How many people are flying? Has traveled picked up?

Flying is starting to recover to levels the airline industry hasn’t seen in months. The Transportation Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that it’s screened more than 1 million passengers on a single day — its highest number since March 17. The TSA also screened more than 6 million passengers last week, its highest weekly volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While travel is improving, the TSA announcement comes amid warnings that the U.S. is in the third wave of the coronavirus. There are now more than 8 million cases in the country, with more than 219,000 deaths.

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.

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

A report out recently 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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