Apr 14, 2021

New numbers on pandemic hardship

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The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute studied how much material hardship has increased during the pandemic and for whom. Also, what big banks' earnings reports have to say about consumer behavior. Plus, stockpiles of grounded airplanes parked in various deserts for the time being with air travel down. And, 50 years ago this week, "pingpong diplomacy" gave way to more economic engagement between the U.S. and China. 

Segments From this episode

Food insecurity, payment trouble hit those who lost jobs during COVID, study finds

Apr 14, 2021
For many who lost jobs, relief payments and safety nets weren't enough to stave off the material hardship.
"About 1 in 3 adults reported food insecurity in 2020, 1 in 5 had trouble paying the rent or mortgage, and utility bills," Michael Karpman at the Urban Institute said of households that lost jobs.
oonal via Getty Images

A closer look at what big banks are reporting about consumer behavior in their latest quarterly results

In JPMorgan Chase's report, "they are reporting that they're seeing actually pretty tepid loan demand," said Julia Coronado, founder and president of MacroPolicy Perspectives. "And that while most of the first round of stimulus last year was saved, a lot more of the current rounds of stimulus are being used to pay down debt." In other words, people are fixing their balance sheets as we go into what is hopefully more recovery. And, because there's been so much relief spending, Coronado said, JPMorgan Chase is seeing both debit card spending normalize and spending to pay down existing debt.

Grounded planes find a temporary desert home during the pandemic

Apr 14, 2021
Many jetliners are being stored in the aviation equivalent of long-term parking in the southwestern desert of the U.S.
The desert around Pinal Airpark helps preserve aircrafts' internal systems and protects the metallic surfaces from corrosive environments.
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Music from the episode

The team

Nicole Childers Executive Producer
Victoria Craig Producer, BBC
Stephen Ryan Producer, BBC
Jonathan Frewin Producer, BBC
Daniel Shin Producer
Jay Siebold Engineer
Brian Allison Engineer
Alex Schroeder Digital producer
Meredith Garretson Producer
Erika Soderstrom Producer/Director