Economic carnage in charts, part two

Trump’s “working class recovery” has been totally wiped out by this event.

Silver lining below, but it’s a silver lining that undeniably goes away the longer these shutdowns are drawn out. So far, I am seeing a lot of policymakers who are insisting on keeping the economy closed until there is widespread testing. That’s insane, and really only reinforces my impression that some policymakers see a perverse political utility in destroying the economy. If the shutdowns really do last until early May or June, I think most of these will become permanent job losses.

I have spoken to quite a few people who say that while they’ve furloughed employees nominally, they have zero intention of bringing everyone back. It was the path of least resistance in a crisis, but it’s not without costs. Also worrisome is the people who have been permanently laid off no longer have health insurance. The social costs of the coronavirus response are hard to quantify.

Another issue is that a lot of small business owners have been optimistic about the federal government lending programs, and they are slowly realizing what an objectively shitty deal those programs are when you sit down and read the terms.

This whole thing is quite a mess.

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