New economic tracker finds flaws in U.S. recovery plan

first_img Related Kennedy School’s Carmen Reinhart, just named chief economist at the World Bank, says the COVID-born financial crisis will last until the health crisis is solved Results from a new economic tracker that looks at real-time statistics on consumer spending, jobs, and business revenue suggest that the government’s traditional recovery strategies to reverse the downturn triggered by the pandemic are not having a major impact, because they fail to address the root of the problem — consumer fear of the virus itself.The findings, summarized in a report published Wednesday by Harvard’s Opportunity Insights group, suggest that the only way to fully revive the economy is to address the virus itself through therapy or a vaccine. And in the meantime, barring some other medical advance or shift in the economy, a more effective approach would be to focus on bolstering the businesses, individuals, and areas most affected, instead of broad-based solutions like direct stimulus payments to all Americans.“The question is: Are you going to approach this as are we  going to stimulate the economy and try to get it back on track with economic policy? Or are we going to look at this as what economists would call social insurance?” said Raj Chetty, William A. Ackman Professor of Public Economics and director of Opportunity Insights, an institute of social scientists and policy analysts who harness big data for policy solutions.“Those are two fundamentally different views. One view is we’re going to restart the economy and get it back to where it was through economic policy. My instinct is: That’s just not possible, because you can’t make people go out and spend and go out and do what they were doing before if they’re fundamentally just worried about their health. … I think you can take the perspective of: We need to help people who need to feed their families, need to be able to pay rent, need to be able to pay their utility bills, and so forth. We do that through unemployment benefits, through the food stamp program, through things like Medicaid that provides health insurance coverage in these times.”The Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker uses data from credit card processors, payroll firms, and financial services firms. It is an interactive tool launched in May to help policymakers assess the effects of the downturn in real time and evaluate policy impacts in different geographic regions of the U.S. at a granular level. The tool is open to and free for public use. “The rich cut back; the poor end up bearing the consequences.” — Raj Chetty, director of Opportunity Insights Real-time data to address real-time problems In the report, the Opportunity Insights team — which includes Co-Directors Nathaniel Hendren, a Harvard professor of economics, and John Friedman, a professor of economics and international and public affairs at Brown University, along with Michael Stepner, an economist who completed his Ph.D. at MIT last year — highlights the effects the novel coronavirus has had on consumer spending and employment rates, and evaluates the policies intended to stabilize them during the collapse.U.S. government statistics show almost all of the reduction in the nation’s GDP came from a sharp drop in consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of the economy. So the group began by studying this drop and analyzing the impacts of those reductions on businesses and workers.They discovered that high income households accounted for most of the drop in consumer spending and that small businesses in higher-income areas had suffered greater revenue declines and more losses of low-wage workers than their counterparts in less-affluent ZIP codes. In fact, two-thirds of the total drop in credit-card spending between January and the end of May came from households in the top 25 percent of the income distribution, while households in the bottom 25 percent spent at the same levels they had before the crisis.,This decline in spending by the rich differs drastically from previous recessions, when there wasn’t a health risk like the coronavirus, suggesting the change was largely driven by health concerns rather than any financial reason. The tracker found that decreases in spending were most pronounced in businesses that require in-person interaction, such as restaurants, transportation, and salons. Many high-income households did not lower their spending on services that don’t require interaction, such as landscaping.The fallout was apparent. Small businesses in the most-affluent ZIP codes lost more than 70 percent of their revenue, compared with 30 percent in lower-income areas from January to April. As those businesses lost revenue, they laid off workers at higher rates. According the tracker, in high–rent areas more than 70 percent of workers at small businesses were laid off in the two weeks after the pandemic began. In that same period, fewer than 30 percent of workers in the ZIP codes with the lowest rents lost jobs. In San Francisco, for example, job losses for low-income workers were higher in affluent neighborhoods such as Nob Hill than in lower-income places like Bayview.Chetty stressed that it’s the low-income workers who are bearing the brunt of the current economic shock and that it illustrates the interconnected economy. “The rich cut back; the poor end up bearing the consequences,” he said.The researchers then trained their eyes on the effects of state-mandated openings and the policies the federal government implemented to mitigate the economic fallout.States that have begun reopening, even the earliest to do so, have seen only modest gains, and stimulus payments to individuals and loans to small businesses have not led to a surge in either revenue or employment rates for those firms most affected. Instead, most of the jump in consumer spending from stimulus payments went to goods from delivery services, like Amazon, that require no human contact.,The group also found little difference in the economic improvement of states that opened as early as April 20 compared with peers that remained closed to the end of May. For example, spending in Minnesota and Wisconsin were about the same from February through May, even though Minnesota began opening nonessential business on April 27 and Wisconsin delayed until May 13. The same holds true for their employment rates.,Looking at the $300 billion CARES Act, the data show there was a spike in consumer spending after April 15 when deposits from the stimulus package first started hitting Americans’ bank accounts. The increase was greatest among low-income households overall, but the jump did not translate into a rise in employment in many areas because the additional spending went largely to national delivery services, not the beleaguered in-person businesses that needed it most. As a result, employment of low-income workers remained down 41.9 percent at the end of April despite total spending as of May 12 being down only 15 percent from pre-pandemic levels. Small-business revenue is down 18 percent, according to the tracker.The researchers also looked at the Paycheck Protection Program and found the loans to small businesses had little impact on employment rates. In fact, employment patterns were almost identical among businesses above and below the 500-worker eligibility cutoff. The researchers say recent gains in jobs numbers appear to be the result of an increase in consumer spending partially from the stimulus package and from receding health concerns.In the report, the researchers also suggest that as time passes the downturn may be driven less by health concerns. If that happens, tools like stimulus payments could have more impact in areas with reduced spending.“This is the value of having the tracker and the broader theme of what we’re doing here,” Chetty said. “The big picture here is traditionally it’s very hard to do the type of analysis [we just put together] because we haven’t had the data to be able to monitor the economy in such a way before. What we’re trying to do with the Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker is provide tools to essentially answer these questions in real time, so that [we] can see when this shock becomes a traditional economic shock. And not just answering that question at the macro level [but] area by area … Where do we need to try to focus our attention? Which subgroups of people? And so the idea is that by pulling together these private-sector data sources, we can now be able to speak to those questions much more precisely.”center_img Harvard-developed tool lets policymakers base their economic decisions on fresh information ‘If it’s not over on the disease … it’s not over on the balance sheet’ The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Saint Mary’s community members to tour local African-American historical sites

first_imgSaint Mary’s students and faculty will travel through time by visiting African-American historical landmarks throughout the South Bend community Saturday. Director of the Office of Civic and Social Engagement (OCSE) Rebekah DeLine said she created the event for the first time this year. She was aware that the South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center offered an online, self-guided tour of African-American historical sites in the South Bend Community, so she contacted members of the organization to transition the tour to a guided one. DeLine said the attendees will be transported to the different sites on a bus and will be provided lunch. “The tour has been available on the Civil Rights [Heritage Center’s] website for many years, but this is the first time that we are offering it in real life with the interim director of the Civil Rights Heritage Center,” DeLine said.She said she recognizes that African-American history is only one part of South Bend’s history and the tour could feature many different subjects, but she values the timeliness of this particular issue.  “This moment in time is important to be thinking about history — especially the not always good history — in the local community,” DeLine said. “We also have a not always flattering, somewhat shameful history here in South Bend, and until we are willing to own that and to really look at the injustices that have occurred and even continue to occur and say that we want to do something different or better, I don’t think things will change.” DeLine said she is happy that there is an increasingly diverse group of people who registered. “There are a couple of faculty members who have registered. Then there are students, and I just realized that some community members have registered as well,” she said. “I think that will be nice because it will be more complex in the information that is shared and the conversations that are had.” Sophomore Tori Weston said she thinks the event will serve as an opportunity to connect, converse and build community. “It will hopefully open up a dialogue about cultural differences and how this community has been impacted by the work of African Americans,” she said. “More open communication brings communities closer together. It allows us to understand each other and to open our minds to the experiences of others.”Weston said she also hopes that the event will connect students to the South Bend community and with people and histories outside of their normal sociocultural groups.“Most students never have experiences outside of their in-group or communities they grew up in, and this is an opportunity for students to expand their horizons and learn about a group they may not know much about, and especially may not know about in the context of South Bend,” Weston said. DeLine said she wishes for students to be inspired by the history of South Bend to create a world that values inclusion and justice. “I hope they feel challenged to be part of creating a world that is more welcoming and more committed to equity and not just equality for all people in the world and people here in our community,” DeLine said. Tags: African American community, Civil Rights Heritage Center, Office of Civic and Social Engagement, Rebekah DeLine, tourlast_img read more

Culturalist Challenge! Rank Your Top 10 Favorite Angela Lansbury Roles

first_imgThe staff is crazy for Culturalist, the website that lets you choose and create your own top 10 lists. Every week, we’re challenging you with a new Broadway-themed topic to rank. Dame Angela Lansbury will celebrate her 90th birthday on October 16. As we reflect on the remarkable career of the five-time Tony winner, we marveled at her many stellar performances. From her legendary turns in Sweeney Todd, Gypsy and Mame to the popular Murder, She Wrote, the irreplaceable actress has entertained us for seven decades. Let’s rank our favorite performances! Site Producer Joanne Villani kicked off this new challenge with her list of top 10 picks here. Now it’s your turn…STEP 1—SELECT: Visit Culturalist to see all of your options. Highlight your 10 favorites and click the “continue” button.STEP 2—RANK: Reorder your 10 choices by dragging them into the correct spot on your list. Click the “continue” button.STEP 3—PREVIEW: You will now see your complete top 10 list. If you like it, click the “publish” button.Once your list is published, you can see the overall rankings of everyone on the aggregate list.Pick your favorites, then tune in for the results next week on! View Commentslast_img read more

Sebastian Vettel on Turkish GP F1 podium and Charles Leclerc advice

first_img A dramatic end to the race saw Charles Leclerc overtake Sergio Perez, but then the Mexican and Sebastian Vettel came through after Leclerc ran wide – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Sebastian Vettel secured first F1 podium in over a year at Turkish GP after overtaking Charles Leclerc on final lap; Leclerc passed Sergio Perez but then made a mistake at the next corner; “I see myself in him,” says Vettel By Matt MorlidgeLast Updated: 16/11/20 1:01pm – Advertisement – A dramatic end to the race saw Charles Leclerc overtake Sergio Perez, but then the Mexican and Sebastian Vettel came through after Leclerc ran wide Sebastian Vettel says he sees himself in Charles Leclerc and has sympathised with his Ferrari team-mate after a dramatic podium-losing mistake at the Turkish GP – claiming it will be “irrelevant” in his F1 career.Leclerc, who has dominated Vettel in F1 2020, drove brilliantly in Istanbul to hunt down and then pass Sergio Perez for second place on the final lap, but then ran wide at the next corner – allowing the Racing Point driver, and Vettel, through for the final podium positions behind Lewis Hamilton.“I am ****ing stupid,” raged Leclerc on team radio, before adding to Sky F1: “I’m so angry with myself.”Vettel capitalised on Leclerc’s error on one of his best Sundays of a disappointing season – claiming his first podium in over a year – but the four-time world champion still praised his young team-mate as a star of the future.“Obviously it is extra painful when it happens in the last lap,” said Vettel in the post-race press conference. “I think having Charles as a team-mate, I often see myself in him as well. 1:10 Sebastian Vettel on his first podium finish of the season and some warm words of praise for perennial rival Lewis Hamilton – Advertisement – 1:22 Sebastian Vettel on his first podium finish of the season and some warm words of praise for perennial rival Lewis Hamilton “He’s a lot younger, he’s very quick and I think the fact that – I haven’t had the chance to talk to him yet – but I will tell him later that being on the podium or not actually is a bit irrelevant for him because he has so many years ahead of him and so many podiums to come, which I’m sure of.“It’s right that he is angry, he did a mistake and lost the podium that way but as I said, in the big picture probably irrelevant for him.”About the dynamics between the pair after a last-lap pass, Vettel added: “I think I’m mature enough, I never let this kind of stuff really heat up and get between us.“I’m happy for anything that he achieves and will achieve in the future because he is a good kid.”The respect has been mutual for Vettel and Leclerc throughout this season, and the Monegasque still managed to praise Vettel despite his own disappointment.“Congratulations to Seb, his first podium of the season,” said Leclerc. “It has been a very difficult season on his side and I’m happy he can finally show what he’s worth.” Sebastian Vettel explains what he told Lewis Hamilton after his long-time rival clinched his seventh world championship title Vettel had scored just two of Ferrari’s last 42 points before Sunday’s wet race, but secured his first podium since Mexico 2019 with a superb and error-free drive in difficult conditions.He enjoyed a great start from 11th on the grid, moving up eight positions on the first lap, and then during the race managed to hold off eventual race-winner Hamilton for some time. He even fancied a race victory.“With 20 laps ago I was thinking about dries, because the circuit was constantly drying and the tyres were worn, so ultimately we had slicks,” Vettel said.“I think it’s just a matter of nobody dared to put them on and there was some rain forecast in the end which didn’t come.“I would have really liked to put them on, because I think that would have (had) a chance to win.”The German dropped behind Leclerc after a second stop, but “was in reach” to pounce for a podium at the end. 0:57 Sebastian Vettel explains what he told Lewis Hamilton after his long-time rival clinched his seventh world championship title last_img read more

Cost of battling avian flu rising, World Bank says

first_imgDec 4, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – The World Bank estimates it will cost between $1.2 and $1.5 billion to fight avian influenza over the next 2 to 3 years, a sizable increase since last January.The institution announced the total in a Nov 30 report in advance of a donors’ conference to be held in Bamako, Mali, Dec 6-8. The conference, a follow-up to one held in Beijing in January, is hosted by the government of Mali, the African Union, and the European Commission, with support from the International Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza.Of nearly $1.9 billion pledged in Beijing, international donors have committed $1.4 billion, according to the report. It says that a substantial portion of the commitments ($242 million) consists of loans and credits, rather than grants, from multilateral development banks.David Nabarro, the United Nations’ senior coordinator for avian and pandemic flu, told journalists at a health reporters’ conference in Cambridge, Mass., on Dec 1 that $800 million of the amount pledged at the Beijing meeting has been spent so far.The new World Bank estimate of need is about 17% more than the needs presented at the Beijing conference and reflects avian flu developments of the past year, according to the report. It says the virus has spread to 39 more countries this year, the number of human deaths has risen steadily, and the fatality rate has increased from 53% to 60%.”The largest increases in needs are in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and North Africa, which reflects both the spread of the disease to those regions and the relatively poor conditions of veterinary and public health services,” the report states.At the Beijing conference, only about $94 million (18%) in committed funds were earmarked for African or Middle Eastern countries; these countries were thought to be at low risk because they had not yet experienced any H5N1 outbreaks. The World Bank estimates Africa will need $466 million to finance its avian influenza activities. The goal for the Middle East and North Africa is $70 to $113 million.Because African countries are economically weaker and less able to respond to avian flu threats, the World Bank is urging donor countries to focus on significant grant funding rather than loans for them.The report says the needs of eastern and southern Asia will remain high, estimating the total at about $935 million. That includes at least $200 million for Indonesia, where 57 people have died of avian flu and the disease has affected 30 of 33 provinces. The World Bank says recent poultry outbreaks of H5N1 in India also contribute to the sustained funding needs for the region.See also:Nov 30 World Bank report on the worldwide cost of avian influenza prevention effortsJan 18 CIDRAP News article “$1.9 billion pledged for global avian flu battle”last_img read more

Framo Pumps for Borkum Riffgrund 2

first_imgFramo, part of Alfa Laval, has provided its pump technology for the installation of the suction bucket jacket foundations at the Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm.The Norway-based company, a sub-contractor to the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (NGI), pumped and anchored a total of 60 suction buckets as foundations for 20 wind turbines at Ørsted’s German project.“It’s a milestone for Framo. This is the first time our technology has been used to pump so many wind turbines in the same wind farm and is quite unique that so many wind turbines are anchored with suction anchors in one field,” said Jørgen Brandt Theodorsen, Area Sales Manager at Framo.“Compared with installing monopiles, suction anchor technology has a more environmentally friendly footprint. When pumped in place, the fish does not scare away during the installation process due to noise and it is easy to reverse the operation.”The team comprising specialists from Framo, NGI and GeoSea pumped the final jacket foundation at the wind farm site off the German north-west coast at the end of July after periods of storm and high waves, Framo said.The three-legged foundations are more than 50m tall and weigh 950t each. With the MHI Vestas 8MW turbines in place, the structures rise 109m above sea level and have a 164-meter wingspan.The 450MW Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm will comprise a total of 56 turbines mounted 36 monopiles, in addition to the 20 suction buckets. The project is expected to be fully commissioned in early 2019.last_img read more

The Ultimate Specialist

first_imgRandy Choate is a left-handed pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals.  Last year he appeared in 70 ball games.  In 51 of those 70 games he only faced one batter.  This means that Choate only pitched 27 1/3 innings.  What a cushy job.  Ha!  Ha!  This means that for pitching that 27+ innings he earned 3 million dollars.  How about that for an hourly rate?In the league, there were 398 one-batter appearances.  This is up 132 appearance from 2014.  When looking at some baseball stats for 2015, I ran across Choate’s name and decided to look up his statistics.  If memory serves me correct, he has been doing this for at least 5 years now  If you have a young son playing baseball, hope he is a left hander and can pitch!  He might find a very cushy major league job if he has the talent.last_img read more

Rohr gets date to pen Super Eagles contract extension

first_imgNigeria Football Federation (NFF) has disclosed that Gernot Rohr will pen a new contract next week after all details have been put together. Collins and Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr The 66-year-old Rohr has been in charge of three-time African champions Nigeria since 2016. The former Niger and Gabon coach qualified the country to the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2019 AFCON staged in Egypt. Loading… Promoted ContentWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?A Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic Bombs7 Black Hole Facts That Will Change Your View Of The UniverseTop 10 Most Romantic Nations In The WorldA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This Day10 Stunning Asian Actresses No Man Can ResistWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?Couples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWhat Is A Black Hole In Simple Terms?2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year7 Most Asntonishing Train Stations In The World8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth “The executive committee mandated the general secretary to liase with Super Eagles technical adviser, Gernot Rohr, with a view to concluding all matters around his new contract within the next one week,” according to a release by the NFF.center_img Read Also: Video: Inter Milan celebrate Obafemi Martins goals Interestingly, the new contract extension will be for a further two years during which time Rohr is expected to qualify Nigeria for seventh World Cup appearance and the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Advertisementlast_img read more

Saints await Mane return

first_img “Maybe he can still play, but we have to wait until Friday. “He won’t be able to train, but he’s experienced enough to play if needed and he would probably go on the bench. “We have injuries to Lloyd Isgrove and Sam Gallagher, so we don’t have too many forwards available at the moment.” Koeman has backed Mane to make a big impression at Saints, now the south coast club’s squad is settled after the transfer window closure. “Sadio brings a different quality to the team: a player who is very fast with a good threat of goals,” he said. “We don’t have a lot of forward players and with his quality he brings a little bit more to us to find space. “He’s very fast and it’s difficult for players to mark that kind of player. He needs time to adapt of course, but he has the quality. “The Premier League is a higher level than he was used to in the league with Red Bull, but he has played in the Champions League so he has already been exposed to a high quality of opponent.” Koeman also revealed loan signing Toby Alderweireld has no recall clause on his season-long deal to join Saints from Atletico Madrid. The Belgium defender has replaced Liverpool capture Dejan Lovren, with Koeman holding high expectations for his new addition. “We knew other clubs were interested in Toby, I’m very happy that he finally chose Southampton,” said Koeman. “He knows me I know him and, okay, the adaptation is a little bit easier for Toby. “First of all it’s a quality player and we are happy. “He shows his qualities from the highest level possible, he will bring a lot of quality in the team and competition for the defenders.” Saints boss Ronald Koeman has revealed the Senegal forward had to take a detour via Ghana on his journey back to England after scoring in his national side’s 2-0 victory in Botswana on Wednesday night. Mane is expected back at Southampton on Friday from African Nations Cup duty, Koeman explained. Press Association Sadio Mane could miss Southampton’s Premier League clash with Newcastle after work permit regulations delayed his return to the south coast. The 22-year-old transfer-window capture had to make his stop-off in Ghana to fulfil work permit requirements. Mane is still awaiting his Saints debut after joining the club from Red Bull Salzburg in an £11.8million deal. “I hope he can still be involved,” said Koeman, ahead of Saturday’s St Mary’s Stadium meeting with Newcastle. “He played on Wednesday night and then he had to travel to Ghana to get his passport stamp before coming to England. “So hopefully he’ll be back on Friday.” Former Dutch defender Koeman said Mane could take a seat on the bench if he makes it back in time for the Newcastle clash. The new Saints boss will most likely start Dusan Tadic and Shane Long up front, given other injuries in his forward line. “It will be a late decision to see if he is available,” said Koeman. last_img read more

Gary O’Neil hails Matt Jarvis impact at Norwich

first_imgGary O’Neil has praised Matt Jarvis for transforming Norwich in just three fixtures since his arrival. “It’s good to have someone like that in your team because you can just give it to him and let him do it on his own for a little while. Whereas maybe before when we played all of our midfielders we were always having to pass it, we all wanted to pass it, we didn’t really have people that would drive. “He gives you a bit of a break when you can get it to him and get him to run 40 yards up the pitch. “His crossing’s always been fantastic. He hasn’t been renowned for getting loads of goals, but when you’re the type of winger he is he’s generally out wide, so he’s not going to be in position to score that often. He even scored with his left foot (against West Brom): make a note of that because I don’t think that’ll happen too often… “He’s very good, he’s an out-and-out winger, he’s an old-fashioned winger, he’ll face the full-back up and test him all night long.” Press Associationcenter_img Winger Jarvis joined on loan from West Ham towards the conclusion of the summer transfer window and, in a 3-1 debut victory over Bournemouth and Wednesday’s 3-0 defeat of West Brom, has already scored twice for his new team. “He’s done great,” said O’Neil, who also played in the same midfield as Jarvis at West Ham. last_img read more