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America Unemployed   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/27/822944544/episode-986-america-unemployed

Within the past week, over 3 million people have filed for unemployment, a record number in the United States. Unemployment insurance was intended to help people, while also providing motivation to seek work. Seeking work, however, is close to impossible when you cannot leave your home.

Original Air Date: March 28, 2020

Length: 22 minutes 58 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What are the incentives inherent in the unemployment insurance policy? Do you believe the pandemic will change who qualifies for unemployment/how accessible unemployment benefits in either the short- or the long-run? 

Public Goods   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.stlouisfed.org/education/economic-lowdown-podcast-series/episode-17-public-goods

What constitutes a good ‘public’? Public goods are non-rival and non-excludable. This podcast discusses how economists define public goods and what makes them different from private goods.

Original Air Date: March 25, 2015

Length: 10 minutes

Posted April 2, 2020 by meaghanprice3 in Public goods

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China’s New Normal   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/18/817995238/chinas-new-normal

China has been in lock down for over a month and a half. China has finally started to get things under control through travel restrictions and mandatory quarantining. Life is slowly beginning to go back to normal, indicating that things will get better.

Original Air Date: March 18, 2020

Length: 8 minutes 38 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What can other countries take away from China’s response to Covid-19? What should other countries do differently?

Where Do We Get $2,000,000,000,000?   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/26/821787090/episode-985-where-do-we-get-2-000-000-000-000

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the U.S. government is pushing out a $2 trillion stimulus package. The Fed is also purchasing large quantities of U.S. Treasury bonds in order to stimulate the economy. This podcast discusses where this stimulus is coming from, and how it will effect the economy.

Original Air Date: March 26, 2020

Length: 20 minutes 29 seconds

Discussion Prompt: Why is demand for U.S. Treasury bonds so high right now? Will the stimulus package be enough to keep the economy safe from a recession?

What a Coronavirus Recession Would Look Like   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace/what-a-coronavirus-recession-would-look-like/

In the U.S. economy, we experience business cycles so after a large economic boom, there is always a recession. Economists believe it is possible we are heading into a “V” recession due to corporate defaults, bankruptcies, and layoffs. This podcasts also addresses issues such as the discrepancies in internet access, stockpiling groceries, and the current state of the stock market.

Original Air Date: March 17, 2020

Length: 25 minutes 43 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What are the differences between L, V, U, and W shaped recessions? What are the other indicators of each “shape” recession?

Discussion Prompt: With schools taking up remote learning, what can be done to bridge the gap to allow equal access to the internet?

How to Save the Economy Now   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/19/818583204/episode-982-how-to-save-the-economy-now

Neel Kashkari from the Federal Reserve bank discusses his optimism about the future of the economy. He believes the Federal Reserve has learned from its mistakes during the 2008 crisis, and is now better equipped to react. The Fed is emergency lending in order to combat the effects of this economic uncertainty.

Original Air Date: March 20, 2020

Length: 13 minutes 43 seconds

Discussion Prompt: How is the current situation similar to the 2008 financial crisis? Should the Federal Reserve bail out banks and businesses during times like these?

Triple-A Ratings are so Yesterday   Leave a comment

Link:https://www.npr.org/2020/02/05/803201941/triple-a-ratings-are-so-yesterday

In the United States bond market, only two companies currently hold a triple-A rating: Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson. Most companies are falling into triple-B and double-B bond ratings. Once companies fall below a triple-B rating, their bonds are considered to be “junk bonds”. Due to the current low interest rates, even if a company has a low rating, they still can receive a loan at a low price which means there is little incentive to achieve a high bond rating. With the record high level of corporate debt in the U.S., there will be little financial flexibility for these companies if a recession hits.

Original Air Date: February 5, 2020

Length: 9 minutes

Discussion prompt 1: Should the government incentivize companies to cut back on their debt and improve their bond ratings? If so, how should the government do this?

Discussion prompt 2: What are the long term economic implications of the extensive amount of corporate debt in the United States?

 

Posted March 24, 2020 by meaghanprice3 in Finance, Planet Money