Archive for the ‘Discussion prompt’ Category

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? 

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?

Two Yield Curve Indicators   Leave a comment

Link:https://www.npr.org/2019/08/21/753185863/episode-934-two-yield-curve-indicators

In March, the yield curve for United States treasury bonds inverted. For the past six decades, the yield curve has been an extremely accurate indicator of a coming recession. Will this indicator hold true in the coming months?

Original Air Date: August 21, 2019

Length: 18 minutes 54 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What could cause long term treasury bond rates to drop below short term rates?

Discussion Prompt: What steps should the Federal Reserve take in the coming months to prevent a crash similar to the 2008 recession?

What can governments and central banks do to protect the world economy in the face of covid-19?   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.economist.com/podcasts/2020/03/03/what-can-governments-and-central-banks-do-to-protect-the-world-economy-in-the-face-of-covid-19

Central banks have cut interest rates in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak. Typically when something like this happens, interest rates rise and inflation occurs, but right now the exact opposite is happening. Sectors of the economy that are taking the hardest hit include tourism, cross boarder commerce, and oil.

Original Air Date: March 3, 2020

Length: 18 minutes 39 seconds

Discussion Prompt: How does this outbreak alter consumer expectations, and inevitably, their spending habits?

Discussion Prompt: What role, if any, does the government play in stabilizing the markets in instances such as this?

The Fed Fights the Virus   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/16/816684372/episode-980-the-fed-fights-the-virus

In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve has lowered its interest rates to 0%. The Fed has been practicing quantitative easing in order to ensure individuals can sell Treasury bonds whenever they need to. Planet Money discusses whether this will be enough to prevent a recession from occurring.

Original Air Date: March 16, 2020

Length: 18 minutes 17 seconds

Written Assignment Prompt: Pretend you are the chair of the Federal Reserve. How would you deal with the Covid-19 pandemic to help prevent a coming recession? How would you adjust interest rates or the money supply during this time?

Covid-19 Drives Unemployment Claims Up   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/marketplace-morning-report/unemployment-claims-covid-19-automaker-factories-evictions/

Unemployment benefit registrations have increased dramatically in the past days. The U.S. government is trying to ensure that the current health crisis does not cause a long-term economic crisis. The government is also putting a hold on evictions and foreclosures in certain instances as well in order to prevent an increase in homelessness.

Original Air Date: March 19, 2020

Length: 7 minutes 21 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What are the economic ideas behind the strategies being implemented so far? What other ways could the government support those who lose their jobs during this health crisis? How can the government fund activities such as putting holds on evictions? What are the costs and benefits to be considered here?

Medicine for the Economy   1 comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/13/815677688/episode-979-medicine-for-the-economy

Some economists believe the government should inject a monetary stimulus into the economy of hundred of millions, if not billions of dollars. Others believe our focus should be solely on the issue at hand: containing the Coronavirus. Economists discuss the importance of pushing funding into corona virus testing, paid sick days, and rebuilding after the public health issue is contained.

Original Air Date: March 13, 2020

Length: 25 minutes 17 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What is the role of the government in the economy in times of global health crises? Is a recession inevitable at this point, or are there ways the government can combat a sharp economic downturn?

Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/02/11/804985258/why-cheap-solar-could-save-the-world

Solar energy has become increasingly more popular and affordable in recent years. Through the subsidization of solar energy, the services offered in the market have become cheaper and the market itself has become much more competitive. Large companies such as Facebook, Google, and Blackstone have invested millions of dollars into solar energy, indicating a bright future for the industry.

Original Air Date: February 11, 2020

Length: 9 minutes

Discussion prompt 1: Even though solar energy is cheaper than coal or natural gas, it only accounts for 2% of energy used in the United States. How can solar energy companies improve to gain more control of the market?

Discussion prompt 2: How can solar companies compete with large natural gas and coal companies that have contributed so much money and jobs to the economy? What should the government do for those who may lose their jobs at coal and natural gas companies due to increased popularity of solar energy?