Archive for the ‘Covid-19’ Tag

‘Saving The Economy Versus Saving Lives’: An Ethicist and Economist Consider a Coronavirus Question   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2020/04/01/economist-ethicist-coronavirus

This podcast discusses how part of the economic solution could actually save lives by providing assistance to the healthcare system. Large scale randomized testing may be critical in order to acquire more accurate data on the spread of the virus. In addition, they discuss the importance of complete transparency with government agents.

Original Air Date: April 1, 2020

Length: 47 minutes 9 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What is the idea at the root of this framing of the question as a tradeoff between saving the economy versus saving lives? After listening to this podcast, is it possible to save the economy and combat the pandemic? Do you think there is indeed a tradeoff? Why or why not? 

Discussion Prompt: Do you think how the U.S. is handling the pandemic will spark change in the healthcare system?

The Race to Make Ventilators   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/03/31/824886286/episode-987-the-race-to-make-ventilators

In the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, the healthcare industry is experiencing a shortage of ventilators. Without increased production, hundreds of thousands of individuals will die. Now, companies that have little to no experience producing ventilators are beginning to help supply them.

Original Air Date: March 31, 2020

Length: 24 minutes 3 seconds

Discussion Prompt: In what ways does this policy align with economic thinking? In what ways is it ‘out of step’ with economic thinking? Is this the most efficient way to produce ventilators, at least for the time being? How can the government incentivize companies to stay open and help produce parts for ventilators during this time? 

What are we Missing While we’re Talking about Covid-19?   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.marketplace.org/shows/make-me-smart-with-kai-and-molly/what-are-we-not-talking-about-while-were-talking-about-coronavirus/

Credit card companies are not lowering APRs at the moment, leaving people worried about the future of their credit. Apple recently purchased the weather app, “Dark Sky”, removing competition from the market. Global carbon emissions are down and air pollution has also cleared in major cities, but many important climate issues are also being over looked.

Original Air Date: April 1, 2020

Length: 15 minutes 32 seconds

Written Assignment Prompt: Find a recent news article about an important topic besides corona virus. Write 2-3 paragraphs about the importance of this topic and what impact limited news coverage may have on the issue.

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?

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?

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?