Economy

Soros Warns EU Could Break Apart Due To Pandemic

Reuters reports: Billionaire financier George Soros said the European Union could break apart in the wake of the new coronavirus pandemic unless the block issued perpetual bonds to help weak members such as Italy. Soros, 89, said the damage to the euro zone economy from the new coronavirus would last “longer than most people think”, adding that the rapid evolution …

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WH Advisor: The Worse Economic News Is Behind Us

The Hill reports: Stephen Moore, a member of the White House coronavirus economic task force, said he thinks the “worst economic news” has passed and urged Democratic governors and mayors to expedite the reopening of their respective states and cities amid the pandemic. “The problem is we still have New York. And we have California. And we have Michigan and …

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Fed Chair: US Is Seeing Worst Economy In Its History

CNN reports: How bad is the coronavirus economy? The worst ever, says Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. “We are going to see economic data for the second quarter that is worse than any data we have seen for the economy,” Powell said. “There are direct consequences of the disease and measures we are taking to protect ourselves from it.” The recovery …

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3.8M New Jobless Claims Push Recent Total To 30M

USA Today reports: About 30 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits over the past six weeks, a grim marker revealing how badly the coronavirus pandemic has crippled the U.S. economy. Roughly 3.8 million people filed for unemployment last week alone, the Labor Department said Thursday, lower than the 4.4 million who filed the week before and down from the all-time …

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Economy Shrank 4.8% In Q1, Biggest Drop Since 2008

MarketWatch reports: The collapse in the U.S. economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic triggered the biggest drop in gross domestic product in the first quarter since 2008 in a prelude to an even more massive decline in the spring. GDP, the official scorecard for economic growth, shrank at a 4.8% annualized pace. GDP, the official scorecard for the economy, shrank …

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Oil Prices Crater By 90% After Trump’s Heralded Deal

Markets Insider reports: Oil plunged to a more than three-decade low on Monday. The commodity’s latest round of sharp selling comes as uncertainty mounts around storage for excess oil. Demand for crude has plummeted since the coronavirus outbreak has frozen activity worldwide. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures expiring in May plunged as much as 84% to …

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Gas Prices Sink Below $1/Gallon In Some Locations

CNN Business reports: Dan Salaja was a teenager with a new license last time he remembers gas selling for less than a dollar a few decades ago. “If I was a betting man, I would have bet a large amount of money we’d never see gas for less than a dollar again,” said the manager of Casey’s General Store in …

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Federal Reserve Moves To Shore Up Financial Markets

The New York Times reports: The Federal Reserve said it would buy as much government-backed debt as it needs to keep financial markets functioning, and unrolled a series of programs meant to shore up both large and small businesses — a whatever-it-takes effort to cushion the economic blow of the pandemic. “Aggressive efforts must be taken across the public and …

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Modell’s Goes Bankrupt, Will Shutter All 115 Stores

ABC News reports: Modell’s Sporting Goods, the century-old family-owned sporting goods chain, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will be closing its remaining 115 stores. It becomes the latest traditional retailer to succumb to a fast-changing environment. In recent years Payless ShoeSource Corp., Toys R Us and children’s chain Gymboree have filed for Chapter 11 reorganization or liquidated their …

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Labor Dept Issues Robust Jobs Report For February

The Hill reports: The U.S. added 273,000 jobs in February, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department, blowing past expectations ahead of a feared coronavirus economic slump. The unemployment rate stayed roughly even at 3.5 percent while the labor force participation rate held steady at 63.4 percent. February’s job gain comes after an upwardly revised increase of 273,000 …

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REPORT: Trump “Furious” About Stock Market Tumble

The Washington Post reports: Trump is highly concerned about the market and has encouraged aides not to give predictions that might cause further tremors. On Wednesday morning, he announced he would be holding a press conference at 6 p.m. about the coronavirus. In recent days, Trump has devoted the majority of his public statements to slamming Democrats or complaining about …

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White House Admits Trump’s Tariffs Hurt Economy

Bloomberg reports: The White House acknowledged what many economists considered obvious through much of last year: President Donald Trump’s trade stance depressed economic growth and business investment. “Uncertainty generated by trade negotiations dampened investment,” Trump chief economist Tomas Philipson told reporters in a briefing on the annual Economic Report of the President released on Thursday. The admission contrasted with Trump’s …

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Macy’s To Close Additional 125 Stores Over Three Years

The Wall Street Journal reports: Macy’s Inc. plans to close 125 department stores over the next three years, an admission that a fifth of its locations cannot thrive as shoppers buy more online and make fewer trips to malls. The company is also cutting about 2000 corporate jobs and closing several offices. It will abandon a dual national headquarters location …

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Farm Bankruptcies At 8-Year High Despite Bailouts

Reuters reports: U.S. farm bankruptcy rates jumped 20% in 2019 – to an eight-year high – as financial woes in the U.S. agricultural economy continued in spite of massive federal bail-out funding, according to federal court data. According to data released this week by the United States Courts, family farmers filed 595 Chapter 12 bankruptcies in 2019, up from 498 …

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Commerce Dept Report: 2019 Economy Missed Target

Reuters reports: The U.S. economy maintained a moderate pace of growth in the fourth quarter, and again fell short of attaining the Trump administration’s coveted but elusive 3% annual growth target because of slumping business investment amid damaging trade tensions. The Commerce Department’s snapshot of gross domestic product on Thursday will show the Federal Reserve’s three interest rate cuts in …

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POLL: 97% Of CFOs Expect Economic Downturn In 2020

Axios reports: Chief financial officers are bracing for an economic slowdown this year, according to Deloitte’s quarterly survey of nearly 150 executives at top North American companies. Multiple surveys showed plunging optimism among top executives last year, thanks largely to trade war uncertainty. Deloitte’s survey is a signal that skittishness continues to curb companies’ hiring and spending plans this year, …

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Trump: China Trade Deal Will Be Signed Jan. 15th

CNBC reports: President Donald Trump plans to ink the “phase one” trade deal with China at the White House on Jan. 15.  The president said “high level representatives of China” will attend the signing. Trump added that he will travel to Beijing “at a later date” to start talks toward a second piece of the trade pact. The White House …

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Federal Study: Trump’s Tariffs Cost Jobs, Raised Prices

MarketWatch reports: President Donald Trump’s strategy to use import tariffs to protect and boost U.S. manufacturers backfired and led to job losses and higher prices, according to a Federal Reserve study released this week. “We find that the 2018 tariffs are associated with relative reductions in manufacturing employment and relative increases in producer prices,” concluded Fed economists Aaron Flaaen and …

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World’s 500 Richest People Gained $1.2 Trillion In 2019

Bloomberg News reports: In 2019, the world’s richest 500 people saw their collective net worth jump by 25 percent or $1.2 trillion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index published Friday. Combined, the collective net worth of the world’s 500 wealthiest individuals totaled $5.9 trillion. American billionaires alone added $500 billion to their wealth, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gaining $27.3 …

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2019’s Top Ten Home Sales Totaled Over $1.2 Billion

Bloomberg News reports: This year saw weak annual gains in luxury home prices, new tax proposals on million-dollar properties, and restrictions for foreign investors. But that didn’t stop luxury homebuyers in the U.S. from shelling out upwards of $100 million apiece for mansions, penthouses, and beachside properties. A Manhattan penthouse topped the list of 2019’s 10 most expensive residential real …

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