https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/economy/us-economy-2020-second-quarter/index.html?utm_term=1596191080091fe45da76e431&utm_source=Five+Things+for+Friday,+July+31,+2020&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=231346_1596191080093&bt_ee=6xg7eyXZFS1Ly15mqAYbfPLzwmc+l+8FLszXnO1t2Xf1ncM7L/9MR9r13cKSa6tF&bt_ts=1596191080093 This is horrible. Our economy contracted between April and June at a 32.9% annualized rate, and that's the worst contraction in a quarter of all time ever since indexes started being measured (worse than any quarter in 1929). Our longest, 11-year economic expansion has ended. GDP went down by 5% the preceding trimester, January through March, thus characterizing a recession with two quarters in a row showing contraction and that was predictable, but the rate of it in April/May/June is just unprecedented. So, there was some employment recovery in May and June but now, in July, unemployment claims have increased for the second week in a row. https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/30/economy/coronavirus-unemployment-benefits/index.html?utm_term=1596191080091fe45da76e431&utm_source=Five+Things+for+Friday,+July+31,+2020&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=231346_1596191080093&bt_ee=6xg7eyXZFS1Ly15mqAYbfPLzwmc+l+8FLszXnO1t2Xf1ncM7L/9MR9r13cKSa6tF&bt_ts=1596191080093 1.4 million people filed for unemployment last week. On these bad news, the Dow and the SP500 fell slightly (0.9% and 0.4%) but Nasdaq actually went up by 0.4%; this is actually somewhat encouraging, that the markets aren't completely spooked. I'm also very worried because federal moratorium eviction has ended last Friday, potentially jeopardizing their housing for 12 million American renters. The Paycheck Protection Program is expected to expire August 8. Sure, Congress is negotiating more help and more stimulus, but we're in deep, deep trouble. While lockdowns had of course a lot to do with it, the sputtering economy now may be simply reflecting the fact that with the pandemic raging on and on, consumer confidence and business confidence remain down so the economic recovery is stalling. I just saw that 60% of restaurant closures are permanent and more will close. I wonder if we could have done something better, like a more robust payroll protection program. I wonder, when this is all over (maybe with a vaccine?), how long we'll need, in order to go to a pre-pandemic economy. Five years? A decade?