Utah Senator Mitt Romney wants to give every American adult $1,000 to help soften the financial blow from the COVID-19 outbreak. Americans will suffer financially from the pandemic, but the extent of the financial damage is still a question mark. Americans with 401K accounts, and other retirement accounts, took a major hit from the decline in stock prices. The recent 3,000-point drop in the market let Americans know the coronavirus is not only a physical health threat, but it’s also a threat to their financial health.
Romney’s cash payout plan has some traction in Congress. Several lawmakers think giving people cash will help boost confidence in the government’s ability to control the economic damage caused by the pandemic. But Romney’s idea is a long way from being a reality. President Trump and Romney are like oil and water, so it’s doubtful Trump will agree to anything Romney puts on the table.
Central banks continue to scramble as COVID-19 rips a hole in economic growth. According to Wall Street economists, Gross Domestic Product growth at the end of March will either be in the red or first-quarter growth will be less than 1%. The EU’s GDP growth won’t be much better. But China’s growth may still in the 2 to 3% range.
Slashing interest rates and pumping money into financial markets are the flavors of the day in the financial world, but those moves won’t help stimulate GDP growth, according to Paul Krugman, the award-winning New York Times economist. Krugman thinks a global recession is on the horizon. Paul predicts that recession could hit America’s financial shores by the end of June if GDP growth in the first-quarter lands in negative territory.
The airline industry wants $50 billion in bailout perks and the cruise industry want a bailout too. Mr. Trump knows his job is on the line, so he put his campaign rallies on hold to prove he’s all-in in terms of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the president’s mixed messages about the virus have Americans on edge. Mr. Trump said people should relax, and he also said a vaccine is in the works and will be ready soon. Kaiser Permanente developed a vaccine in record-breaking time. Company doctors gave the first vaccine shot to volunteers in Seattle on Monday. But researchers won’t know if the vaccine works for at least two months. If it works, it will be another year before it’s available.