July 30, 2020

Donald Trump sets another record! CNN's John Berman explains.

"We're just a couple hours away from the release of what is expected to be the worst economic plunge recorded in U.S. history," he said.

"The pandemic has led to historic unemployment, a big slowdown in consumer spending. Estimates for the gross domestic product, that is the main measurement of what the economy is doing, it's expected to show that the U.S. economy sank -- actually, shrank, frankly -- roughly 33% in the second quarter. And this morning, it looks likely that the $600 a week extra unemployment benefit that has kept millions afloat during the pandemic will expire tomorrow.

"The White House chief of staff Mark Meadows warned that it is possible that no deal will be made and that negotiations seem to be going nowhere, almost falling apart. Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell says almost 20 Republicans are opposed to his own party's $1 trillion bill. That measure would cut the unemployment benefit to $200 a week while offering a second round of PPP loans and new funding, for some reason, for a $1.7 billion FBI building."

When you've employed bankruptcy as a strategy for all your adult life, this probably seems like good news!

"It's going to be horrific," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit. "We've never seen anything quite like it."

The report is expected to show that the economy shrank at an annual rate of about 35% during the quarter as shops and factories closed their doors in a desperate effort to slow the spread of the virus. That's about four times the drop during the worst quarter of the Great Recession.

Tens of millions of people lost their jobs this spring before a halting effort to reopen the economy began. That recovery remains incomplete and could be jeopardized by a new surge of infections.

"As soon as the virus started to take off again in key states like Texas, California, Arizona, Florida, it's fading very rapidly," Behravesh said.

Now, most economies aren't doing great. In fact, almost all of them show the same kind of plunge. But theirs are in the range of 9 to 12% -- one-third of the U.S. losses.

So thanks to the incompetent Trump, the effect of the virus on the U.S. economy is three times worse. So. Much. Winning!

By the way: The Chinese economy grew 3.2% in the same quarter.

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