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Investment Heroes 2020

Given the ongoing pandemic, capital investment is more important than ever before.  Hundreds of billions of dollars of investment by broadband providers enabled the U.S.  Internet to respond magnificently to soaring demand when the pandemic hit. On the other hand, some of the sectors that have struggled the most—such as medical equipment and supplies and…

How Ecommerce Creates Jobs for American Workers and Saves Time for American Families

This past weekend a Wall Street Journal piece quoted me on ecommerce jobs: One economist who has looked at these trends has concluded something surprising: When you include all the jobs in fulfillment, delivery, and related roles, e-commerce has created more jobs between 2007 and January 2020 than bricks-and-mortar retailers lost, says Michael Mandel, chief…

The Uneven Distribution of Pain: Healing the Broken Labor Market

The Covid recession is the most uneven economic downturn in history. Take a look at the following table, which we calculated from last Thursday's employment data.   The table compares occupational employment in the second quarter of 2020 with the second quarter of 2019.  On the one hand, some occupations, like computer and mathematics-related jobs,…

The UK Online Ad Market

Last year I did a paper entitled The Declining Cost of Advertising: Policy Implications. Not surprisingly, I was intrigued by the new report from the Competition and Markets Authority in the UK, entitled Online platforms and digital advertising market study . I'm still going through the report, which exceeds 400 pages, not including multiple appendixes.…

Follow the Leaders: Workplace Safety and Pay Policy

Here's a good rule of thumb: The companies or industries that actively expand during a recession often become the leaders in the recovery that follows. For example, housing starts actually rose in the 2001 recession, foreshadowing the coming housing boom.  The financial crisis of 2008-09 was also marked by the early years of the Apple…

Protecting core systems: After today’s huge announcement, what Treasury and the Fed need to do with the rest of the $500 billion

As of Thursday, April 9, Treasury and the Federal Reserve are finally starting to set set up the facilities need to use the $500 billion in funds for “severely distressed sectors” contained in the $2.2 trillion CARES relief act. The money has to be allocated by December 31, 2020. In this initial round, the Fed…

The Moment of Truth for Walmart, Amazon and the Rest of the Food Supply Chain

In our previous blog post, we wrote about the importance of keeping the food/essentials supply chains open. With hundreds of millions of Americans stuck at home, having a dependable source of food is essential to avoid panic and to stay the course on social distancing. That's not optional. We equally stressed the importance of the…

What’s Next: Breathtaking Deflation, Stunning Inflation or Both?

Get ready for the biggest economic and financial roller coaster of all time.  Policymakers in the United States and around the world are opening up the monetary spigots full bore and limbering up spending packages on an unimaginable scale. This comes after more than a decade of low interest rates. In the United States,  Congress…

$300 Billion in Investment by Tech and Broadband Companies Over the Past Two Years Has Created a Strong Digital Infrastructure

It turns out that the digital infrastructure was far more ready for disaster than the health infrastructure. Led by Google, AT&T, and Amazon, the top ten American tech and broadband companies have spent over $300 billion in capital investment in the past two years (the rest of the top ten, in alphabetical order, includes Apple, Charter,…

House Democrats Have The Right Coronavirus Response

The outbreak of COVID-19 (commonly known as coronavirus) has created a global market downturn and raised the prospect that the United States could enter its first recession since the 2008 financial crisis. Last night, President Donald Trump and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered two competing approaches for securing both the health and economic security…