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46 posts on "Pandemic"

August 13, 2020

The Disproportionate Effects of COVID-19 on Households with Children



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A growing body of evidence points to large negative economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on low-income, Black, and Hispanic Americans (see this LSE post and reports by Pew Research and Harvard). Beyond the consequences of school cancellations and lost social interactions, there exists considerable concern about the long-lasting effects of economic hardship on children. In this post, we assess the extent of the underlying economic and financial strain faced by households with children living at home, using newly collected data from the monthly Survey of Consumer Expectations (SCE).

Continue reading "The Disproportionate Effects of COVID-19 on Households with Children" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Crisis, Household, Household Finance, Inequality, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 10, 2020

Implications of the COVID-19 Disruption for Corporate Leverage



Editor’s note: When this post was first published, the table showed incorrect figures for the Professional/Business Services industry; the table has been corrected. (August 10, 10:20 a.m.)

Implications of the COVID-19 Disruption for Corporate Leverage

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant economic disruptions among U.S. corporations. In this post, we study the preliminary impact of these disruptions on the cash flow and leverage of public U.S. corporations using public filings through April 2020. We find that the pandemic had a negative impact on cash flow while also reducing corporations’ interest expenses. However, the cash flow shock far outpaced the benefits of lower interest payments, especially in industries that were disproportionately levered. Looking ahead, we find that a sizable share of U.S. corporations have interest expense greater than cash flow, raising concerns about the ability of those corporations to endure further liquidity shocks.

Continue reading "Implications of the COVID-19 Disruption for Corporate Leverage" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Bank Capital, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 07, 2020

Securing Secured Finance: The Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility



Securing Secured Finance: The Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility

This post is part of an ongoing series on the credit and liquidity facilities established by the Federal Reserve to support households and businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The asset-backed securities (ABS) market, by supporting loans to households and businesses such as credit card and student loans, is essential to the flow of credit in the economy. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted this market, resulting in higher interest rate spreads on ABS and halting the issuance of most ABS asset classes. On March 23, 2020, the Fed established the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) to facilitate the issuance of ABS backed by a variety of loan types including student loans, credit card loans, and loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA), thereby re-enabling the flow of credit to households and businesses of all sizes. In this post, we describe how the TALF works, its impact on market conditions, and how it differs from the TALF that the Fed established in 2009.

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Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Lender of Last Resort, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 06, 2020

A Monthly Peek into Americans’ Credit During the COVID-19 Pandemic



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Total household debt was roughly flat in the second quarter of 2020, according to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit from the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data. But, for the first time, the dynamics in household debt balances were driven primarily by a sharp decline in credit card balances, as consumer spending plummeted. In an effort to gain greater clarity, the New York Fed and the Federal Reserve System have acquired monthly updates for the New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel, based on anonymized Equifax credit report data. We’ve been closely watching the data as they roll in, and here we present six key takeaways on the consumer balance sheet in the months since COVID-19 hit.

Continue reading "A Monthly Peek into Americans’ Credit During the COVID-19 Pandemic" »

Posted by Blog Author at 11:04 AM in Household Finance, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (1)

August 05, 2020

Reconsidering the Phase One Trade Deal with China in the Midst of the Pandemic



Reconsidering the Phase One Trade Deal with China in the Midst of the Pandemic

It may be hard to remember given the pandemic, but trade tensions between the United States and China eased in January 2020 with the inking of the Phase One agreement. Under the deal, China committed to a massive increase in its purchases of U.S. goods and services, with targets set for various types of products. At the time of the pact, the U.S. economy was operating near full capacity, and any increase in U.S. exports stemming from the pact would likely have resulted in only a small boost to growth. The environment is now starkly different, with the U.S. economy operating far below potential. While the promised increase in Chinese purchases seems unlikely to be achieved, any appreciable increase in exports from the agreement is now more likely to deliver a meaningful boost to the economy.

Continue reading "Reconsidering the Phase One Trade Deal with China in the Midst of the Pandemic" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in International Economics, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 04, 2020

Tracking the COVID-19 Economy with the Weekly Economic Index (WEI)



Tracking the COVID-19 Economy with the WEI

At the end of March, we launched the Weekly Economic Index (WEI) as a tool to monitor changes in real activity during the pandemic. The rapid deterioration in economic conditions made it important to assess developments as soon as possible, rather than waiting for monthly and quarterly data to be released. In this post, we describe how the WEI has measured the effects of COVID-19. So far in 2020, the WEI has synthesized daily and weekly data to measure GDP growth remarkably well. We document this performance, and we offer some guidance on evaluating the WEI’s forecasting abilities based on 2020 data and interpreting WEI updates and revisions.

Continue reading "Tracking the COVID-19 Economy with the Weekly Economic Index (WEI)" »

Posted by Blog Author at 2:58 PM in Corporate Finance, Forecasting, Macroecon, Pandemic, Recession | Permalink | Comments (0)

August 03, 2020

The Federal Reserve’s Large-Scale Repo Program



The repo market faced extraordinary liquidity strains in March amid broader financial market volatility related to the coronavirus pandemic and uncertainty regarding the path of policy. The strains were particularly severe in the term repo market, in which borrowing and lending arrangements are for longer than one business day. In this post, we discuss the causes of the liquidity disruptions that arose in the repo market as well as the Federal Reserve’s actions to address those disruptions.

Continue reading "The Federal Reserve’s Large-Scale Repo Program" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Central Bank, Financial Markets, Pandemic | Permalink | Comments (1)

July 13, 2020

Delaying College During the Pandemic Can Be Costly



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Many students are reconsidering their decision to go to college in the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. Indeed, college enrollment is expected to be down sharply as a growing number of would-be college students consider taking a gap year. In part, this pullback reflects concerns about health and safety if colleges resume in-person classes, or missing out on the “college experience” if classes are held online. In addition, poor labor market prospects due to staggeringly high unemployment may be leading some to conclude that college is no longer worth it in this economic environment. In this post, we provide an economic perspective on going to college during the pandemic. Perhaps surprisingly, we find that the return to college actually increases, largely because the opportunity cost of attending school has declined. Furthermore, we show there are sizeable hidden costs to delaying college that erode the value of a college degree, even in the current economic environment. In fact, we estimate that taking a gap year reduces the return to college by a quarter and can cost tens of thousands of dollars in lost lifetime earnings.

Continue reading "Delaying College During the Pandemic Can Be Costly" »

July 07, 2020

A New Reserves Regime? COVID-19 and the Federal Reserve Balance Sheet



Aggregate reserves declined from nearly $3 trillion in August 2014 to $1.4 trillion in mid-September 2019, as the Federal Reserve normalized its balance sheet. This decline came to a halt in September 2019 when the Federal Reserve responded to turmoil in short-term money markets, with reserves fluctuating around $1.6 trillion in the early months of 2020. Then, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Reserve dramatically expanded its balance sheet, both directly, through outright purchases and repurchase agreements, and indirectly, as a consequence of the facilities to support market functioning and the flow of credit to the real economy. In this post, we characterize the increase in reserves between March and June 2020, describing changes to the distribution and concentration of reserves.

Continue reading "A New Reserves Regime? COVID-19 and the Federal Reserve Balance Sheet" »

July 01, 2020

How Liquid Is the New 20-Year Treasury Bond?



How Liquid Is the New 20-Year Treasury Bond?

On May 20, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sold a 20-year bond for the first time since 1986. In announcing the reintroduction, Treasury said it would issue the bond in a regular and predictable manner and in benchmark size, thereby creating an additional liquidity point along the Treasury yield curve. But just how liquid is the new bond? In this post, we take a first look at the bond’s behavior, evaluating its trading activity and liquidity using a short sample of data since the bond’s introduction.

Continue reading "How Liquid Is the New 20-Year Treasury Bond?" »

Posted by Blog Author at 7:00 AM in Dealers, Financial Markets, Pandemic, Treasury | Permalink | Comments (0)
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Liberty Street Economics features insight and analysis from New York Fed economists working at the intersection of research and policy. Launched in 2011, the blog takes its name from the Bank’s headquarters at 33 Liberty Street in Manhattan’s Financial District.

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