Common Recession Fears

Even when the economy is booming, individuals can feel uncertain about their finances. During recessions, those uncertainties can escalate into fears about losing one’s job, losing one’s home, losing one’s savings or investments. In early 2020, unprecedented measures to halt the Covid-19 pandemic slowed business activity worldwide. The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced … Read more

Following Borrowers Through Forbearance

Andrew Haughwout, Donghoon Lee, Joelle Scally, and Wilbert van der Klaauw Today, the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data reported that total household debt balances increased slightly in the third quarter of 2020, according to the latest Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit. This increase marked a reversal from the modest decline in the second quarter … Read more

Millions Still Haven’t Gotten Stimulus Checks, Including Many Who Need Them Most

It’s been 217 days since Congress instructed the IRS to send $1,200 stimulus checks to every citizen below a certain income threshold. And yet, it’s likely as many as 12 million people — including those who most need a financial boost — never got the cash. The reasons include confusion about how the complex program … Read more

Sometimes it Really Does Suck to Live in West Virginia Coal Country

One year ago, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice promised business leaders that the state’s economy was on the verge of a boom. Continued growth in natural gas production was going to spark an industrial renaissance, bringing construction of a giant collection of spinoff factories. Speaking to the West Virginia Chamber of Commerce’s annual meeting, held … Read more

One Day Closer to a Terrible Financial Disaster and I’m Scared

Back on March 11th, I wrote The Coronavirus Might Just Kill Your Finances Before It Kills Anyone You Know. Each day that passes raises my concerns the financial impact from the coronavirus is going to be very painful. As I write this, consumers are being propped up with temporary economic bandages of extended unemployment benefits … Read more