By Jack Kelly
This morning, as soon as I started reading the news, I’m hit with, “Top business leaders say the global economy is facing its worst crisis in a hundred years and downside risks remain elevated unless urgent reforms are enacted during the G-20 summit.”
Why is it that the so-called experts always have something to say after a crisis? If they really were smart, they would have predicted the Covid-19-induced economic and financial crisis and made a fortune selling stocks short. They didn’t, but now they’ll bloviate on what will happen next. Usually, it’s a doomsday scenario. I don’t know if there is a need to listen to these folks any longer, unless it’s to mock their horrendous prognostication skills.
The Associated Press weighed in with a dire prediction for those who’ve lost their jobs, reporting, “The specter of a period of widespread long-term unemployment that could turn the viral recession into a more painful, extended downturn. People who have been jobless for six months or longer—one definition of long-term unemployment—typically suffer an erosion of skills and professional networks that makes it harder to find a new job. Many will need training or education to find work with a new company or in a new occupation, which can delay their re-entry into the job market.”
The piece heaped on more fear and downbeat pronouncements. “In a worrisome trend, a rising proportion of job losses appear to be permanently gone.” According to Till Von Wachter, an economics professor at UCLA, “We have a real chance of there being massive long-term unemployment.”
ZeroHedge, which is an awesome read—but tends toward doom and gloom—shared their cheery pre-Holiday 15 thoughts about the state of affairs:
- All 546 Regal Cinema theaters in the United States are being shut down and right now there is no timetable for reopening them.
- It is being reported that AMC Entertainment (the largest movie theater chain in the U.S.) will “run out of liquidity” in 6 months.
- Over the weekend, I was told by someone that works in the industry that he expects most movie theaters in the country to eventually close down permanently because of this pandemic.
- The average rent on a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco is 20.3% lower than it was one year ago.
- During the 3rd quarter, the number of vehicles delivered by General Motors was down about 10% from a year ago.
- It is being reported that Anheuser-Busch will be laying off 400 employees in Loveland, Denver, Littleton and Colorado Springs.
- Allstate has just announced that they will be laying off 3,800 workers.
- JCPenney says that it will be cutting approximately 15,000 jobs as we approach the holiday shopping season.
- At least one-fourth of the 28,000 layoffs that Disney will be conducting will happen in Florida.
- Collectively, American Airlines and United Airlines let 32,000 employees go last week.
- On Thursday, we learned that another 787,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the previous week.
- Overall, more than 60 million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits so far in 2020. That number is far higher than anything we have ever seen before in all of U.S. history.
- Retail store closings in the U.S. continue to surge along at a pace that is absolutely unprecedented.
- Bankruptcy filings in New York City have risen 40% so far in 2020.
- This number is hard to believe, but it is being reported that almost 90% of New York City bar and restaurant owners couldn’t pay their full rent for the month of August.
We all know that if you and your partner are working from home and have young children, it’s nearly impossible to get everything done. You have to do your respective jobs, help your kids navigate glitchy Zoom classes taught by teachers who are at their wits’ end, keep them occupied and not allow them to run rampant throughout the house carrying scissors causing chaos. You also have to walk the dogs you adopted during the early days of the pandemic and desperately try not to fall apart mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
Something has to give. According to the recent unemployment data, “More than 860,000 women dropped out of the labor force in September.” The figures indicate that a mother is most likely to give up her job and career to take care of the children and keep everyone in the household sane.
Here’s one last good piece of really bad news—legendary guitarist and cofounder of Van Halen died after battling cancer. He was 65 years old. Somehow, it’s hard to process that he was in his mid-60s. I’d bet most of us remember him as a young, shirtless rock star who made so many people happy with his band’s music.
That’s enough, as even those people who thrive on negativity probably can’t stand anymore bleak and depressing news.
By the way, none of the above matters. We are Americans. We are strong mavericks, stubborn like mules, opinionated, innovative, creative, entrepreneurial and have faith in the future. We’ll get through this and collectively get better and stronger. It may take a while, but hang in there. Things will soon turn around!