Be Afraid: Administration Economic Management Teams Compared

Feels like 2008-09. But doesn’t. Compare who’s running the show in the White House…(Updated lists from 2019 post).

[table corrected 3/10, thx to Giles Warrack]

The Fed looks good (when it’s allowed to do it’s own thing, unencumbered by Trump tirades). Otherwise…

It ain’t 2009…


43 thoughts on “Be Afraid: Administration Economic Management Teams Compared

  1. Not Trampis

    no comparison at all.

    Are you yanks panic buying like we are doing down under.
    Toilet paper is very scarce, rice, pasta, flour, pancakes, sugar, cans of tomatoes, chick peas, corn, etc and baked beans and spaghetti are all being taken at the four riders of the Apocalypse arrive.


    1. Willie

      Yes, we are. The toilet paper supply in Seattle is minuscule. My wife and I are scratching are heads. Toilet paper getting scarce because of a virus? Does the paper plant get sick. We are baffled. I guess pestilence is still around, although I thought the riders had become the four bikers and pestilence had modernized himself to pollution. Shows what I know.

      Speaking of people who actually know something, Bill McBride is on recession watch. That’s a significant development in my book.

      1. Moses Herzog

        As much as I love Seattle and the state of Washington, I don’t think they could be considered “representative” of the typical area of America in its consumer response to COVID-19 right at this moment. However it is still interesting, and might be instructive as to how other parts of America might be responding, say 6 weeks from now (that 6 weeks is a somewhat arbitrary time frame I picked, but you get my point).

        1. baffling

          shelves were bare in costco texas last weekend. i think they have been resupplied recently. people are stocking, but at a slower pace right now.
          it looks as though many universities are going to move online after their spring breaks, with most students not permitted back on campus. not sure how the local high and middle schools are going to react. if elementary and day cares close around the country, will be a huge impact.

    2. Moses Herzog

      @ Not Trampis
      I’m not hearing anything there yet, here in middle USA. other than possible shortages on drugs produced in China. I had a hell of a time convincing a close relative of mine that it wasn’t just drugs specifically used on coronavirus that may end up in shortage, but those produced in China due to the production shutdowns. Interestingly, this same relative went to get their cholesterol medicine today, Usually they get a 90 days supply, and without even requesting it, they got a 9 month supply. They almost tried to call the pharmacy to correct it, and I said “Hold it, keep that 9 month supply, they may have very well done you a huge favor with this ‘mistake’ “. I suspect, but do not know, that the pharmacy may have very well done this on purpose for them. The expire is 2022 on a 9 month supply, other than how it qualifies on the medicare co-pay (which may be somewhat of an issue) I was having a hell of a time figuring out what the issue would be. I’m hopeful other things can be worked out. For example this person takes a daily pill which avoids blood clotting in the lungs. It is conceivable that if the blood clots start in the lungs this person would not be getting enough oxygen to breathe/live. That could be “an issue”. I see shortage of prescription drugs as a possible HUGE problem in America in the coming months, toilet tissue/ daily necessities not so much.

  2. pgl

    On NEC chair, OK Larry Summers was so much better than Lawrence Kudlow on economic issues but when it comes to medical expertise, no one can beat Kudlow in a cheerleading mini-skirt. GO TRUMP!

      1. pgl

        “the Czech-American promising drug remdesivir arrived to Genova, after delays, and will be used tomorrow”.

        Loco Lubos does not seen to get that this is patented by Gilead Sciences. He also does not seem to know it has just started phase III trials where the brilliant scientists at Gilead have their doubts about its safety and its effectiveness. Yes – Loco Lubos is as dumb as CoRev!

        1. ilsm

          Two shipments of remdesivir went to China 5 and 7 Feb. There are enough patients to do the “trials” at least 60 day trials. Remdesivir was applied on ebola patients with not much effect. There is a story of it helping a patient in California in the pneumonia phase. Other companies are working on treatments and vaccines.

          1. pgl

            Remdesivir was originally created as a possible treatment for ebola but yea – this did not pan out. Now if it turns out that this would be an effective treatment for COVID-19, that would be awesome. Gilead’s share price has risen in anticipation but there is no guarantee that these phase III trials will succeed. Of course Loco Lubos is under the impression that this treatment is a cure cause the man is incredibly STUPID. And yet Bruce Hall put this moron up as some sort of medical expert. Now how dumb is that?

  3. joseph

    I would call Geithner and Mnuchin a toss up.

    And Jerome Powell so far has a better record than Ben Bernanke. Obama made terrible mistakes in his Fed appointments and even worse his non-appointments.

  4. Willie

    It doesn’t feel like 2008 or 2009 yet. It feels more like mid-2007 before the wheels completely fell off. I don’t think there’s much margin for error, which isn’t good when a clown car being driven by a clown is leading the way.

    1. Moses Herzog

      If we’re talking time frames, I think the more interesting thing is that this is happening (markets-wise) in March. I think usually we see these big equities price drops around October of the year. What I’m waiting for is how this might effect bonds. The corporate bonds have to be repaid from some kind of revenue. Yes, many refinanced at lower rates and those rates were incredibly low in many cases—still the money has to come from somewhere. This is not even close to where this is going to be in effecting the USA. If New York State is having large lockdowns, you have to assume this is going to effect some of the inner states as well—especially those with poorly funded public health agencies.

  5. pgl

    I heard on the morning news that oil prices have fallen to their lowest level since 1991. That cannot be true in nominal terms but I was wondering about inflation adjusted prices which this source shows:

    In today’s dollars, oil prices (inflation adjusted) dipped below $19. With oil prices now around $30, they are nowhere near the lowest since 1991 even in real terms.
    Which begs the question – when did CoRev become a news reporter?

    1. pgl

      A temporary spike in Total Borrowings of Depository Institutions from the Federal Reserve (BORROW) is a meltdown in your view. Some of us call this Quantitative Easing.

  6. Giles Warrack

    Surely you mean Tomas Philipson, not Thomas Phillippon (who has just written a very widely praised book, “The Great Reversal”).

  7. pgl

    New Rochelle NY on lock down. The NYC half marathon scheduled on the Ides of March (Saturday) canceled. I feel bad for my fellow runners who trained for this. And the big news – the NYC subway might get shut down. Now that would be the end of the world as we know it!

  8. Moses Herzog

    Strange how when Bernie was leading in delegates we never heard the word consolidation. Strange how these things always work out, NOW “consolidation” at roughly 7pm CST March 10th it’s ok to use “the consolidation word” again (the C word up until this evening??). So you now have permission to repeat the word consolidation like some trained animal, because the DNC and the corporate media now declares this word “cool and trendy” once again. Brush the dust off of it in your Hillary campaign memories trunk and sing it to the heavens like good little sheep. Who knows….. maybe someone like John Kasich will show up on TV and tell us all that as of March 10th 7pm Jesus Christ has now given consent Americans can use this word once again.

    Braindead masses!!! Unite for the Dementia Joe!!!!

  9. Baffling

    Italy is showing what to expect out of the coronavirus epidemic if we have no therapeutics. News out of the north is pretty dire. Demographics shift is pretty apparent, with older folks and preexisting conditions taking the brunt.
    Contrary to what trump has said, going to work while sick does not help you get better. And probably only serves to spread the virus to the more vulnerable, with a greater chance of death. I just wish our own government had prepped us better with testing, rather than a faith based approach. Hhs secretary had hoped the free market would have responded with better solutions! Seriously, during this pandemic the administration hoped the free market would step up! Yet another conservative healthcare solution. Bow the administration is disappointed with private sectors response. Utterly amazing

  10. 2slugbaits

    I see that UW-Madison is suspending face-to-face classes for a few weeks. I wish we could get that same level of planning execution from the Trump Administration. All I hear from Team Trump is how they’re “gett’n ready to get ready.”

    1. baffling

      i think most universities will go online after their spring break. kids travel the globe and then return. not a good mix.

      1. Barkley Rosser

        Mine announced today we are doing so at JMU, although for some strangr reason they have decided to completely cancel classes next week (this week is spring break). This will create unnecessary havoc. In any case, we are joining the general stampede on this, if with our own odd twist.

        1. baffling

          many schools that are currently on spring break have cancelled classes the following week. seems only appropriate, as i don’t think the campus can move online in such an abrupt manner. not as much of a problem for smaller classes, but large lecture halls and labs create logistical problems. the large classes can be moved online, but there will be some inertia in the first week. it appears that most schools are moving to zoom. i question whether zoom has the capacity and bandwidth to handle such a large surge of demand, at least in the next week or so? the delay could help them as well.

  11. pgl

    Two pieces of news related to COVID-19. First up Trump is even dumber than you thought:

    ““Do me a favor, speed it up, speed it up.” This is what U.S. President Donald Trump told the National Association of Counties Legislative Conference, recounting what he said to pharmaceutical executives about the progress toward a vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome–coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Anthony Fauci, the long-time leader of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been telling the president repeatedly that developing the vaccine will take at least a year and a half—the same message conveyed by pharmaceutical executives. Apparently, Trump thought that simply repeating his request would change the outcome.”

    But we are seeing some good news ala Gilead Sciences:

    “Army signs agreement with drug giant Gilead on experimental COVID-19 treatment

    Gilead’s medication, remdesivir, was approved for clinical research in February by the Food and Drug Administration. The medication, which initially was developed by the Foster City, California-based company to treat Ebola, has had some demonstrated success targeting coronaviruses, including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS. The medicine, given intravenously, is currently being tested for safety and effectiveness in two separate clinical trials in China and one by the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases. In the U.S. study, the first volunteer was an evacuee from the Diamond Princess cruise ship hospitalized with the illness at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.”

    I bet there has some phase III trials in Europe as well.

      1. pgl

        That headline is stupid. Being used? No – these are phase III clinical trials to see if this treatment will work or not. BTW “under development” simply means testing on lab rats. Come on ilsm- do not pretend you get research in biopharma as clearly you are as lost as the Idiot in Chief. But you will be happy that our military is helping Gilead Sciences do phase III trials on its EXPERIMENTAL treatment.

        1. ilsm

          I have found Forbes, Bloomberg, etc. to be rather short on technical correctness.

          Army has had an ongoing interest with “interesting” pathogens, the dabbling in weapons implies one should dabble in defenses.

          BTW, I used to belong to a unit that deployed to Aviano AB near Vicenza Italy. I checked their site, they have no identified cases as of 11 Mar. The county they are located had 4. They are quite far from Lombardy. I never went along to Aviano!

      1. Baffling

        Rick santelli recently ranted we would be better off just going out and getting the virus, to get the whole thing over with. Dimwit rick fails to notice he is the demographic to be eliminated with this virus.

  12. 2slugbaits

    Great. According to numerous news reports tonight, the WH won’t decide on an emergency strategy until Jared Kushner has a chance to review it and make a recommendation. We’re doomed.

  13. baffling

    bitcoin is getting pummeled today. took longer than i thought. this means speculative and leveraged money is draining from the markets.

  14. Willie

    We are headed over a cliff. The virus related shutdowns are going to kick us over into recession. The second and third quarters were when I expected a slowdown, but I didn’t anticipate it being caused by a virus. People without paid time off will have a problem for at least the next month. There are a lot of people who fit that description.

    1. 2slugbaits

      Yep. In Trump’s address to the nation last night he had that deer in the headlights look. It was one of the worst crisis addresses I’ve ever seen or heard. He got so many things wrong and then the WH had to try and clean up the mess almost immediately. Trump is in denial and thinks he can avoid a recession. He can’t. An economic downturn is in the bag already. Eventually the economy will recover, but if we don’t get a handle on this virus pretty soon a lot of people won’t recover. A vaccine is at least 12-18 months aware. An effective therapy might be available by summer. Trump doesn’t seem to understand that the only way to slow down the virus is to slow down the economy. The government should be doing everything in its power to make sure most people don’t go to work. We should be incentivizing people to stay home. Instead, Trump has some scatterbrained idea of zeroing out the payroll tax, which is somehow supposed to encourage demand for labor. It’s absolutely nuts. People who voted for this clown are going to owe a lot of folks an apology. I’ve noticed that over the last few days it’s been radio silence from a lot of our regular MAGA hat boosters. Maybe it’s starting to sink in that this isn’t like a bad case of the seasonal flu. In fact, there’s absolutely no evidence that it’s seasonal at all, so it will probably be with us until a vaccine comes on line.

      1. pgl

        “In Trump’s address to the nation last night he had that deer in the headlights look.”

        He always looks like that when he is forced to read copy written by someone else. So why has to wonder – if he asked one of the few grownups in the White House to write his little speech, why couldn’t they get basic facts right. Oh wait – all the grown ups have either resigned or been fired.

        1. Willie

          My wife commented that he looked unusually lost, even for Trump reading from a teleprompter. He was short of breath and huffing badly. He os not used to actually having to do anything except mindless bluster and it seems to be wearing him down. The next few months could be a watershed. He will either man up or collapse. What he cannot do is wish this away or lie his way out.

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