Reading List for July 24-26

Jul 24, 2020
Economics, Current Events, Investing

Economics of the Pandemic

  • New jobless claims increased this past week to over 1.4 million (1.3 million last week), stopping a 15-week decline. The biggest jumps were in the states where Covid is spiking. This is the 18th week with new jobless claims over one million. (CBS) (Yahoo Finance)
  • Gig workers who cobble together multiple jobs to make ends meet are often ineligible for unemployment insurance when work dries up. (NYT)
  • The Federal moratorium on eviction of renters expires today, along with the supplemental unemployment benefits—a frightening concurrence of events for renters who are hurting financially at the moment. (NPR)
  • Yelp produced a Local Economic Impact Report in June, tracking consumer interest in businesses in May as establishments reopened and people were getting out. They found a distinct correlation between increased consumer interest in an area and subsequent spikes in Covid-19.  Also in that report: 16,000 restaurants had closed since March. (Business Insider)
  • The WSJ (subscription) takes a closer look at small businesses’ struggles finding cash and customers to stay alive during this crisis.
  • Existing home sales jumps over 20% in June after a three month slump, but are still 11.3% below last year’s levels. Mortgage rates are at historic lows, but so is inventory. (AP)
  • New Home Sales jumped 13.8%, 4 percentage points above expectations. (FX Street)
  • The coin shortage is no laughing matter. Retailers are resorting to extreme measures, like only accepting a card or exact change, and the Fed is convening a task force to address the issue (NPR). Did you know that Amazon, Starbucks, Lowe’s, and Best Buy will convert your coins to gift cards for free? It may be time to look through the sofa cushions and empty the piggy banks to help the economy!
  • The pandemic might finally put an end to the penny. (CNN) (This would make a great debate topic! The GAO has looked at the cost of currency—the Mint could save $250 million if it didn’t have to produce pennies.)
  • The Dixie Cup was the “breakout startup” of the 1918 flu pandemic, proving to literally be a lifesaver. Anyone want to put forth a guess as to what might be the Dixie Cup of the Covid-19 pandemic? (Fast Company)



  • As Telsa announced its fourth straight quarter of earnings, it is now eligible for inclusion in the S&P 500, but will it be added? (CNBC)
  • Robinhood isn’t the only retail brokerage that has seen a huge rise in trading accounts and volume. E*trade had a record second quarter. (CNBC) As did TD Ameritrade and Interactive Brokers. (CNBC)


Higher Education

  • Inside Higher Education takes a look at five trends in higher education that could have massive ramifications. Covid-19 is just the start. Interesting data in this one.
  • Schools are backing off some of their initial more aggressive on-campus plans for the fall semester as Covid cases surge across the country. (Inside Higher Ed2) Davidson College has started the College Crisis Initiative to track schools and their current opening plans.

About the Author

Beth Tallman

Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an M.B.A. in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her first career working in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint overseas. She took advantage of an involuntary separation to try teaching high school math, something she had always dreamed of doing. When fate stepped in once again, Beth jumped on the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now spends her time writing on personal finance and financial education, conducting student workshops, and developing finance curricula and educational content. She is also the Treasurer of Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.