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Trump’s Economic Record Is Divided: Before Covid and After

Trump’s Economic Record Is Divided: Before Covid and After

Donald Trump has presided over two economies during his time in office.

In the first, which lasted until March, the economy reached historic milestones for jobs, income and stock prices. While it’s debatable whether it was the best U.S. economy ever, as the president has said, it was without question good and getting better for millions of Americans.

The second part, which arrived with Covid-19, was historically bad. It sent unemployment to depths unseen in post-Depression records before reversing itself quickly but only partially, leaving the U.S. with an outlook that’s especially hard to forecast.

The two economies will be factors driving the choices voters make in November. The reality for Mr. Trump: Many achievements of his first economy have been wiped out by the second.

The president’s economic record never fully fit the black and white story told by either his ardent fans or his furious foes. His detractors said his tax policies catered to the rich, yet poverty and inequality fell. Minorities were big beneficiaries during his first three years, though they have also been big casualties in the past seven months.

His backers note that the growth rate accelerated as Mr. Trump said it would, but it didn’t speed up as much or in the ways he projected. Blue-collar towns reaped some of the revival his trade policy aimed for, but that revival was far from complete when it was set back by the pandemic.

A lesson that became clear after a health crisis knocked the economy off the rails: One of the best ways to advance broad-based prosperity is to keep an expansion going. Good things tend to happen, especially to those typically left behind, in the late stages of long expansions. The one that ended in March was the longest recorded in U.S. history, an

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5 Best Stories on Real Money: Beating Covid, Market Bubble

5 Best Stories on Real Money: Beating Covid, Market Bubble

Quiz: What’s one advantage the president has that the market does not?

Answer: He can get a doctor’s note telling you everything is wonderful. 

But investors? They’re left on their own, left trying to forecast when a stimulus bill will land, left watching every vaccine trial to spot a winner, left waiting up at night for earnings reports, and left tracking technical indicators for clues about what’s churning underneath the surface. 

Fortunately, investors do, however, have experts who can guide them. Helping us get through this messy, mucky October are Real Money and Real Money Pro writers Jim Cramer, Paul Price, Maleeha Bengali, Alex Frew McMillan, and Jim Collins.

Jim Cramer: Let’s Beat Covid-19

Cramer lays out what is happening right now to get the pandemic under control and what it will look like not that long from now — even before a vaccine is available.

Here’s the tests and therapies that Cramer contends will change the channel on the Covid outlook.

Price: Give Stocks a Second Chance 

Few stocks go up in straight-line moves. Instead, writes Price, most tend to spurt higher, tail off, then rise again. While the interim selloffs often shake out traders who mainly trade on momentum, plus those who fail to understand the companies’ true worth, there’s still opportunity awaiting for those willing to give second chances.

See how Price would play a select group of stocks — even following their earlier rebounds from March’s lows.

Jim Collins: There’s Trouble in Bubbleland 

We are in the midst of a unprecedented financial bubble, writes Collins. Will a recovery from the Covid-19 lockdowns ease the bubble before it bursts in our faces?

Read why Collins isn’t holding his breath, and how the situation could play out for insurers and others. 

Bengali: It’s Value Vs. Growth. Pick One.

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UK risks lasting economic scars from Covid and Brexit, OECD warns

UK risks lasting economic scars from Covid and Brexit, OECD warns

The UK will need to invest heavily in digital infrastructure and drive through reforms to raise productivity if it is to repair long-term economic damage left by the Covid-19 crisis and the effects of Brexit, the OECD said on Wednesday.

Britain’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the pandemic among the 37 tracked by the international organisation, which said UK gross domestic product was set to be 10.1 per cent smaller at the end of 2020 than it was a year earlier and to recover only some of the ground in 2021, with growth of 7.6 per cent.

These forecasts are contingent on the course of the virus, and the extent of restrictions needed to contain it, but the UK’s prospects are even more uncertain because of the risk of a disorderly exit from the EU single market, which the OECD said could depress GDP by 5 per cent over two years.

Further public investment would be needed in digital infrastructure, such as high-speed broadband in deprived or rural areas, and the government could do more to push the transition to green technology, for example by making support to businesses in polluting industries conditional on switching to cleaner processes.

“Actions taken to address the pandemic and decisions made on future trading relationships will have a lasting impact on the UK’s economic trajectory for years to come, so they should be in line with long-term objectives,” said Laurence Boone, the OECD’s chief economist. “Productivity growth in service sectors will have to accelerate significantly for the recovery to be long-lasting and sustainable,” she said.

The immediate challenge is to support low-income households and get people back into good jobs, it found. Alvaro Santos Pereira, the OECD’s director of country studies, said higher unemployment would have “a massive impact” if it

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Covid Is Making a Comeback. The Stock Market Is Watching.

Covid Is Making a Comeback. The Stock Market Is Watching.

A medical worker takes a nasal swab sample from a student to test for Covid-19 on October 8 in New York City.


ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Text size

New Covid-19 infections are rising as the weather turns colder—and the stock market is paying attention.

U.S. coronavirus cases reported Tuesday hit more than 46,000, up about 21% from a week ago, while the seven-day average of new infections, which has been rising steadily since the beginning of October, sits at roughly 51,000, up almost 17% from a week ago.

To this point, more than 7.8 million Americans have become infected with Covid-19. About 3.1 million have recovered. Tragically, more than 207,000 have died. America has roughly 4.5 million active cases.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned Americans about increasing infection rates in the fall, but believes the U.S. can halt the progression. In recent months, he has consistently advocated for wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, staying outside, washing hands and maintaining six feet of social distancing where possible.

The market, however, appears to be betting on vaccines and treatments. On Tuesday, for instance, the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

fell 157.71 points after pauses to

Johnson & Johnson

and

Eli Lilly

trials.

That’s not a huge drop, which suggests that confidence remains high that Covid will be conquered.

Still, it never hurts to wear a mask.

Al Root

*** Just five years ago, Fitbit was one of the hottest companies in tech. Now it’s hoping a sale to Google can save its business and help it compete with Apple. Listen to the latest episode of the

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Disorderly Brexit could damage UK’s economic recovery from Covid, says OECD

Disorderly Brexit could damage UK’s economic recovery from Covid, says OECD

Britain’s economy faces a double risk to recovery from a disorderly Brexit as the coronavirus pandemic drags down growth, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.



a car parked on a sidewalk: The UK car industry and food and textiles producers could be hit hardest by a disorderly Brexit, suffering a fall in exports of more than 30%.


© The Guardian
The UK car industry and food and textiles producers could be hit hardest by a disorderly Brexit, suffering a fall in exports of more than 30%.

On the eve of a critical EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, the influential Paris-based thinktank said the Covid crisis would further complicate a disorderly Brexit as companies were less prepared for the end of the transition period, having diverted attention away from leaving the EU.

It warned that failure to secure a free trade agreement before the UK leaves the Brexit transition period at the end of December would leave the economy 6.5% lower in the next few years than would have been the case if existing arrangements with the EU had been maintained.

In a development with potential to cause severe disruption for cross-border trade, it said a disorderly Brexit would have the most significant impacts for manufacturing, with the UK car industry, food and textiles producers hardest hit, suffering a fall in exports of more than 30%.

Álvaro Pereira, the director of the country studies branch at the OECD, said: “We know Covid has been the largest economic shock and social shock in the last few decades all across the world. Brexit obviously compounds the issue.

“The most important thing in the next few days and months is to focus on a deal, so the closest possible relationship is established between the UK and EU. Both parties lose if there is no deal.”

Publishing its first major economic survey of the UK since 2017, the OECD said a disorderly Brexit had potential to compound the risks to the British economy from

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