What’s Happening in the News: April 20, 2020

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

It’s hard to believe that for over a month, the focus of our news links has been the coronavirus and its many effects. We hope our readers have stayed healthy and sane at home, and that maybe a few of the articles have helped you pass the time and even learn something along the way. This week’s post is a little bleak for the Millennial crowd, but keep reading to the end for some signs of hope.

An Intervention for the Interventions

In the past month and a half, we’ve seen so many history-making economic interventions that it’s gotten hard to keep track. CNBC gets us up to speed with a handy timeline in the article Here is everything the Fed has done to save the economy.

Bad News for Homebuyers

In spite of the government’s best efforts, some businesses are looking to reduce their own risks rather than stimulate spending. JPMorgan Chase (the fourth biggest mortgage lender in the U.S.) tightened its standards to require a 20 percent down payment and a credit score of 700 for potential buyers to get approval. That’s bad news in general for a housing market that’s already inevitably slow while everyone’s under quarantine. And it’s bad news for millennial homebuyers specifically, many of whom have trouble coming up with a down payment anyway.

And More Bad News for Millennials

And that’s not the only way the pandemic is hurting Millennials. Low wages, high debt loads and small savings accounts don’t play well with recessions. Here’s a sobering take from Annie Lowrey at The Atlantic on what the current crisis could mean for a generation that’s already struggling financially.

Now more than ever, it’s crucial that you understand the economic system you live with and how to use it to your advantage. If you haven’t already, check out our articles on The Best Video on How the Economic Machine and Cycles Work, parts one, two and three.

Thanks, Boomer.

For Millennials, the world right now can feel like one big catastrophe after another. Go read Advice to Millennials From A Retiree for some encouragement and perspective from someone who’s been through hard times and lived to tell about it. This boomer offers a brighter perspective and some solid advice:

…we paid very close attention to saving for the future. That paid off and the message I most want to convey is, assume there will be a future and, to the extent you can, plan for it!

Bart Astor

A Brighter Future in Australia

To end on a lighter note, here’s an interesting video about a battery farm bringing affordable electricity to southern Australians. If you’d rather read than watch, here’s an article about this project plus other similar facilities springing up in Australia. It’ll be exciting to see where this technology takes us in coming years!

Victoria's first big batteries
Photo courtesy of arena.gov.au

Stay well, and if you’ve already filed your taxes, check your bank account for that stimulus money. See you next week!

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