It appears that we are heading into the worst economic downturn of the post-World War II era, and that is going to be true no matter how this coronavirus pandemic ultimately plays out. There are some that believe that this virus will only kill thousands, and there are others that are warning that it could kill millions, but everyone can agree that this outbreak is causing an unprecedented amount of fear. And even once this pandemic starts to fade, a certain percentage of the population will continue to be afraid to go to restaurants, bars and other small businesses that are open to the public. Of course many restaurants, bars and small businesses were just barely scraping by during the “good times”, and so many of them will simply not be be able to survive if a substantial portion of the population is literally petrified to step through their doors for the foreseeable future.
As long as fear of the coronavirus persists, the U.S. economy is going to be in for a world of hurt, and it looks like we may still be in the very early stages of this pandemic.
In fact, we are now being told that the death toll in the U.S. “could reach 100,000 or more”…
President Donald Trump acknowledged Sunday for the first time that deaths in the United States from coronavirus could reach 100,000 or more, adding that if the death toll stays at or below 100,000, “we all together have done a very good job.”
Trump’s assertion came after he was asked about comments the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, made earlier Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that based on models, 100,000 Americans or more could die from the virus.
Of course the death toll could ultimately be much lower than that if effective treatments are made widely available to the general public.
We shall have to wait and see if that actually happens.
But meanwhile, fear of the coronavirus is absolutely devastating the economy. According to the National Restaurant Association, our restaurant industry has lost 25 billion dollars in sales so far this month…
The U.S. restaurant industry has lost $25 billion in sales since March 1, according to a survey of 5,000 owners by the National Restaurant Association. Nearly 50,000 stores of major U.S. retail chains have closed, according to the companies.
An estimated $20 billion in monthly retail real estate loans are due as early as this week, according to Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real-estate services and consulting firm. Many retailers and restaurants have said they are not going to pay their April rents, which in turn poses a threat to the $3 trillion commercial mortgage market.
As this crisis stretches on, all of the dominoes in the commercial mortgage market are going to begin to fall.
What we are watching is deeply tragic, because those that work in our restaurants are some of the hardest working people in the entire country. At this point, 3 percent of our restaurants “have already permanently closed”, and another 11 percent “anticipate they will permanently close within 30 days”…[ ]
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