John Cassidy
John Cassidy
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The Great Coronavirus Divide: Wall Street Profits Surge as Poverty Rises

The Great Coronavirus Divide: Wall Street Profits Surge as Poverty Rises

This has been a worrying week for most people whose livelihoods depend on the state of the U.S. economy. On Wednesday, the number of new cases hit almost sixty thousand. The number of deaths, while much lower than at its peak, in April, in more than twenty states. Without an end in sight to the pandemic, the economic rebound that began in the late spring, after Congress passed the $2.2 trillion CARES Act and some of the initial lockdowns were eased, is showing signs of faltering.On Thursday, the Labor Department that new applications for unemployment benefits rose to almost nine hundred...

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John Cassidy
Oct 16
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Wall Street May Be Warming to the Possibility of a Biden Presidency

Wall Street May Be Warming to the Possibility of a Biden Presidency

On Tuesday, negotiations between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill over a big preëlection spending bill, which many economists view as essential to bolster the -stricken economy. But, on Wednesday, which Trump spent tweeting while in the White House, the Dow Jones Industrial Average more than five hundred points, its biggest jump since July. What’s going on?One interpretation is that the markets were reacting to yet another reversal on Trump’s part. Just hours after publicly abandoning the bipartisan talks, he Democrats to pass some individual spending measures, including another...

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John Cassidy
Oct 8
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Donald Trump Is Attacking American Democracy at Its Core

Donald Trump Is Attacking American Democracy at Its Core

One thing you cannot accuse of is trying to disguise his nefarious intentions. For months now, legal experts and Democratic campaign officials have warned that he may reject the results of this year’s election and pronounce himself the victor regardless of the vote tally. On Tuesday, Trump virtually confirmed that this is his plan. He also indicated that rushing through the appointment of another conservative to the Supreme Court is a key element of his strategy to stay in the White House.Before Trump flew to Pittsburgh for a super-spreader campaign rally, a pool reporter asked the...

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John Cassidy
Sep 23
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The Trump Campaign Tries to Change the Subject

The Trump Campaign Tries to Change the Subject

With less than three months to go until Election Day, Donald Trump’s campaign this week tried again to hit the reset button. “We’re going to run like we’re the underdog,” Trump’s new campaign manager, Bill Stepien, Fox News on Monday. Before Stepien spoke, the Trump team released two new television ads targeting Joe Biden, who, thus far, has proved an elusive foe. One of Biden with Senator Bernie Sanders and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, and claims that Biden “has embraced the policies of the radical left.” The other a woman of color silently holding up printed...

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John Cassidy
Aug 8
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Donald Trump’s Big Problem with Senior Voters

Donald Trump’s Big Problem with Senior Voters

The standard way of looking at ’s narrow Electoral College victory, in 2016, is through the realm of geography: by eking out victories in the Rust Belt states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, he overcame a deficit of about 2.9 million ballots in the popular vote. This narrative is perfectly accurate, but it isn’t the only way to analyze what happened. Another key to Trump’s success was his strong support among older voters, who tend to turn out in large numbers, despite being a relatively small part of the electorate.Among voters aged forty-four and under, Hillary Clinton bested...

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John Cassidy
Jun 26
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The Coronavirus Is Exposing Wall Street’s Reckless Gamble on Bad Debt

The Coronavirus Is Exposing Wall Street’s Reckless Gamble on Bad Debt

In January of 2019, Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, appeared before a House of Commons committee to global threats to financial stability. At that time, the U.S. unemployment rate was below four per cent, the gross domestic product was growing steadily, and was busy boasting about “the greatest economy ever.” But, despite these favorable statistics, staffers at the bank had identified a potentially serious problem on the horizon: a rapid buildup of corporate debt, which was associated with a potentially alarming decline in lending standards. Carney compared what was...

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John Cassidy
May 24
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Have the Record Number of Investors in the Stock Market Lost Their Minds?

Have the Record Number of Investors in the Stock Market Lost Their Minds?

This past weekend, I drove out to Bethpage State Park, the public golf mecca on Long Island that Robert Moses built during the Great Depression. The park, which has five courses, recently reopened with new safety rules: no carts, no clubhouse amenities, and payments processed in advance by phone. Among the three players I got teamed up with was a local retiree who had returned from Florida just in time for the lockdown. As we social-distanced our way around the Red course, I asked how he was filling his time. He said that he was watching television and trading in the stock market. That...

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John Cassidy
May 15
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China’s Slow Economic Rebound from the Coronavirus Points to an Extended U.S. Slump

China’s Slow Economic Rebound from the Coronavirus Points to an Extended U.S. Slump

On Monday, two months after the Chinese government started to relax the blanket shutdowns that it had ordered to combat the spread of the , the theme park at Shanghai Disneyland reopened, with social-distancing rules in effect and Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of the crew on hand to greet the first customers. “It has been an emotional morning,” Joe Schott, the resort’s general manager, the Times, “There is light at the end of the tunnel.”That is what everyone around the world is hoping for, of course, and China’s experience does provide some hopeful signs for Western countries—the United...

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John Cassidy
May 13
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Donald Trump’s Debt to China

Donald Trump’s Debt to China

Earlier this week, the right-leaning commentator Walter Russell Mead a column in the Wall Street Journal arguing that ’s best chance of being reëlected in November is to run against China. “With the economy in shambles and the pandemic ravaging the country, making the election a referendum on China is perhaps Mr. Trump’s only chance to extend his White House tenure past January 2021,” Mead wrote. This strategy would enable Trump to exploit a -related distrust of China, Mead added, and it would create problems for Democrats which would include, but also go beyond, Hunter Biden’s business...

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John Cassidy
Apr 24
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Fringe Protests Can’t Distract from Trump’s Failures

Fringe Protests Can’t Distract from Trump’s Failures

The demonstrations against the shutdowns came to upstate New York on Monday, with a lunchtime “” protest, at which cars and trucks blockaded Niagara Square, in the heart of the city. The event was specifically directed at Governor Andrew Cuomo, who recently extended his stay-at-home order until May 15th, but it was similar to protests in Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas, Wisconsin, and other states.According to the Buffalo News, the person Monday’s protest was Rus Thompson, a local conservative activist and supporter of who was in a pro-Trump protest last summer timed to...

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John Cassidy
Apr 20
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Trump’s Coronavirus Response Has Single-Handedly Created a New Federalism

Trump’s Coronavirus Response Has Single-Handedly Created a New Federalism

Among all the possible consequences that were discussed after was elected, in 2016, a revival of federalism didn’t feature prominently. Three and a half years later, here we are. On Monday, the governors of California, Oregon, and Washington announced a “Western States Pact” to work toward reopening their economies on an agreed set of principles after the shutdowns, and the governors of seven Northeastern states said they were creating for the same purpose.The governors didn’t state explicitly that they were sidelining the federal government and Trump: they didn’t need to. “Health outcomes...

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John Cassidy
Apr 14
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The Republican Stimulus Bill Is Full of Holes

The Republican Stimulus Bill Is Full of Holes

On Thursday afternoon, Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, released a two-hundred-and-forty-seven-page designed to stabilize the economy during the great COVID-19 shutdown. It would provide to individuals and businesses, including direct payments of up to twelve hundred dollars for Americans who earn less than a hundred thousand dollars a year. Although the bill didn’t come with an official price tag, analysts estimated the total cost of its proposals was roughly eight hundred billion dollars.Despite the bill’s length, its publication is merely the opening bid in a set of...

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John Cassidy
Mar 20
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Bernie Sanders Scores an Impressive Victory in Nevada

Bernie Sanders Scores an Impressive Victory in Nevada

As the votes were being counted in Nevada on Saturday afternoon, was appearing before a large and enthusiastic crowd in El Paso, Texas, which is one of the states that will vote on Super Tuesday, March 3rd. After introducing his wife, Jane, as “the next First Lady of the United States,” Sanders called out some people in the crowd, including Jim Hightower, the veteran liberal activist, who served as the Texas commissioner of agriculture back in the nineteen-eighties. Like Sanders himself, Hightower is something of a legend in progressive circles, and the Vermont senator hailed him as a close...

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John Cassidy
Feb 23
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Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for All Dilemma

Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for All Dilemma

In September, 2017, as Republicans in Congress were pursuing an effort to abolish the Affordable Care Act—which ultimately failed in the Senate by one vote—Senator Bernie Sanders introduced the , which would have enrolled all Americans in a new national health-insurance scheme called the Universal Medicare Program. “At a time when millions of Americans do not have access to affordable health care, the Republicans, funded by the Koch brothers, are trying to take away health care from up to thirty-two million more,” Sanders . “We have a better idea: guarantee health care to all people as a...

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John Cassidy
Oct 18
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