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This Recession is Going To Be Bad. Really Bad.

America has done something extraordinary, perhaps unprecedented. In the face of a looming public health crisis, with potential deaths in the thousands or even millions, we essentially made a collective decision to have ourselves a recession. We’ve shut down a significant portion of our economy, knowing that the result will be businesses going bankrupt, huge job losses and people losing their homes.

The question now is just how bad it’s going to be.

I spoke to a bunch of economists about a situation that seems to be getting worse by the hour. They didn’t have the same answers to every question, but they all agreed that we are looking at a potential economic catastrophe, and how bad it gets depends on decisions the federal government makes in coming days.

My first question was whether this is going to be worse than the Great Recession that began in 2008.

“That is absolutely in the realm of possibility,” said Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute. Her colleague Josh Bivens posted an analysis Tuesday using Goldman Sachs projections of 0 percent growth in the first quarter of this year and a 5 percent contraction in the second quarter. It estimated that we will lose 3 million jobs by summer.

But then on Wednesday, JP Morgan forecast that the second quarter contraction would be a stunning 14 percent — worse than the depth of the Great Recession. If they’re right, Shierholz said, it would translate to 7.5 million jobs lost by the summer.

Read entire article at Washington Post