Summary of How the American Economy Can Recover from the Coronavirus Pandemic

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How the American Economy Can Recover from the Coronavirus Pandemic summary
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In this sobering assessment of economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, columnist Geoff Colvin spells out the damage done to US consumers, who contribute the major share of the country’s GDP. He describes how the double punch of disease and unemployment has already changed the behavior of individuals and businesses. Colvin argues that an environment of socioeconomic trauma requires creative and sound leadership from policy makers and executives who can offer realistic expectations and decisive actions.

About the Author

Geoffrey Colvin is an author and a columnist at Fortune magazine.



The coronavirus has caused unmatched levels of fear in the consumer-driven American economy.

The US economy depends on consumers: Their collective activity accounted for 68% of GDP at the end of 2019. But by mid-April 2020, job losses – unprecedented in number and speed – had ravaged people’s finances, while a new contagious disease threatened their health. The result was widespread fear.

A “doom loop” was ensnaring workers and employers: Individuals were unable to spend due to the social isolation and business closures mandated to control the spread of the disease, and so companies had to shed personnel, wreaking more financial havoc for citizens...

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