terça-feira, 19 de maio de 2020

Version 2.015

Two interviews -- that's what I want to revisit. Sometimes, throughout the day, I think about what to write at this time. I smother the temptation to write about Portuguese politics. There is no point now, the process is too far ahead for it to be stopped. So, two interviews that I really enjoyed today is it.

I'm not sure why today's Marketplace podcast was not available when I walked Julian. I ended up listening to The Literary Life podcast, which is done by the owner of an independent bookstore in Miami. Hearing Miami mentioned brings me back memories of last year's visit to Art Basel-Miami. It was a very tight schedule, since I was with a group, but I reserved a few minutes to just sit in front of the ocean. "Carve this moment into your mind, it will be a while until you see it again," I told myself. The idea of a pandemic was too far out to even be contemplated, but I just felt the distance.

The first interview was with John Grisham, which is actually my second time around with him: he was interviewed not long ago in an Instagram Live by Burke's Books. I should just read one of this books and get it over and done with, especially because Burke's probably has an autographed copy of something and I like autographed books. Speaking of Burke's, today is the 20th anniversary that the current owners bought the store, which has been around since 1875, but not in the same location. I very much enjoy their current location -- there are several nice restaurants right next to it. Luckily, I have been to a few, but I am worried about their survival during this crisis. Then I remind myself that the price we pay for progress is losing things we love, there is no way around that.

The second interview was Jerome Powell on CBS yesterday, but that I only read today. He has been making the rounds in the media to try to raise awareness for the millions of people who had just pulled their head above water in the last couple of years and now have to face this massive crisis. He clearly has thought about what we learned from the financial crisis and how people did not understand that the Federal Reserve saved both Main and Wall Streets. This time, Congress also acted swiftly, but he wants to make sure that fiscal policy continues to be deployed to help those folks, the ones that are the lasts to reap the benefits of an expansion. Of course, he cannot prescribe fiscal policy, so he must be tactful:

PELLEY: And what sort of support, in your view, do you think the Congress would want to consider?

POWELL: You know, I don't give them advice. We don't have oversight over Congress. Quite the reverse, actually. We're a creature of Congress. And they have oversight over us. But -- so I don't give them advice on particular policies. But I would say, if I may, that policies that help businesses avoid avoidable insolvencies and that do the same for individuals -- keep workers in their homes, keep them paying their bills. Keep families solvent so that when this comes, we come out the other end of this, we're in a position to have a strong recovery. People will be able to spend, be able to do things. And that's what we need, to have a strong recovery when it comes.

60 Minutes, CBS News

In March, I got a call from my Representative in Congress, Steve Cohen. I voted for him in 2018, so that was a nice surprise, even though I had forgotten his name. Congressman Cohen wanted me to be aware of all the programs that Congress had passed and that I could use in case I had been affected by the Covid-19 crisis. To keep his constituents informed, he has having a telephone town hall, in which he had representatives of the Federal, State, and City government to talk about how they could assist me. Luckily, I have not been affected by this crisis, but it's nice to know that the local authorities are on the ball.

In the interview, Powell was asked what gives him hope and I particularly like his response:

PELLEY: What gives you hope in this dark time?

POWELL: Well, as I mentioned, in the long run, I would say I would never bet against the American economy or the American people. We have a great economy. We have highly industrious people. We have the most dynamic economy in the world. And we're the home of so much of the great technology in the world.

So in the long run, I would say the U.S. economy will recover. We'll get back to the place we were in February; we'll get to an even better place than that. I'm highly confident of that. And it won't take that long to get there. It will take some time to get there. So I think we're going to need to help each other through this. And we will.

60 Minutes, CBS News

We have had very good Fed Chairmen, but it is very nice to be reminded that there's a decent person ahead of the Federal Reserve. Maybe more people will get it this time.

2 comentários:

  1. Por acaso costumo ler os livros do John Grisham assim que eles saem; já tenho aqui no telemóvel o Camino Winds para ler. Se queres mesmo experimentar um livro dele, e como gostas de livrarias independentes, experimenta o Camino Island que é sobre isso mesmo, uma pequena livraria e a colecção de primeiras edições do seu dono.


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