- Small Business Hardships
Highlight Relationship with
Lenders in COVID-19 Era
Wenhua Di, Nathaniel Pattison and Chloe Smith
The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted normal small business operations and will likely limit the ability of many enterprises to stay financially afloat. Although lenders have become better equipped to evaluate risks and serve small businesses, the supply of credit tends to shrink during economic downturns.
- COVID-19, Oil Price Collapse, Dimming Outlook for Banks in 2020
Amy Chapel and Kory Killgo
Eleventh District banks face challenges from instability in the energy sector and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. While district banks finished 2019 on solid footing, and regulatory and monetary interventions will buffer some of the headwinds, we expect profitability, credit quality and bank capital to decline in 2020.
- On the Record: A Conversation with Janie Barrera
LiftFund’s Microlending Customers Battle to Survive COVID-19 Shock
Janie Barrera is the founding president and chief executive officer of San Antonio-based LiftFund. Created in 1994, LiftFund has one of the nation’s largest microlending portfolios. The nonprofit provides loans and management training to very small enterprises in Texas and seven other states.
- Spotlight: Black Workers at Risk for 'Last Hired, First Fired'
Aquil Jones and Joseph Tracy
The COVID–19-induced global economic downturn shuttered businesses that have begun slowly reopening and reassessing whether to recall laid-off employees. In the U.S., black unemployment rates have spiked much more than white jobless rates during recessions.
- Go Figure: COVID-19 Tanks U.S. Fuel Consumption, Prices
Design: Olu Eseyin; Content: Jesse Thompson
The effects of the pandemic, including working from home and reduced travel, dropped fuel consumption from mid-March to mid-April 2020.
- President’s Perspective
Robert S. Kaplan
- Mexico’s Higher Costs Under
USMCA May Potentially Offset Gains from China-Related Trade Spurt with U.S.
Daniel Chiquiar, Jesus Cañas, Armando Aguirre and Alfonso Cebreros
Approval of the United States–Mexico– Canada Agreement (USMCA) could change trade within the North American region, affecting output and weakening North America’s global competitiveness. At the same time, while Mexico is achieving some temporary gains arising from trade tension between the U.S. and China, it stands to incur a substantial overall long-term economic cost.
- Mexico Seeks to Reduce Consumers'
Longstanding Reliance on Cash
Cash is king when it comes to completing transactions in Mexico. Unlike the U.S., where consumers opt to pay with debit and credit cards or via apps, Mexico and its large informal economy continue to rely on hard cash. A new digital payment platform from the nation’s central bank aims to reduce the role of currency.
- Groundwater Markets Slowly Evolve in Ever-Thirstier Texas
Keith R. Phillips and Judy Teng
Texas’ growing population is increasing the demand for water, a commodity that in many parts of the state is subject to wide swings from abundance during wet cycles to shortfall during droughts. Water markets offer one way to help meet some of the growing need. However, legal challenges and a variety of government entities overseeing water use complicate water markets’ applicability.
- On the Record: A Conversation with Fang Yang
Policy Changes Could Boost Women’s Participation in U.S. Workforce
Fang Yang, associate professor of economics at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, discusses the labor market impacts of tax policy, an evolving U.S. workforce, the effects of gender and an aging population.
- Spotlight: Permian Basin’s Shale-Era Oil Production Rises Even as Rig Count Falls
Emma Marshall and Jesse Thompson
A change in the number of active drilling rigs is no longer the reliable predictor for near-term oil production growth that it once was.
- Go Figure: Migrant Apprehensions at U.S.–Mexico Border Spike in 2019
Design: Justin Chavira; Content: Carlee Crocker, Pia Orrenius and Chloe Smith
Apprehensions of migrants at the U.S. southern border surged in spring 2019.
- Snapshot: COVID-19 Hits Manufacturers
Texas factory activity declined sharply as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak took hold in March, according to business executives responding to the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey.
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell
Comments on FOMC Rate Cut
Excerpt from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s statement following the Federal Open Market Committee’s emergency reduction of the federal funds rate to a range of 0–0.25 percent, March 15, 2020.