“We are about to see the best economic data we’ve seen in the history of this country.”
That’s what former president Jason Furman, a top economist in the Obama administration and now a professor at Harvard, told a large bipartisan group of top officials from both parties in a Zoom party last week, according to Politico.
The former cabinet secretaries and Federal Reserve chairs in the Zoom boxes were confused, though some of the Republicans may have been newly relieved and some of the Democrats suddenly concerned.
“Everyone looked puzzled and thought I had misspoken,” Furman said in an interview. Instead of forecasting a prolonged depression-level economic catastrophe, Furman laid out a detailed case for why the months preceding the November election could offer Trump the chance to brag — truthfully — about the most explosive monthly employment numbers and GDP growth ever.
Since the Zoom call, Furman has been making the same case to anyone who will listen, especially the close-knit network of Democratic wonks who have traversed the Clinton and Obama administrations together, including top members of the Biden campaign.
Unemployment is surging — the rate is at 14.6%, with more than 36 million Americans losing their jobs amid the coronavirus hype. The rate is expected to soar above 20% when the numbers come out next month.
Democrats are freaked.
“This is my big worry,” said a former Obama White House official who is still close to the former president. Asked about the level of concern among top party officials, he said, “It’s high — high, high, high, high.”
Sanger is alarmed that the economy might rebound.
Consumption and hiring started to tick up “in gross terms, not in net terms,” Furman said, describing the phenomenon as a “partial rebound.” The bounce back “can be very very fast, because people go back to their original job, they get called back from furlough, you put the lights back on in your business. Given how many people were furloughed and how many businesses were closed you can get a big jump out of that. It will look like a V.”