The global economy has been brought to a standstill to help stem the spread of the coronavirus. A recession is already upon us. The unemployment rate during the month was 4.4 percent, up from 3.5 percent in February and up from 3.8 percent in the year earlier period. Given the number of people filing unemployment claims in the month of April, the unemployment rate for April will likely spike much higher. Last week, more than four million Americans filed first-time unemployment benefits. A record 26 million people filed first-time unemployment benefits since the coronavirus-related lockdowns. Eleven percent of the entire U.S. workforce has successfully filed claims and been approved for unemployment – the highest on record.

States like Illinois and New York are hurting financially and have reached out to President Trump for federal aid:

President Donald Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are attacking Illinois Democrats for using the COVID-19 crisis to ask for a $10 billion state pension rescue and other federal aid.

The $10 billion was included in an April 14 letter Illinois Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, sent to Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asking for $41 billion in federal assistance for the state of Illinois in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic economic meltdown.

Both President Trump and Nikki Haley have questioned by poorly-run states (mostly Democratic-run) should receive federal aid. The Democrats suggest the president should not let partisan politics be the metric used to decide which states receive aid.

States have also filed lawsuits against opioid distributors and manufacturers for their role in the opioid crisis. The state of Ohio settled for at least $1 billion. West Virginia is seeking at least another $1 billion – they were two of the most hard-hit states by the crisis. Manufacturers and distributors from Johnson & Johnson to McKesson to Cardinal Health have offered a $48 billion settlement – a mixture $22 billion in cash and another $26 billion in free drugs.

However, states have held out for more money. The question remains, “If states are so strapped for cash then why not take the $48 billion opioid deal?” Trump And The Global Economy (“Trump And The GE”), the top speaker series in the country, parsed through the opioid crisis and the various factions. Torian Mitchell, Brooklyn Land Baron and Shock Exchange framed the matter:

Shock Exchange: Judge Dan Polster out of Ohio came up with a mechanism to settle the opioid crisis. The mechanism is based upon which cities and municipalities are hardest hit … Cities and municipalities have gotten their own private lawyers to sue the opioid manufacturers … the state AGs are trying to play catch up. There is a settlement on the table now for about $48 biillion. $18 to $25 billion will come from distributors like AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health. Johnson & Johnson will toss in $4 billion. Teva, Endo and Mallinckrodt will offer free drugs. They don’t have the sizeable balance sheets that the distributors have.

The defendants want to the pay outs to occur 10 years. The states and municipalities have haggled over the amount of the settlement and the tenor. Meanwhile, states are lobbying Trump for aid to cover the knock on effects of the coronavirus. The opioid distributors and manufacturers want to give states and cities $48 billion – the sale of legal drugs – they have been rebuffed. It all begs the question, “If states need money so badly then why not take the $48 billion being offered?”

 

 

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