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Need intro.


  1. Slides: The CARES ACT
  2. Reading: Rabah Arezki and Shanta Devarajan, “Fiscal Policy for COVID-19 and Beyond,” Brookings
  3. Reading: “The CARES Act Works for All Americans,” U.S Department of the Treasury 
  4. Questions to Consider:
  • The CARES Act was put together in record speed. Are there parts of the Act that show some carelessness?
  • If the economy can be broken down roughly into the household, business and government sectors, which sector came out ahead?
  • One of the complaints about the ARRA back in the Great Recession of 2009 is that it helped the mortgage industry more than it helped mortgagees (i.e. homeowners). Is the CARES Act guilty of the same bias?
  • In what ways were small businesses targeted by the CARS Act?
  • What was the purpose of the Payroll Protection Plan. Has it worked as well as similar efforts by other nations, say Germany or Canada?
  • What is the main reason why many Republicans didn’t like the extra $600/week for people on unemployment insurance?
  • How might Congress address what is becoming a steady stream of business bankruptcies?
  • How might Congress avoid a sharp increase in evictions this year?



  1. Reading: “Federal Reserve’s Unprecedented Efforts to Support the Economy and the Markets,”
  2. Reading: Jeffrey Cheng, Dave Skidmore, and David Wessel, “What’s the Fed doing in response to the COVID-19 crisis? What more could it do?,” Brookings
  3. Reading: “Timetable of Fed Actions,” Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  4. Reading: Nick Timiraos and Jon Hilsenrath, “The Federal Reserve Is Changing What It Means to Be a Central Bank,” The Wall Street Journal
  5. Lecture: Monetary Policy Part 1
  6. Lecture: Monetary Policy Part 2
  7. Questions to Consider:
  • In what respect has the Fed become the central banker to the world?
  • What does it mean for the Fed to be the lender of last resort, and is it fulfilling that role now?
  • In what ways has the Fed expanded beyond its traditional role of pumping dollars into the banking system?
  • How might you measure whether the Fed has been successful in its attempt to stabilize the economy and the markets?
  • How are repo operations central to the Fed’s efforts to sustain adequate funding for corporations?
  • Do you think the Fed has gone too far with the new policy initiatives it has taken on, actions such as the Main Street Lending Program? Does this endanger the Fed’s independence?
  • How do you think the Fed’s promise to keep interest rates low for a very, very long time helps to support the economy?


Please write a 500 page essay on the following topic:

While both Congress and the Federal Reserve have been credited with pulling out all the stops to support the economy through this unprecedented period, some economists (as well as politicians and ordinary citizens) aren’t convinced they shouldn’t have done more. What other types of policy actions might the authorities taken to help households and/or businesses?