Where is all the stimulus money being spent on?

Title says it all. Where is all the stimulus package being spent on? 

Are they going into savings accounts? Trading accounts? Or are they actually being spent on everyday products and services?

Shouldn't they come with strings attached on how we can spend them? Say on small and medium sized businesses that were hurt the most by the pandemic?

Are there any good data sources on this?

Comments (16)

 
  • Prospect in IB - Gen
Jan 9, 2021 - 2:37pm

Yes, ideally they should be optimized to help SMBs, pay rent, etc., but we don't live in a world where we can easily get that done. Getting stimulus money out fast like the CARES Act sacrifices efficiency for speed but speed is the more important thing in a situation like Covid where the services sector has been decimated.

 

You can see some stuff on FRED like savings rates, sell-side firms like BAML with their credit card data offer a better look at what actual spending is.

 
Jan 9, 2021 - 2:51pm

I got with my trumpbux:

Klipsch 5.1 theater setup

Jamos 2.1 setup

like 3 sets of bookshelf speakers

a shitload of takeout

a Dyson

like $3K of gym equipment

macbook pro for my wife

stocked up on champion sweats that are being discontinued

fuck i'm blanking. i got a lot more shit.

fun fact: doesn't work at dispensaries

heister:

Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

https://arthuxtable.com/
 
Jan 13, 2021 - 9:03am

I would assume that a lot of people would use that to pay off all sorts of debt that they have. People who don´t really need the money would probably spend it on something pleasurable or would donate it to more important causes.

 
Jan 13, 2021 - 10:20am

If you're actually getting the $600, there's a good chance you need that money to pay off credit card debt, rent, or put food on the table. 

"Strings attached" is a terrible idea. Let people spend the money how they want. 

Commercial Real Estate Developer

 
Jan 13, 2021 - 3:36pm

CRE

"Strings attached" is a terrible idea. Let people spend the money how they want. 

There's a lot of literature that supports this. Banerjee's and Duflo's recent Good Economics for Hard Times talked about this.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

 
Jan 13, 2021 - 10:22am

It's all over the place - I think the best guesses are somewhere between a composite of savings rate, consumer spending and some other indicators you reasonably trust. 

I've never been in favor of blanket stimulus programs like this - I'd prefer it to be targeted and routed - in fact, and my grandfather is rolling over in his grave, i'd prefer they simply funnel money to employers to keep people on pay rolls doing SOMETHING rather than blast out stimulus or have unemployment riders. Continuity is really underrated in my opinion. 

More broadly - we are committed to spending money so stop fighting it and channel it to things that matter. Instead of checks, give people good paying jobs to build some shit that we are going to do anyway. I know this would actually require some forethought on the part of our government, a challenge even in the best of times. 

Look - stimulus checks sell. It's easy, quick and ameliorates a lot of hard feelings for a few minute until you realize that those dollars literally tide you over for a week or two at best, maybe a month for people who are truly trying to make it work. It's lazy policy. Period. 

 
Jan 13, 2021 - 3:40pm

Addinator

i'd prefer they simply funnel money to employers to keep people on pay rolls doing SOMETHING rather than blast out stimulus or have unemployment riders.

That seemed to be the case in Europe. I agree with you. However, I was reading somewhere how last year the US had a record amount of new businesses being started (not that $600 or whatever it was back then is enough seed money), but is worth debating. I'm not an economist though so hard to say which is better, but people being productive is obviously the best.

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

 
Jan 13, 2021 - 10:34am

Financially, I think there are basically two groups of people: 1. those who are good with money 2. people who are not good with money. 

As stated, $600 really isn't that much. So the first group of people probably did something "productive" with it (saved it, used it to pay off debt if they have any, put it toward something they would normally buy), the second group prob wasted it on somehting not "productive" (lottery tickets, alcohol/drugs, more eating out). 

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