Opinion: Fed warns stock market of a second recession if the coronavirus pandemic isn’t brought under control

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The Federal Reserve is a lot more worried about the economy than the stock market or the president are. Officials and staff economists at the Fed caution that a second wave of recession could sweep over the country later this year if the coronavirus pandemic isn’t brought under control, according to a lengthy summary of the Fed’s policy meeting held on June 9-10.

The consensus forecast of Fed policy makers calls for a gradual recovery in the economy over the next several years, but the minutes of that June meeting released on Wednesday indicate that a more pessimistic projection was judged as “no less plausible than the baseline forecast,” by the staff economists who work up the most detailed (but classified) forecast of the economy.

Also read: The coronavirus recession may be over, but the depression has barely begun

It’s all going to depend on the health of the American people. The meeting took place before the latest surge of infections that have derailed or delayed plans to further open up businesses in several states.

The stock market, however, has broadly shrugged off those infections. The S&P 500 index SPX, 1.13% rose 0.5% on Wednesday after surging 20% in the second quarter, which ended Tuesday.

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