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How COVID-19 Has Impacted Black-White Financial Inequality

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Black-White Financial Inequality

Black-White Financial Inequality

How COVID-19 Impacted Black-White Financial Inequality

COVID-19 has disrupted everything from economic markets to personal finances, but not everyone feels its effects equally. When compared with White Americans, Black Americans’ financial situations have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

In this infographic from McKinsey & Co., we outline the financial vulnerabilities of Black Americans, their increased usage of financial services since the onset of the pandemic, and their lower satisfaction levels with those services.

Financial Vulnerabilities of Black Americans

Compared to White Americans, more Black Americans say their job and income have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.

 My job has been negatively impacted by COVID-19My income has been negatively impacted by COVID-19
White Americans29%24%
Black Americans36%31%

Looking forward, Black Americans also report greater job security concerns and have less savings to protect themselves financially. In the event of a job loss, 57% of Black Americans report their savings would last four months or less, compared with 44% of White Americans.

With less of a cash buffer on hand, Black consumers are also more likely to have missed a recent bill payment.

 Skipped at least 1 paymentPartially paid at least 1 billPaid in full
White Americans16%22%62%
Black Americans51%22%27%

This includes being unable to pay for basic items such as utilities, telephone and internet, and mortgage payments.

How do they begin to manage these challenges?

Use of Financial Services

Black Americans increased their use of financial services more than White Americans.

Banking activities in the past two weeks, per March-June 2020 surveys

 Withdrew cashDeposited cashDeposited checksContacted bank for service on accountOpened new accountsReceived advice on digital tool usage
White Americans35%20%40%9%3%4%
Black Americans47%31%30%15%7%7%

For example, Black Americans were about twice as likely to request account service, open an account, or receive advice on digital tools. In addition, Black families were more likely to leverage a fintech platform and have been more active in opening fintech accounts since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

However, as Black Americans seek out more financial help, some are not happy with the service they receive.

Satisfaction with Financial Services

Overall, Black families are less satisfied than White families across all types of financial activities. These differences were most pronounced for digital tool advice, where 38% of Black Americans were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied, compared with just 12% of White Americans.

Even though Black people were less satisfied with banking services, they were more likely to say that bank performance was above their expectations. This may suggest that expectations are lower for Black families than they are for White families.

Black Americans were also much less likely to trust their financial advisor.

 Do not trust/losing trustIndifferentGaining trust/trust
White Americans10%9%81%
Black Americans32%9%59%

From March-June 2020, the percentage of Black people distrusting their advisors rose from 12% to 32%. Over the same time period, White people’s distrust of financial advisors remained stable at 10%.

A notable exception: White and Black Americans were both satisfied with fintech providers. Only 5% of White Americans and 8% of Black Americans expressed some level of dissatisfaction with fintech companies.

Time to Examine the Financial System?

COVID-19 has perpetuated Black-White financial inequality. Data shows that Black families are more likely to be financially vulnerable, and increase their use of financial services during the COVID-19 crisis. However, they are less likely to feel satisfied with these services.

Financial institutions can urgently review their remote and in-person customer service procedures to ensure the needs of all families are being met.

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Politics

Visualizing the UK and EU Trade Relationship

The UK and the EU have recently laid out new terms for their relationship. So how important is the UK’s trade with the EU?

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Visualizing the UK and EU Trade Relationship

With Brexit solidified and a new trade deal having been struck between the UK and the EU, it appears that a sense of normalcy has returned to the European continent.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the two entities came into effect on January 1st, 2021, corresponding with the UK officially leaving the EU Single Market and Customs Union on the same day. The new deal will help the status quo of trade continue, but how important is trade between the EU and the UK?

This visualization, using data from the British House of Commons’ Statistics on UK-EU Trade Briefing Paper, reveals the significance of trade between the UK and EU member states.

Who Does the UK Trade With in the EU?

The EU is the UK’s biggest global trading partner, representing 47% of the country’s total trade.

To break it down further, the EU is the buyer of 42.6% of the UK’s total exports, while also being the source of 51.8% of their total imports. Here’s a closer look at exports and imports by country.

Country % of UK's Exports to the EU% of UK Imports from the EU
🇩🇪 Germany18.9%20.9%
🇳🇱 Netherlands14.2%13.8%
🇫🇷 France13.7%12.1%
🇮🇪 Ireland13.6%8.0%
🇮🇹 Italy6.9%6.8%
🇪🇸 Spain6.8%8.6%
🇧🇪 Belgium6.1%7.7%
🇸🇪 Sweden3.4%3.3%
🇵🇱 Poland2.6%3.9%
🇩🇰 Denmark2.2%2.2%
🇱🇺 Luxembourg1.8%1.0%
🇦🇹 Austria1.1%1.4%
🇨🇿 Czech Repbulic1.1%1.8%
🇫🇮 Finland 1.1%0.8%
🇵🇹 Portugal1.1%1.5%
🇬🇷 Greece0.9%1.0%
🇷🇴 Romania0.9%1.1%
🇭🇺 Hungary0.7%1.3%
🇲🇹 Malta0.7%0.2%
🇨🇾 Cyprus0.6%0.3%
🇸🇰 Slovakia0.5%0.9%
🇧🇬 Bulgaria0.3%0.4%
🇱🇹 Lithuania0.3%0.4%
🇱🇻 Latvia 0.2%0.3%
🇸🇮 Slovenia0.2%0.1%
🇭🇷 Croatia0.1%0.2%
🇪🇪 Estonia0.1%0.1%
🇪🇺 Total EU 28100%100%

The UK’s biggest trading partners within the EU are Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and France. Germany comes in at number one, making up nearly 21% of the UK’s imports and receiving almost 19% of the country’s exports.

Here’s a breakdown of the trade balances between the UK and the individual EU member states.

uk trade with eu

What’s in the Bag?

In any trade relationship, it’s also worth examining what types of products and services are switching hands.

Top Imports

The UK’s top three goods imports from the EU (in terms of percentage of total imports) are:

  • Motor vehicles (18%)
  • Pharmaceuticals (7%)
  • Electric machinery and appliances (4%)

Without the new agreement, goods would face tariffs based on the World Trade Organization’s standards. For example, motor vehicles, would have an average tariff of 10% imposed on them, without the provisions of the agreement.

The UK’s top three service imports from the EU are:

  • Travel (33%)
  • Business services (27%)
  • Transportation (18%)

Looking at services, the main import from the EU is travel, followed closely by business services and transportation. Travel makes the top three, as many countries in the EU make attractive vacation spots for UK citizens.

Top Exports

The UK’s top three goods exports to the EU (in terms of percentage of total exports to the EU) are:

  • Petroleum and petroleum products (12%)
  • Motor vehicles (10%)
  • Transport equipment (6%)

In terms of exports, petroleum is the UK’s largest export to the EU, representing 68% of the country’s total petroleum exports.

The UK’s top three service exports to the EU are:

  • Business services (33%)
  • Financial services (21%)
  • Travel (14%)

The main service export is business services, such as accounting, legal, advertising, R&D, engineering, and so on. Travel to the UK is a significant revenue generator as London is one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

EU vs. Global Trade

The UK’s relationship with other countries has remained steady. China is one of the country’s most important export destinations, growing 7% per year from 2010-2019.

At the same time, the UK’s exports to the United States have grown just over 4% per year over the same period, continuing to increase at a similar rate up to 2030.

uk trade with eu

While the UK currently has a £79 billion ($108 billion) trade deficit with the EU, they have a surplus of £49 billion ($67 billion) with non-EU countries. Additionally, the share of the UK’s exports going to the EU has been consistently falling over the last number of years. Foreign direct investment flows between the two entities have also been drastically reduced.

However, the UK and EU trade relationship is still highly intertwined and significant. Not only are the two connected through intangible flows but physically as well via pipelines, transport highways, and cables. In a typical year, 210 million passengers and 230 million tonnes of cargo are transported between the two entities.

The TCA will help to regulate these flows and continue a sense of status quo, however, it’s worth noting that if EU regulations are not met, tariffs could be imposed.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently determined risk and resilience factors for different UK industries based on the agreement. The report found that the food & agriculture, automotive, and financial services industries are most at risk, due to interconnected supply chains and the risk of tariffs being imposed. The life sciences and tech industries stand to do the best.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement

Overall, Brexit has had significant ramifications for all nations involved. Ireland, for example, is now geographically cut off from the EU, creating potential obstacles for both the movement of people and goods.

Now, after years of discussions, the UK and the EU have finally agreed to the terms for their new relationship, with a focus on sustainable trade, citizens’ security, and governance for long-standing cooperation, in order to guarantee a level playing field. The TCA has helped ease the transition, and while they’re no longer in a union, the UK and the EU have created a strong base for trade to continue normally.

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Money

Mapped: The Wealthiest Billionaire in Each U.S. State in 2021

Alongside Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, who are the richest people in the U.S.? This map reveals the wealthiest billionaire in each U.S. state.

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Mapping the Wealthiest Billionaires in Each U.S. State

It is a testament to the burgeoning wealth of the U.S. that there is a billionaire in nearly every U.S. state. The country is home to around 800 billionaires among its 330 million people.

This map from HowMuch.Net reveals the wealthiest billionaire in each U.S. state.

The Richest of the Rich

Billionaires are a constant across the United States. The only states that don’t house one of these high-net-worth individuals are: Alabama, New Mexico, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Delaware.

Here’s a further breakdown that shows the wealthiest billionaire in each U.S. state:

BillionaireNet Worth (Billions) State
Jeff Bezos$193.8Washington
Elon Musk$191.8Texas
Mark Zuckerberg $101.3California
Warren Buffet $87.6Nebraska
Jim Walton$67.5Arkansas
Michael Bloomberg$54.9New York
Phil Knight and Family $51.7Oregon
Daniel Gilbert $45.5Michigan
Charles Koch$44.9Kansas
John Mars$29.8Wyoming
Jacqueline Mars$28.9Virginia
Thomas Peterffy$22.9Florida
Pierre Omidyar$22.3Hawaii
Ernest Garcia II$18Arizona
Ray Dalio$16.9Connecticut
Ken Griffin$15Illinois
Abigail Johnson$15Massachusetts
Thomas First Jr. and Family$14.4Tennessee
John Menard Jr.$14.2Wisconsin
David Duffield$13.7Nevada
Carl Cook$10.5Indiana
Philip Anschutz$10.1Colorado
Tom and Judy Love$8.2Oklahoma
Jim Kennedy$8.2Georgia
Victoria Mars$7.2Pennsylvania
Rocco Commisso$6.9New Jersey
James Goodnight$6.5North Carolina
Mitchell Rales$6.5Maryland
Dennis Washington$6.2Montana
Les Wexner and Family$5.6Ohio
Harry Stine$5.4Iowa
Tamara Gustavson$5.3Kentucky
Pauline Macmillan Keinath$4.9Missouri
Frank VanderSloot$3.5Idaho
Gayle Benson$3.3Louisiana
Glen Taylor$2.5Minnesota
Jonathan Nelson$2Rhode Island
Anita Zucker$1.9South Carolina
Gail Miller$1.9 Utah
Susan Alfond$1.9Maine
T. Denny Sanford$1.6South Dakota
James Duff$1.4Mississippi
Jim Justice$1.2West Virginia

Among the richest of the rich in the U.S., most are men, but there are 10 female billionaires who are the wealthiest in their respective states.

Jeff Bezos is worth an astounding $193.8 billion. Amazon became increasingly successful during the pandemic, as lockdown orders caused many people to have to stay home and shop online rather than in stores.

The runner up, Elon Musk, is worth $191.8 billion. The recent boom in Elon Musk’s net worth was due to the sharp rise in Tesla’s share prices. Recently, Elon Musk shifted his residence to the state of Texas, a move which is indicative of a larger trend of internal migration away from America’s most pricey urban areas.

Mind the Gap

Many of these individuals have actually become more wealthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, widening the existing gap of wealth inequality within the country.

Together Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Warren Buffet (the five richest American billionaires) experienced a collective 85% increase in their wealth since the pandemic took hold. This equates to an added $303 billion in wealth.

In contrast, the median wealth of American households is about $121,700, and due to COVID-19, there has been a rising inability to cover bills and a risk of mass home loss in the country.

Overall, while we rely on companies like Amazon for our socially-distanced shopping and Facebook to keep us connected during the pandemic, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg will likely continue to accrue immense fortunes. The wealthiest billionaires in the U.S. are likely to continue growing their net worth, pandemic or not, and have been consistently outpacing the lower to upper-middle income groups.

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