CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Global economic impact of COVID-19 could be as high as $82 trillion, Airbnb warns against parties on its properties, and IRS to launch stimulus payment hotline

ByMichael Finney and Simone Chavoor KGO logo
Wednesday, May 20, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Economic impact of COVID-19 could be as high as $82 trillion over next five years

The global economic impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic could be as high as $82 trillion over the next five years, according to the University of Cambridge.

The Centre for Risk Studies at the University of Cambridge's Judge Business School calculated that with an optimistic, rapid-recovery scenario, the global economy could lose as much as $3.3 trillion. But in an "economic depression scenario," the losses could be as high as $82 trillion. This would be over the course of five years, for the entire global economy.

The Centre for Risk Studies also broke down the effect on the American economy, stating that the U.S.'s risk ranges from $550 billion (0.4% of five-year GDP) to $19.9 trillion (13.6%).

"The new calculations on GDP@Risk from the pandemic are not forecasts, but rather are projections based on various plausible scenarios that could unfold in the next five years related to the economic impact of COVID-19," said Dr Andrew Coburn, Chief Scientist at the Risk Centre in Cambridge.

Airbnb warns Bay Area residents not to throw parties on properties rented via their platform

Airbnb is warning customers not to throw parties in spaces rented via their platform this coming Memorial Day weekend.

In April, Airbnb announced that they would not allow for hosts to authorize parties and events in locations where such activities were banned. Now, the company has released a statement saying that not only will any guests found to be hosting a party be banned from the platform, but Airbnb will cooperate with local law enforcement regarding any investigations.

Airbnb noted that Governor Gavin Newsom has announced that the state is entering into Stage 2 of reopening, but that bans on gatherings and mandates on social distancing remain in effect in the Bay Area -- meaning Airbnbs in the Bay Area are likewise prohibited from hosting unauthorized gatherings.

IRS opening a phone hotline to answer stimulus payment questions

The IRS is adding 3,500 telephone representatives to answer Americans' questions about their Economic Impact Payments.

The IRS stressed that the most up-to-date information can still be found on their website,, but that callers can get answers to common questions, and will soon have the option of talking to a live representative after listening to the IRS's informational outgoing message. The phone number is (800) 919-9835.

The service is currently extremely limited, but the IRS said that they are "bringing back additional assistors as state and local advisories permit." 7 On Your Side tried to reach a representative at the new number on Tuesday, but were unable to reach a live person.

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