Second Weekly Commentary: COVID-19 Response


A trillion here, a trillion there

This week we saw something we haven’t seen in U.S. politics in a long time: bipartisanship.  The Senate passed an unprecedented $2+ trillion CARES-3 (“Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act”) bill that is expected to pass through the House and be signed quickly by the President.  The bill alone represents about 10% of U.S. GDP.  Total emergency stimulus enacted across agencies, including the Fed, now amounts to more than $3 trillion, and there are rumors of more in the works.

 

The Economy and Policy 

Key observations this week:

  • The Senate passed the $2 trillion CARES Act to provide additional stimulus to businesses, consumers, and healthcare providers. This follows the Family First Coronavirus Response Act adopted last week.
  • Unemployment spiked to the highest level recorded. Initial claims (NSA) were:
    • Week ending Mar 14: 250,892
    • Week ending Mar 21: 3,283,000
  • The U.S. private sector is pitching in.  Companies continue to announce initiatives to hire, increase wages, and/or create relief funds for workers.
  • China is bouncing back: Real-time indicators of China’s economy are showing a re-emergence from the Covid-induced slump that started about 6 weeks ago. Our hope is that the U.S. and other large economies will show the same resilience with time and cooperation from governments and the private sector.

 

 

Over the coming days and weeks, the news cycle – particularly in the U.S. – will be brutal. Collectively, our near-term goal is to shed light on what we are seeing in the economy and how it could impact you and our HCG community.  We are hopeful that from this pandemic, new and exciting opportunities will emerge, and creative solutions will be delivered like never before.

Please be safe, try and stay at home, and know we will emerge stronger.

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