Overseas Headlines – April 21, 2020

United States:

The Fed Is Buying $41 Billion of Assets Daily and It’s Not Alone

“Central-bank balance sheets are expanding to record levels amid their latest buying spree, raising questions about how big they can get and whether those assets can ever be sold back to markets. Policy makers didn’t have much luck paring down much smaller portfolios in the decade since the financial crisis. And now they have to bankroll a coronavirus economy that’s putting government budgets under unprecedented strain and threatening to drive companies everywhere out of business.”



Italy to Relax Lockdown in Key Step for Europe’s Virus Fightback

“Italy will present a plan this week to ease its rigid lockdown, joining Germany, France and Austria in pursuing a gradual return to normality as coronavirus infection rates fall and pressure mounts to reopen businesses. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte aims to roll out a detailed restart program beginning on May 4, indicating that the process will take time to mitigate risks of re-igniting the spread of the disease.”



Singapore Pledges $2.7 Billion More, Virus Measures Extended

“Singapore will extend its partial lockdown for a further four weeks until June 1 to “decisively” bring down coronavirus cases within the community, and will provide an additional S$3.8 billion ($2.7 billion) to support businesses that are reeling from the fallout.Authorities will scale up testing “substantially” to quickly detect any cases that pop up amid concerns over rising unlinked cases. Singapore will close more workplaces, with only the most essential services remaining open, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a live broadcast to the nation Tuesday.”



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