Overseas Headlines – March 18, 2020

United States:

Fed Feels Heat to Pump Out More Loans, Go Past Crisis-Era Rules

The U.S. Federal Reserve is facing increasing pressure to go well beyond its crisis-era play book and dramatically boost its support for the nose-diving economy via new lending programs for businesses and state and local governments. Proponents of the more aggressive measures argue that the Fed needs to open up the spigots to help offset a coronavirus-driven cash crunch that threatens to force firms to shut down and push state and local finances to the breaking point.”



Pound Slides to Weakest Since 1985, Surpassing Brexit Vote Lows

“The pound fell to its lowest level against the dollar in over three decades on the shocks caused by the coronavirus. Investors have doubted the U.K. government’s response to the virus, which has contrasted with more immediate lockdown measures across Europe. Sterling has also suffered due to heightened global demand for the greenback, with a gauge of the dollar up a seventh straight session.”



U.S.-China Ties Are Tanking Just When They Need to Get Along

“The unfolding coronavirus pandemic could’ve been a moment for the U.S. and China to tackle a shared challenge. Instead, it appears to only be accelerating a long-anticipated separation. China struck the latest blow Wednesday with the unprecedented expulsion of more than a dozen American journalists covering Beijing for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. The provocation comes as part of a tit-for-tat exchange in which the governments of both President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping seek to deflect blame for how they’ve handled the outbreak.”



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