March 24, 2020
Fed Sidesteps Congress’s Bickering With Sweeping Rescue Plan
“The Federal Reserve ventured into political territory Monday by offering to directly finance U.S. companies, jumping ahead of Congress — which is still arguing over similar assistance. Unveiling unprecedented measures to shelter the economy from the coronavirus, the Fed acted after the failure so far by U.S. lawmakers to advance a $2 trillion dollar stimulus package.”
Macron Scraps Budget With $384 Billion Virus Response
“France is tearing up its budget program and plans huge spending as the coronavirus outbreak sends the economy into a deep slump. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire will present an emergency budget on Wednesday that will include 45 billion euros ($50 billion) of spending plus 300 billion euros of loan guarantees. France’s debt will rise above 100% of economic output.”
Japan’s Economic Activity Drop Sounds Alarm on Global Growth
“Activity in Japan’s economy shrank sharply in March, adding to domestic and global recession fears as the impact of the coronavirus slams supply chains, shutters factories and keeps shoppers and tourists at home. A gauge of Japan’s service sector activity slid sharply to a record low of 32.7, according to preliminary purchasing managers data. The au Jibun Bank Japan purchasing managers index for manufacturing also fell to 44.8 in March, indicating the strongest contraction in the factory sector since April 2009. A PMI reading below 50 signal activity is contracting.”
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