Overseas Headlines – March 30, 2020

United States:

Wall Street Is Quietly Telling Companies Not to Draw Their Loans

“The biggest U.S. banks have been quietly discouraging some of America’s safest borrowers from tapping existing credit lines amid record corporate drawdowns on lending facilities, according to people familiar with the behind-the-scenes conversations. For Wall Street, it’s not an issue of liquidity as much as profitability. Investment-grade revolvers — especially those financed in the heyday of the bull market are a low margin business, and some even lose money. The justification is that they help cement relationships with clients who will in turn stick with the lenders for more expensive capital-markets or advisory needs.”



Italy Home Quarantine Repeats Mistake Made in China, Doctors Say

“Italy needs to shift to mass quarantining of coronavirus patients with mild symptoms instead of letting them isolate at home, according to a group of Chinese experts who traveled to the European nation to advise officials there. Doctors in Wuhan made the same error early on in the outbreak, said Liang Zong’An, head of the respiratory department at the West China Hospital at Sichuan University. While seriously ill patients were admitted to hospitals, doctors at the time recommended that those with mild symptoms isolate themselves at home, in part to reduce the strain on Wuhan’s overburdened health care system.”



Korea Plans Handouts to Families to Cushion Virus Shock

“Just two weeks after South Korea adopted one extra budget, President Moon Jae-in said another is already being planned to help insulate households against the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The budget would provide payments to families below the top 30 percentile of income, with some four-person households getting about 1 million won ($815), Moon said Monday at an emergency economic meeting. The government will seek parliament’s approval shortly after general elections on April 15, Moon said.”



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