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Private-sector companies shed a whopping 20.2 million jobs in April as many were forced to shutter during a nationwide shutdown to slow the coronavirus, underscoring the biggest crisis for American workers and the U.S. labor market in nearly a century.”

[For reference, the worst month for job losses during the Global Financial Crisis was 835k set in Feb 2009]

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/adp-says-202-million-private-sector-jobs-lost-in-april-during-coronavirus-pandemic-2020-05-06


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This was a really unusual recession in that it was so fast and so totalizing. The $2.2 trillion that passed in the CARES Act wasn’t enough for lower-income families. Also, you don’t just need to make families whole; you also need to make sure that businesses are surviving. We haven’t done enough there.

“When businesses collapse, they lay their workers off. Those workers then spend less money in the economy, which causes other businesses to collapse on top of that, because we still have these outbreaks ongoing and people are still really afraid of this virus.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/05/so-the-economy-is-a-disaster/611251/


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The Bank of England held off further stimulus measures but said it was ready to take fresh action to counter the coronavirus hammering which could cause the country’s biggest economic slump in over 300 years

“The BoE said its Monetary Policy Committee kept Bank Rate at its all-time low of 0.1% and left its target for bond-buying, most of it British government debt, at 645 billion pounds.”

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-britain-boe/bank-of-england-holds-off-on-fresh-stimulus-sees-worst-slump-in-300-years-idUKKBN22I3BP


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More cracks appear in the EU:

The European Union has come under fire from across the Dáil over its response to the Coronavirus pandemic and recovery funds.

“The Dáil heard that “alarm bells are ringing”, that the EU have “not learned any lessons” from the last recession in Ireland during the 2007 financial crash.”

https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/eu-has-not-learned-any-lessons-from-financial-crisis-dail-told-997957.html


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Italy, Spain and Greece all face economic contractions of more than 9% this year, according to the European Commission. Spending on rescue programs will bloat already stretched public finances, widening the gulf between northern and southern countries and straining the bloc.

“The risk was underlined by the commission Wednesday as it warned that the EU faces the deepest downturn in its history.”

https://fortune.com/2020/05/06/euro-zone-historic-recession-coronavirus/


“Chinese consumers remain fearful of going out in public, shopping, going to movies and enjoying activities that put them in close proximity with their neighbors,” the former Morgan Stanley Asia chairman told CNBC’s “Trading Nation” on Wednesday. “Consumer behavior is not all that dissimilar in populations subjected to an unprecedented shock in their health security.””

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/06/market-is-too-optimistic-about-a-post-coronavirus-world-stephen-roach.html


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Chile’s central bank held its policy rate close to zero as the nation braces for its worst economic crisis in nearly four decades.

“The bank’s board left its key rate at 0.5% — matching a record low — at its meeting Wednesday, and signaled that monetary policy will remain expansive for a long time.”

https://www.bloombergquint.com/global-economics/chile-holds-key-rate-near-zero-to-fight-worst-slump-since-1980s


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Africa’s most populous nation is getting almost nothing from its massive oil wealth.

“While headline Brent-crude futures have rallied sharply in the past few weeks — rising above $30 a barrel on Tuesday — a glut of Nigerian oil is fetching about $10 less than that. It’s a level that means fiscal revenue for the continent’s biggest economy has cratered.”

https://www.worldoil.com/news/2020/5/6/petrostates-forced-to-consider-life-without-oil-revenues-as-prices-stay-low


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“The collapsing oil prices and the dire outlook for energy markets has created a certain amount of worry about the future of the [Saudi] economy,” Robert Mogielnicki, a resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, told The Media Line, adding that it could now be facing one of its most difficult tests.

““Whether the economy is going to collapse or not depends on how far policymakers are willing to go to make necessary adjustments given the economic constraints,” he said, noting that many oil-dependent economies are teetering on the brink.”

https://themedialine.org/by-region/pandemic-oil-prices-force-saudis-to-take-painful-economic-steps/


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From Kazakhstan to the North Sea and the United States, physical crude has jumped in value in recent days but the rally will likely be tactical and short-lived rather than signaling a proper recovery, according to traders and analysts.”

https://business.financialpost.com/pmn/business-pmn/from-zero-to-hero-physical-oil-rally-might-be-short-lived


A lobbying group representing U.S. airlines on Wednesday said federally mandated minimum service requirements are “unsustainable” for carriers as the Covid-19 pandemic sends passenger numbers to the lowest levels since the 1950s.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/06/coronavirus-airlines-want-government-to-loosen-minimum-flight-rules-as-passenger-numbers-drop.html


With stores shuttered for weeks, employees furloughed and sales plummeting, many major retail stores, once shopping meccas, may not be able to survive the financial turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic.”

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/major-retailers-face-bankruptcy-uncertain-futures-due-covid/story?id=70515307


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…in a crisis, whatever its price, debt turns radioactive. As revenues plummet, interest payments loom large. Debt maturities become mortal threats. The chance of contagious defaults rises, and the system creaks.

“This is happening now and, as they always do, companies are reaching for more debt to stay afloat.”

https://www.ft.com/content/e2d7f424-8eb6-11ea-9e12-0d4655dbd44f


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The coronavirus pandemic has hit cocaine traffickers, a UN report has found, as global lockdowns have brought transport to a near-standstill

“…and disrupted a business that relies on legal trade to “camouflage” its activities and on individuals being able to distribute drugs to consumers.”

https://www.ft.com/content/99ca023c-c9d2-4263-a4ac-400d44568147


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“Since the end of February, I’ve conducted some 20 interviews with epidemiologists and virologists… Despite getting expert answers to dozens of my questions, the one question I haven’t been able to get an answer for is this: Who, exactly, is planning for the nightmare scenario in which we never get a vaccine or a breakthrough treatment?

“…There has never been a successful mRNA vaccine, like those being tested by Moderna and others, brought to market after approval. Ditto for a viral vector vaccine like the one the Oxford University group is pursuing. And traditional vaccines classically take many years to get to patients.”

https://www.denverpost.com/2020/05/06/feldman-america-has-no-plan-for-the-worst-case-scenario-on-covid-19/


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The same kind of model risk that played out during the financial crisis is playing out now. Just as the models the banks used in 2008 proved unreliable in predicting how severe the crisis would be, today’s models are failing to pinpoint with anything near accuracy how fast and how far the coronavirus contagion will spread under various isolating scenarios.

“We’re seeing policymakers iterate their response to the virus in the same ad hoc way that we in the financial sector reacted to the global financial collapse. Just as we did, they’re leaning heavily on data for a problem the models can’t comprehend.”

https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/496384-coronavirus-is-a-problem-data-models-cannot-comprehend


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