Coronavirus: Record number of Americans file for unemployment | BBC
The number of Americans filing for unemployment has surged to a record high as the economy goes into lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 3.3 million people registered to claim jobless benefits for the week ended 21 March, according to Department of Labor data. That is nearly five times more than the previous record of 695,000 set in 1982. The rush overwhelmed many state offices handling the claims and signalled an abrupt end to a decade of expansion.
The bill for saving the world economy is $7 trillion and rising London | CNN Business
The United States, Europe, Japan, China and India are unleashing trillions of dollars in government spending and newly created money as they desperately attempt to keep the global economy from sinking into depression.The response to the coronavirus pandemic has been unprecedented in terms of speed and scale. Commitments from governments and central banks to date are close to $7 trillion, according to an analysis by CNN Business. The total includes government spending, loan guarantees and tax breaks, as well as money printing by central banks to buy assets such as bonds and stock funds.
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Canadian heavy oil cheaper than a pint of beer as North American demand for fuel plummets | FP
Western Canadian Select heavy oil price benchmark fell 30.5 per cent on Thursday to US$6.45 per barrel, which analysts joke is less than a pint of beer. U.S. crude prices fell 7.7 per cent to US$22.60 per barrel.
“Prices are so low that there’s no point in transporting if you don’t have to. If you can move it into storage, you will,” said Stephanie Kainz, senior associate at RS Energy Group, a division of Austin, Tex.-based Enverus.
Bank of England warns of long term damage to economy | THE GUARDIAN
The Bank of England has warned there are mounting risks of widespread job losses and companies going out of business across Britain as the economic costs of the coronavirus outbreak become more apparent. Leaving interest rates on hold at the lowest levels in its 325-year history, the Bank said long-term damage to employment and growth was likely as the government steps up its efforts to contain the disease.
Fed balance sheet hits record, as Powell says there is no limit to lending power | Market Watch
The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet expanded to a record $5.3 trillion in the week ended March 25 from $4.7 trillion in the prior week, the central bank said Thursday. The Fed’s balance sheet is expected to continue to expand as the central bank steps in to try to keep credit flowing in all corners of the financial market, including Treasurys, commercial paper and municipal bonds. Much of this increase was driven by the Fed’s open-ended buying of U.S. government bonds.
IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva’s Statement Following a G20 Ministerial Call on the Coronavirus Emergency | IMF
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva made the following statement today following a conference call of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors:
“The human costs of the Coronavirus pandemic are already immeasurable and all countries need to work together to protect people and limit the economic damage. This is a moment for solidarity—which was a major theme of the meeting today of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.