Eq: Total Market

(New York)

This is a dark day economically. New data is flowing in from many sources, and all of it is pointing to a severe decline in demand that seems ever more likely to push the US into a depression. Unemployment claims came in at another 6.6m this morning, meaning a total of 16.6m Americans have applied in the last three weeks. In other data, fuel and energy demand has fallen so far that it is now at 1960s level. Electricity usage has plummeted on the back of the sharp decline in industrial output.


FINSUM: Let’s do some rough calculations. The US workforce is about 164m people. We started this coronavirus lockdown with just under 4% unemployment, and have since added 16.6m people. By a rough calculation that means we likely have already hit 14% unemployment.

(New York)

One of the small but important pillars of the recent years of the bull market has been Millennials beginning to invest. However, as this coronavirus meltdown has unfolded, that growing support for the market may evaporate. Millennials mostly invest in the market via retirement plans, such as 401(k)s, but given the huge layoffs occurring, they are likely to have to raid their retirement funds in order to get through these hard times. Because of this there is likely to be billions withdrawn from the market.


FINSUM: Millennials were a growing part of the market, but given their often precarious financial circumstances, it seems like their participation will be less for the next year or so.

(Washington)

The President and his team are working furiously on plans for how to open the $22 tn US economy after its unprecedented lockdown. “We’re looking at the concept where we open sections of the country and we’re also looking at the concept where you open up everything”, says Trump. In particular, the White House is looking to open the economy entirely within 30 days, or possibly 60 days, with different schedules being considered. The new strategy is to open the economy based on much more widespread and rapid testing. This will allow workers to be verified as having (or not) the virus and sent back to work.


FINSUM: Just as the coronavirus is a nearly unprecedented occurrence, so is the reopening of the world’s largest economy. It is going to take exceptionally good planning to balance the competing priorities of public health and economic restoration.

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