by Tyler Durden
US deaths hit 114
Senate to vote on 2nd economic rescue bill
Iran reports another 147 deaths
Hong Kong reported 14 new confirmed cases
France case total nears 2,000, death toll passes 250
WHO declares virus “enemy of humanity”
State Department suspends visa services
Germany sees 1k new cases as total nears 10k
Kudlow says stimulus package should be $1.3 trillion
Merkel warns country facing biggest challenge since WWII
European Union seals borders
PM Johnson prepares ‘London Lockdown’ plan
Trump says China hasn’t asked the US to suspend tariffs
UAW succeeds in pushing Detroit automakers to shut down factories
UK reportedly about to close schools as Boris scrambles to catch up with policy U-turn
ECB holding emergency call over virus response
Facebook launches coronavirus website information center
France follows Germany by eliminating bank capital buffers
HUD suspends evictions
Cuomo bars NY companies from having more than 50%
Wal-Mart shares hit record high
US, Canada agree to close border
Cuomo says state “looking into” reports of Covid-19 cluster in Borough Park
White House now pushing to send 2 $1,000 checks to every American
Spanish Olympic Committee head says Tokyo Games should be postponed
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Update (1540ET): With Larry Kudlow has taken to Fox Business to try and jawbone the market higher as the Senate begins its vote on the ‘Part 2’ economic stimulus package for small businesses, which we suspect will pass following last night’s meeting with Mnuchin.
During the interview, Kudlow said the total value of the third economic stimulus package should be $1.3 trillion, and if it takes more than $1.3 trillion worth of stimulus for ‘Phase 3’, “we will do more than that”.
Yesterday, Mnuchin said the stimulus would include $1 trillion in direct aid to Americans (checks in mailboxes), and another $300 billion in tax relief for small businesses. As one twitter wit pointed out…
Kudlow today says phase three stimulus should be $1.3trln – growth rate of stimulus estimates is slowing https://t.co/AnQpn5Nq9m
— Yogi Chan (@Yogi_Chan) March 18, 2020
A word of advice, guys: the stimulus conversation is starting to sound a little desperate. The market wanted this done last week. The longer it takes from here on out, the further we will fall.
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Update (1530ET): A State Department spokeswoman just said that the US is suspending visa services in most countries worldwide as the world turns inward to combat the coronavirus.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire revealed an aid package on Wednesday, following in the footsteps of Germany by allowing French banks to ignore capital buffers to tap an additional €8 billion in capital. He also called on the ECB to follow up with a “massive” intervention, as the ECB governing council is reportedly holding an “emergency call” on virus response.
The US military is reportedly flying in test kits in from Italy.
In a worrying sign for the banks, JPM just reported that it will be closing 1,000 Chase branches out of the more than 5,100 across the US. This comes just one day after Treasury Secretary Mnuchin insisted that no banks were considering closures.
Facebook denied a WaPo report claiming the company was working with the government to build an app to help track the spread of coronavirus by exploiting sensitive personal data. Instead, the company announced a new website to help provide coroanvirus information – news, testing info, treatment, prevention – to all of FB’s 2 billion+ users.
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