The American government has committed more than $6T to arrest the economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic, with $2.35T in fiscal spending and $4T from the Federal Reserve. The figure represents more than a quarter of U.S. economic output, and will mean for the first time since WWII, the nation will owe more than its economy produces in a year. Despite the huge congressional stimulus, proportionate to GDP, it is the world's 10th largest, behind Japan, Singapore and the Netherlands. (FT)
Protection measures against the coronavirus continued to tear through the employment ranks, with 5.245 million more Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, the Labor Department reported this morning. The new filings bring the crisis total to just over 22 million, nearly wiping out all the job gains since the Great Recession. Though the most recent total, for the week ended April 11, represented a drop from the previous two weeks, it still showed that the damage to the U.S. labor market remains profound. The numbers of late have been bolstered by measures taken to allow more workers to file claims. They now include independent contractors and others who previously were not eligible for benefits. (CNBC)
BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, said assets under management dropped in the first quarter by the most on record as its clients' portfolios were slammed by the turmoil in global markets caused by coronavirus. The group's assets tumbled to $6.5tn from a record high of $7.4tn at the end of 2019. The company still garnered $35bn in inflows over the period, although a significant portion came from an influx of cash as investors moved to the safest types of assets. (WSJ)
With Northwest Quadrant Wealth Management, a Registered Investment Advisor I am Josh Fenili.