Historical Precedents, Fed Balance Sheet, Food Warnings: Eco Day

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(Bloomberg) -- Welcome to Friday, Americas. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help take you through to the weekend:

  • How will the ongoing slump compare with previous downturns? One study says pandemics can harm the economy for decades
  • The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet has topped $5 trillion for the first time amid the U.S. central bank’s aggressive efforts to cushion debt markets against the coronavirus outbreak through large-scale bond-buying programs
  • Colombia’s central bank is forecast to cut its key rate for the first time in two years at a regularly scheduled meeting as the economy reels from the oil price crash and the coronavirus pandemic
  • Argentina is sacrificing the economy to ward off the coronavirus
  • From Spain to Germany, farmers are warning of fresh food shortages, while in the U.S. workers critical to the food supply are starting to fall ill
  • U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he’d do “whatever it takes” to prop up businesses and jobs, and he’s putting the country’s money where his mouth is
  • The virus shockwave is hitting China’s factories, with European and U.S. firms canceling orders and delaying payments as their economies all but grind to a halt
  • The Reserve Bank of India cut interest rates and announced steps to boost liquidity in an unscheduled move, joining central banks around the world in scaling up stimulus, while Japan’s parliament has cleared the way for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to come up with new measures
  • Australia could be facing fastest decline in activity since World War II, according to National Australia Bank Ltd

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