Your Evening Briefing


(Bloomberg) --

U.S. stocks keep falling, capping their worst week  since the 2008 financial crisis. Goldman Sachs warned the U.S. economy may shrink 24% in the second quarter. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says he wants direct payments to households to go out within three weeks of Congress passing a stimulus package, yet former IRS officials say checks could take months to reach Americans. Money aside, there are 256,678 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide, with 10,365 dead. The World Health Organization warns the pace of infections is speeding up

Bloomberg is mapping the spread of the coronavirus globally and in the U.S. For the latest news on the outbreak, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Here are today’s top stories

The Covid-19 response has brought all three levels of American government into conflict. President Donald Trump told state governors to buy their own medical supplies, but then his administration outbid them. (Trump chuckled about it). Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered New Yorkers to stay home, calling it the “most drastic action we can take.” His decision though came after he repeatedly slammed his longtime nemesis, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, for seeking the same order.

An unapproved drug Trump keeps touting as a possible treatment for Covid-19 can kill in dosages of just two grams. Trump, when challenged by a journalist who suggested his misstatements about the medicine might give Americans false hope, hurled personal attacks at him.

Four U.S. senators (three Republicans and one Democrat) sold stock ahead of the market crash after receiving sensitive briefings on the virus in late January, fueling accusations of insider trading during a national crisis. One, Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, responded to calls for his resignation by calling for a senate review of his own transactions. Trump, however, called them honorable people.

Coronavirus didn’t invent the wealth gap, it just exposed divides that were already there. In the past two weeks, the sick tried and failed to get tested, workers watched their retirement savings shrivel, and thousands lost their jobs. Money and power, however, have been tickets to comfort and protection in America since its founding. This is how the wealthy jumped to the front of the line for virus tests.

The U.S. economy has never been more dependent on service jobs. More than 10% of working Americans were employed in restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues in February, and those businesses attract 8.6% of all consumer spending—about $1.3 trillion a year. The coronavirus has put more than 15 million of these jobs at risk.

Vladimir Putin isn’t folding yet to what the Kremlin claims is blackmail by Saudi Arabia, signaling the oil price war Russia triggered will continue.

What’s Joe Weisenthal thinking about? The Bloomberg news director says that until policy responses to the pandemic start to produce data as to their effectiveness, expect market volatility to continue.

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

What you’ll want to read tonight

Team USA is urging its athletes to prioritize their own health, and the health of those around them, over their desire to train for the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics. With universities and training centers closed across the country, and states entering various forms of public lockdown, those hoping to compete in Tokyo this summer are finding it harder to follow public warnings and stay in peak physical shape. But in the end, it may not matter: The games appear increasingly unlikely to take place.

Your Evening Briefing

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