Financial Daily Dose 3.24.2020 | Top Story: Fed’s “Unlimited” QE Promise Doesn’t Reassure Markets Amid D.C. Deadlock

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A promise of “unlimited” QE from the Fed Monday morning briefly turned the tides on Dow futures but wasn’t enough to overcome another day of COVID-19-related fears and DC gridlock over the $1.8 trillion stimulus package III that combined to drive markets down still further by day’s end – NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch

Early signs suggest markets are liking renewed stimulus negotiations and the Fed action upon closer look – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Much more about the Fed’s willingness to fight this shock to the markets with every weapon in its arsenal – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Marketplace

And about what’s increasingly looking like the White House’s willingness to set aside expert medical advice on social distancing in favor of restarting the rapidly cratering U.S. economy [even as other countries are going into nationwide lockdown mode] – WSJ and ThePost and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

The Journal reports that U.S. airlines are working on a plan that would “virtually shut down” all domestic flights across the U.S.—a move that “airline executives, pilot-union leaders and federal transportation officials said they increasingly view as inevitable” – WSJ

As businesses turn to tech-based tools in an attempt to keep work stumbling along virtually while works socially distance, it’s looking increasingly likely that Big Tech will emerge from this crisis era stronger than ever – NYTimes

Meanwhile, activist investor Bill Ackman’s dropping $2.5 billion in equities and removed all of the hedges he put in place for Pershing to offset the effects of COVID-19. He’s going long, and he’s calling on the federal government to deliver a “mandated nationwide shutdown over the next 30 days rather than letting individual states implement their own measures for tackling the coronavirus pandemic” – Bloomberg

Shocker here—turns out certain Senators weren’t the only ones making key stock sales just in the nick of time – WSJ

SCOTUS isn’t hearing arguments at the moment, but it did issue three decisions on Monday—one of which found that state governments “cannot be sued for copyright infringement, rejecting a case filed against North Carolina over footage of a famous pirate shipwreck.” The ruling “struck down a 1990 statute that aimed to empower copyright owners to sue states, saying Congress lacked the constitutional power to ‘abrogate’ state immunity in such a way” – Law360

California utility PG&E has agreed to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter “in connection with the Camp Fire, the state’s deadliest wildfire,” just months after California regulators “determine last year that PG&E’s equipment caused the fire” – NYTimes and WSJ

Pretty fascinating read from last weekend’s Times Business section about the ill-fated launch of Venezuela’s Petro cryptocurrency and the delicate dance between a coder and dictator that brought it to life the first time around – NYTimes

Theranos Bonnie & Clyde—Elizabeth Holmes and her ex-COO Sunny Balwani—will “face separate criminal trials over charges they lied to investors and doctors about the now-defunct blood testing startup’s product capabilities” after a Monday ruling from ND Ca. Judge Edward Davila – Law360

In a major reversal from its recent buying-spree-days, SoftBank announced plans to sell off $41 billion in assets to “prop up its plunging stock price and shore up its debt-laden balance sheet following the threat of a ratings downgrade” – WSJ and Law360

Canadian messaging app company Kik has filed a motion for summary judgment in the SEC’s case against it over the company’s Kin initial coin offering. The agency accuses Kik of conducting an unregistered ICO, while Kik argues that the SEC’s action is an “unprecedented and dramatic expansion” of its regulatory authority – Law360

These stark pictures of the Great Empty are worth at least thousands of words on the power and scale of the virus – NYTimes

Stay safe,
MDR

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