Financial Daily Dose 3.30.2020 | Top Story: Diving deeper into the details of the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill became law this weekend

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Unpacking Friday’s $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill reveals a heck of a lot of “small favors to special interests” and “a slew of policy changes that had gathered dust, some for years in a stagnant and divided Congress.” Here’s a look at some of the winners – WSJ

As we suspected, markets came back to the coronavirus reality on Friday, but on the whole, last week was what passes for a winner these days on Wall Street – WSJ and Marketplace

One crowd loving the resurgence of volatility? That would be high-frequency traders, which “typically deploy sophisticated algorithms and powerful computers to move in and out of markets at lightning speeds” and “tend to do well” in a trading atmosphere as jittery as this one – WSJ

The fate of April bills coming due will tell us an awful lot more about the hardship to come for the U.S. economy, including “which bills are put ahead of others and the terms on which they are settled” – NYTimes and Bloomberg

A chunk of America’s grocery delivery workforce—in the form of Instacart employees—are planning to strike today over concerns that the company hasn’t “provided them with supplies to protect them from being infected during the coronavirus pandemic.” Instacart has 200k shoppers, independent employees “who can work as little or as much as they want,” and the company plans to add 300k more in the coming months – NYTimes

Some behind-the-scenes action on GM’s pivot from an automaker into a supplier of much-needed ventilators, stumbles and all – NYTimes and Bloomberg

The Journal explores how banks and fintech firms are “starting to toughen their approval standards for new loans to consumer and small businesses” at the worst possible time for the hundreds of thousands of Americans hit hard by the pandemic who need that cash the most – WSJ

Meanwhile, large U.S. banks are “quietly discouraging some of America’s safest borrowers from tapping existing credit lines amid record corporate drawdowns on lending facilities”—the apparent result of Wall Street’s focus on profitability more than any concern over liquidity – Bloomberg

We’re learning more about the Fed’s deal with BlackRock, the “world’s largest asset manager,” which is helping the Fed “manage the purchase of billions of dollars worth of bonds.” In short, the firm  “won’t be making a mint off the Federal Reserve” – NYTimes and WSJ

And since we’re talking Chair Powell and friends, how about this Bloomberg take that the U.S. central bank’s swift and aggressive actions in recent weeks effectively brought “the global financial system back from the abyss” – Bloomberg

A coalition of federal financial regulators, including the Fed, the FDIC, and the OCC, have issued an “emergency rule stating that banks required to adopt the current expected credit losses, or CECL, accounting standard in 2020 may delay its estimated impact on their regulatory capital for two years” as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak – Law360

We missed vital lessons from China in containing the spread of the virus. What are the chances we’ll pay attention to its effort to restart its post-coronavirus economy? – WSJ

Allianz Global Investors is shuttering two of its hedge funds thanks to heavy losses sustained in “recent weeks on stock-options trades” thanks to their net buying position in puts that didn’t pan out “in large part because the market sold off more rapidly this month than it had during past downturns” – WSJ

Turns out last year’s incredible image of a black hole actually has even more to offer us. If astronomers are right (and can pull off the science), the image’s “nested series of rings” could reveal “the whole universe,” as “light from an infinite array of distant stars and galaxies can wrap around the black hole like ribbons around a maypole, again and again before coming back” to the telescope – NYTimes

Stay safe,

MDR

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