March 20: GOP lawmakers unveiltheir Phase 3 coronavirusresponse bill, theCoronavirus EconomicStabilization Act of
2020, which wouldwaive penalties onearly withdrawals fromretirement plans of up to$100,000 for pandemic-relatedissues. Meanwhile, PresidentDonald Trump is ordering theTreasury to delay the deadlinefor filing federal taxes to July 15,which the GOP bill would also do.
The CARES Act directs the Treasurysecretary to provide up to $208 billion incollateralized loans to industries affectedby the virus, $58 billion to facilitateliquidity in the airlines and $150 billionfor other distressed sectors; the programdoes not include grants to or “bailouts”for the airlines or other industries.
March 23: S&P 500 hits a low of 2,237.New York Stock Exchange moves to all-electronic trading.
March 26–27: Senate and House passthe $2.2 trillion CARES Act, as hospitalsin U.S. pandemic hotspots (like NewYork) pass a tipping point. The packageincludes an extra $600 a week for workers receiving unemployment for fourmonths, a big boost for the health caresystem and direct checks to Americans.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.,
says on the House floor before the
vote: “Today, we have all acknowledged
that our nation faces an economic and
health emergency of historic pro-
portions over the coronavirus
pandemic, the worst pan-
demic in over 100 years.”
Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the
top Republican on the House
Financial Services Committee,
explains after the vote: “While not
perfect, is the appropriate action to pro-
vide necessary resources to get
Americans and our economy
through this national emer-
gency.” Plus, it gives Treasury
Secretary Steven Mnuchin
and Fed Chair Powell “the
resources they need to
address the liquidity crisis fac-
ing Main Street businesses that
employ millions of Americans,” he states.
March 31: Dow losses 23% in the firstquarter, the biggest first-quarter andthe second-biggest overall drop in its135-year history; the index fell 25% inthe fourth quarter of 1987.
April 1: Independent financial advisoryfirms with less than 500 employees thatare having difficulty meeting payroll costsand rent can apply for a small-businessloan, as can other businesses, through thePayroll Protection Program — createdby the CARES Act. The PPP programinitially had $349 billion to disburse butthat amount is expanded by another $310billion by Congress.
April 27: The Financial IndustryRegulatory Authority announces plansto launch online exams soon for theSecurities Industry Essentials, Series 6,Series 7, Series 63 and Series 66, withother programs planned over the nextmonth or so.
April 29: The CommerceDepartment says U.S. grossdomestic product contracted4.8% in the first quarter.
April 30: The total number
of first-time jobless claims
for the past six weeks
hits 30. 3 million,
which represents about
18.6% of the U.S. labor force.
May 1: The IRS says
businesses that participate
in the PPP and have their
loans forgiven will not be able
to claim the usual business tax
deductions for wages, rents and
other expenses. This treatment of
loan forgiveness “prevents double
tax benefits.” Businesses with
forgiven loans won’t have to pay
taxes on the forgiven loan amount.
May 6: New York Federal Reservefinds that states hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic so far received fewerloans on a per-business basis in the firstPPP round than states that suffered theleast from the virus. The study also saysless than 20% of loan applications fromsmall businesses in New York, the epicenter of the pandemic in the U.S., wereapproved vs. 55% for small businessesin Nebraska.
May 19: Much of the funds in theCARES Act designed to support businesses and state and local governmentshave not been disbursed — including$46 billion earmarked for airlines andbusinesses critical for national security,a congressional report finds. Of some$454 billion that the U.S. TreasuryDepartment can use to support emergency lending facilities by the FederalReserve, the Treasury has committed todispense only $195 billion.
May 25: Amy Cooper, then an employee
of Franklin Templeton, calls police on
Christian Cooper, a Black bird-
watcher, in New York’s Central
Park. The incident is shared
via Twitter, and Cooper is
fired the next day.
May 26: Protests
began in Minneapolis
one day after George Floyd,
who is Black, died as white
police officer Derek Chauvin
knelt on Floyd’s neck.