Another volatile week in stock and bond markets as authorities institute shelter-in-place restrictions and investors assess the potential economic impact from COVID-19.
The Federal Reserve Bank and Congress are taking aggressive action to calm market fears. Both monetary and fiscal measures are being implemented to assure sufficient cash and credit is available to individuals, businesses, and capital markets.
On the monetary front, the Fed lowered short-term interest rates to near-zero and announced a $700 billion debt securities purchase program. The Fed also offered billions of dollars at near-zero rates to other countries’ central banks to ease strains. Central banks in Europe, UK and Asia have similarly have lowered interest rates and pumped significant amounts of cash into their economies.
In Washington, the US Senate is racing to pass a stimulus spending bill that could exceed $1 trillion, which the President appears to support.
At the more personal level, the IRS announced they are postponing the April 15th federal income tax return filing and payment deadline to July 15th. The California Franchise Tax Board has pushed out the April 15th CA state income tax payment and filing deadline to June 15th.