Make no mistake about it the world's economies are in for a world of pain as mandatory social distancing measures cripple entire industries and their related supply chains. No one can say for sure how long it will last or how bad it might get, but it's possible that the stock market has already priced in the lean times ahead.
For those believe the Dow Jones Industrial Average is predictive and anticipative of greater economic conditions, perhaps the worst is now behind us. Before a sizable pull back this past Friday, last week consisted of a three-day surge that saw the Dow post the largest rally since the Depression era. Monday closed 690 points above the previous trading day, and that put the index in the green four of the past five sessions.
The United States Senate, by a vote of 96-0, approved a $2.2 trillion dollar coronavirus pandemic aid initiative on Wednesday, with Speaker Nancy Pelosi planning to push the bill through the House of Representatives on Friday. From there it will be sent to President Trump for his signature, and then the economic relief package will become law.
It's by far the largest economic relief bill in American history, but that was to be expected, especially when you factor in the time value of money. A majority of the funds will be geared towards financial stimulus, with $500 billion set aside for sending direct payments of $1,200 to every American that earns less than $75,000 per year. It is expected that these checks will take three weeks to reach these Americans in need, so billionaire businessman and entrepreneur Mark Cuban is trying as hard as he can to get this money to the people who need it faster.
While many would often first compare the current coronavirus pandemic that we're facing to the Spanish Flu and World War I, there's another way to look at it. Maybe this more like WWII, where every single facet of our daily lives was altered (we're certainly at that point now), and every single one of us changed our daily habits to aid the war effort.
It's a full on mobilization- whatever you do everyday for work, now you do work that helps the cause. During WWII the car companies switched to making tanks. If everybody does their part, it all adds up, and soon we get through, triumphantly, to the other side of the pandemic.
What a long, strange trip it's been for the Democratic Party and their race to retake the White House. The race began with an extremely crowded field, and Joe Biden emerged as the very early favorite. Then he faded, way back to the middle of the pack. Different candidates, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, took their turns as the favorite/presumptive nominee.
Biden came back strong from irrelevancy, to the point now that his clinching a primary win is a matter of when, not if. Regarding the general election, the odds were heavily in favor of Trump
as recently as late February. It's a totally different race today, with Biden and Trump almost tied in what has been a disastrous few days for the President.
In September of 2018, Travis Miller, webmaster of Hammer and Rails.com (SB Nation's Purdue community
), and myself recorded a podcast about the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic and the 1918 World Series (listen at this link)
. The fifth edition of "Let's Get Weird, Sports," a history/sports series of pods
, it covered the Cubs' loss to the Boston Red Sox in that fall classic, but mostly focused on the flu pandemic.
That specific show centered around a book that had just come out at the time and that I had just finished reading: Skip Desjardins' September 1918: War, Plague, and the World Series.
I also interviewed the author by phone, and you can listen to that session over at this link. In 1918, the authorities downplayed the severity of the flu at first, throwing out all kinds of bizarre explanations and "answers...