Financial Daily Dose 4.20.2020 | Top Story: Congress nearing agreement to re-fund COVID-19 SBA relief fund


House leaders and White House negotiators are closing in on a bipartisan deal “to replenish funds in the small-business loan program that ran out of money” last week. The $500 billion measure would also “provide money for coronavirus testing and overwhelmed hospitals” – Bloomberg and NYTimes and WSJ

The Upshot’s out with a timely warning—the economic data, which “wasn’t built for this” kind of moment, is about to get really bizarre. Good luck making any sense of it – NYTimes

Trying to make sense of Wall Street’s late-week rally in the face of soaring unemployment and “plummeting retail and industrial activity” – WSJ

We know all about the ever-expanding Amazon. Time to spend a few minutes with the opposition at this interesting time when COVID-19 has made Bezos & Co. “more essential” but also “more vulnerable” – NYTimes

The Journal explores the economic plight of millennials, the generation still trying to find its footing after the last financial crisis and now staring down the barrel of another recession, “coupled with the stress of the pandemic and self-isolation” – WSJ

Uber’s abandoning former “star engineer” and ex-Googler Anthony Levandowski, suggesting that his guilty plea “supports its decision to make . . . [him] alone shoulder a $180 million legal award Google won against him” over stolen trade secrets – Bloomberg

Retailer Neiman Marcus could file for bankruptcy as early as this week, another “casualty of the coronavirus-related economic shutdown” and an already-difficult physical retail environment – MarketWatch

Recent coronavirus outbreaks in Sioux Falls, SD and Worthington, MN—both at meat processing plants—are exposing slaughterhouses as a definitive weakness in the country’s food supply chain. Not only are the processing plants a “critical bottleneck in the system,” where shutting down a plant for even a few weeks “eventually leads to months of meat shortages,” but years of consolidation in the industry means that “a little more than 50 plants are responsible for as much as 98 percent of slaughtering and processing in the United States” – NYTimes

Meanwhile, the country’s biggest retailer is scrambling just to keep its doors open, as “[m]anaging the health of workers and shoppers, reassuring local officials, and keeping stores and warehouses staffed have become a massive effort inside Walmart at a time when customers are relying [on it] more than ever” – WSJ

U.S. banking regulators are pushing BSA and AML examiners to “tailor exams to the individual risk profiles of banks amid the uncertainty caused by COVID-19” as part of an updated Examination Manual out last week – Law360

Despite WeWork’s best efforts, a Delaware state judge refused to fast track trial against SoftBank over its “canceled deal to buy $3 billion of [WeWork’s] company shares.” Trial is set for January 2021 instead – Law360

I ditched Insta some time ago as part of my own [very mini] protest against Zuck. But these art recreation challenges—apparently only kicked into high gear by the lockdown—are almost reason enough to return – NYTimes

Stay safe,


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