Financial Daily Dose 4.21.2020 | Top Story: Oil Prices Dip to Negative as Global Demand Dries Up During Pandemic


Monday saw U.S. oil prices take an unprecedented plunge into negative territory, as “concerns grew that storage tanks in the United States were near capacity and unable to hold all the unused code” (with the “bizarre movement . . . exaggerated by a quirk in the way oil prices are set”) – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Here’s what that precipitous dip is telling us – NYTimes

New corporate virus villain Shake Shack revealed this week that it will return the $10 million PPP loan it received last week through the COVID-19 stimulus program (that ran dry last week) – NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch and Marketplace

All of which is to say that it’s an awfully good time to examine how small businesses either won or lost in the first round (we hope) of the federal government’s $350 billion rescue program. [Hint, start with their banks] – WSJ

Enter the lawsuits – Bloomberg and Law360

Turns out some of Zoom’s business partners had a pretty good idea months ago (at minimum) that the ascendant videoconferencing site was rife with security and privacy flaws – NYTimes

United Airlines, which has applied to borrow north of $4 billion under the government’s airline stimulus measure, has warned analysts that it’s expecting to report “a $2.1 billion pretax loss in the first quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic decimated demand” – WSJ

The Times considers the state of business travel, which has “basically come to a standstill” and which is unlikely to ever return in its pre-virus form – NYTimes

Some potentially welcome news from the Fed, which hinted that it could soon start helping ailing state and local governments by “purchasing municipal bonds using [the central bank’s] emergency lending powers, pledging to buy up to $500 billion in bonds from states and the biggest cities and counties” – NYTimes

There are plans for federal intervention in the housing market, too, with the FHFA considering whether to again allow Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac to “buy home loans that recently entered forbearance” in an effort to “help nonbank mortgage companies that lend to home buyers” before quickly selling to the GSEs – WSJ

NY and federal regulators have fined the Industrial Bank of Korea $86 million as part of a deal to resolve “criminal and civil investigations into anti-money laundering failures that allowed the bank to process more than $1 billion in transactions involving Iran” – Law360 and WSJ

The dispute between Argentina and its bondholders continues, with the latter rejecting the most recent “proposal from the South American nation to restructure tens of billions of dollars in foreign debt, raising the likelihood that the country could enter into default as early as next month” – WSJ and Bloomberg

Your Tuesday moment of literal Zen, courtesy of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Japanese Garden walk-through – BBG

Stay safe,

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