Monday morning briefing: Jobless claims go vertical

Providing help to small businesses. Protecting cryptocurrencies from theft. PE firms facing uncertainty between helping portfolio firms and making acquisitions. And much more in this week’s briefing.

Economic/industry news

The BoC makes another emergency rate cut: Bank of Canada cuts key rate to 0.25% as virus, oil fallout deepens

Canadian government’s stimulus plan becomes law: Federal bill with more than $100B in COVID-19 aid is now law     

Breaking down the US$2 trillion stimulus package: What’s in Congress’s $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package

How banks can help small businesses: COVID-19 is crushing small business: Can banks move fast enough?

Understanding the underperformance of value stocks: Moving beyond the naive definition of value investing

How COVID-19 may impact the asset allocation of DB plans: The impact of coronavirus on DB pension funding status, asset mix

Bond ETFs trading at large discounts to NAV: Bond ETFs’ liquidity tested amid market stress

Chart of the week


Initial jobless claims in the U.S. rose to 3.28 million for the week ended March 21. This sharply surpassed market expectations of 1.70 million jobless claims, and is the highest amount ever recorded. COVID-19 is causing a massive disruption to the U.S. economy, which is causing many Americans to find themselves out of work and running out of money. The US$2 trillion spending plan may provide some assistance to those hurt by COVID-19, but will it be enough? Let us know what you think.
Used with permission of Bloomberg Finance L.P.

News and notes (U.S.)

COVID-19’s impact on commonly held hedge fund stocksHow COVID-19 is impacting popular hedge fund stocks

For some, it’s buying timeHedge funds legends quietly contacting investors, citing historic buying opportunity

PE firms facing uncertainty between helping portfolio firms and making acquisitions: Flush with cash, PE firms confront their new reality

Providing support to registered funds: SEC provides temporary flexibility to funds hurt by coronavirus crisis

News and notes (Canada)

CSA announces temporary blanket relief: Securities regulators get flexible in face of COVID-19 concerns

Providing help to small businesses: BMO offers relief to small businesses

Mutual funds and ETFs saw strong net sales in February: ETF and mutual fund sales neck and neck in February

JR Shaw passes away at 85‘Titan of business and philanthropy’: Telecom giant JR Shaw dead at 85

On the pulse – New frontiers in fintech

Mobile video banking usage increasing: Will the pandemic catapult mobile video banking into the big time?

Some virtual tools for working from home: 5 tools for remote working

Understanding low-code: What’s low-code all about? An interview with Mike Heffner, Appian

Trade processing can benefit from new technology: In pursuit of trade processing perfection

Protecting cryptocurrencies from theft: The most proven ways to protect crypto money from hackers

The self-employed need protection: COVID-19 exposes urgent need to protect the self-employed

High-net-worth topics

How the wealthy are responding to COVID-19: Billionaire tracker: Actions the world’s wealthiest are taking in response to the coronavirus pandemic

Family offices hopeful a recovery will come soon: Family offices see market recovery within 12 months: Survey

Polls & surveys – What financials are saying

Many plan sponsors expect a recession (NEPC): Plan sponsors expect recession, negative S&P 500 returns in 2020

Canada likely headed for a recession (CIBC): Recession is inevitable, but how long will it last?

In this time of rising uncertainty, please know that ext. is closely monitoring COVID-19 and its impact – current and potential – on our firm, our clients’ businesses and the overall financial services industry.

We remain committed to seamless service for our clients and the well-being of our employees during this time. If you have any questions about business continuity at ext. – or how you can effectively communicate these and other timely issues with your clients, please reach out to your account manager or contact us 1.844.243.1830 or