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Earlier this year, the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout that ensued have pushed governments and central banks to make massive stimulus efforts.

Thing is, these harsh (but necessary) measures are gonna cost economies. A LOT.

In case you were too busy figuring out how to pronounce “X Æ A-12“, I’ve made a list of the monetary and fiscal policy changes that major economies have seen so far since March:


March 3 Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut its interest rates by 50 basis points to a record low of 0.50%
March 11 FISCAL: Government unveils $2.4 billion AUD health package
March 12 FISCAL: Government announces a $17.6 billion economic stimulus package that includes tax relief and cash payments for welfare recipients
March 19 In an out-of-schedule meeting, RBA cut its rates by another 25 basis points to an all-time low of 0.25%
RBA will buy government bonds and target 0.25% yield on 3-year bonds
RBA to provide a $90 billion term funding facility to help small and medium-sized businesses
RBA will conduct daily one-month and three-month repo operations and weekly long-term repo operations “until further notice”
March 23 FISCAL: Australian parliament passed Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus Bill 2020 that involves 80 billion AUD in stimulus for jobs and businesses
March 24 RBA pumps 6.9 billion AUD into the financial system, extends gov’t bond purchase program
March 31 Government expanded lockdown measures, including penalties for social distancing violators and additional hospital beds, as well as business subsidies
April 1 FISCAL: PM Morrison announced $973 million package for childcare sector
April 15 FISCAL: Government sells 13 billion AUD ($8.3B) worth of government bonds, the highest at the time
May 5 RBA maintains interest rates at 0.25%
RBA predicts -10% GDP in H1 2020 and unemployment to peak at 10% “over the coming months”
May 8 RBA sees 6% GDP in 2020, unemployment to remain at around 7.5% through 2021
May 13 FISCAL: Government sells 19 billion AUD ($12.3B) worth of government bonds, a new record high

New Zealand

March 16 In an unscheduled move, Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) cut its interest rates by 75 basis points from 1.0% to 0.25%
RBNZ: rates will remain at this level “for at least the next 12 months”
RBNZ: large scale asset purchase program “preferable” to further rate cuts “if needed”
March 17 FISCAL: Government reveals 12.1 billion NZD stimulus package that includes wage subsidies, tax breaks, boosts to healthcare
March 23 RBNZ starts buy up of $30 billion worth of bonds, gov’t announces $6.2 billion loan guarantees for SMEs and mortgage holidays
March 25 NZ PM Arden announces one-month lockdown
March 30 RBNZ to buy more gov’t bonds, along with corporate and asset-based securities to support liquidity in business sector
April 1 RBNZ tells banks not to pay dividends and redeem capital notes. Central bank also shares plans to buy $1.8 billion worth of bonds the following week
FISCAL: Government announces new legislation to help companies during a nationwide lockdown
April 7 RBNZ commits to buying up to $3 billion of local gov’t bonds, on top of $30 billion in central gov’t bonds
April 21 Orr hints openness to direct monetization (buying the nation’s debt directly from the state)
April 28 PM Ardern relaxes social distancing rules, says “We have won that battle”
May 6 RBNZ: one quarter of lockdown to may reduce GDP by 4% – 37%
May 13 RBNZ maintains interest rates at 0.25%, leaves negative rates on the table
RBNZ surprisingly doubles its asset purchasing program


March 4 Bank of Canada (BOC) cut its interest rates by 50 basis points from 1.75% to 1.25%
March 12 BOC broadens scope of bond buyback program, done weekly across all benchmark maturity sectors “until further notice”
BOC temporarily adds bi-weekly Term Repo operations for 6 and 12-month terms
March 13 In an unscheduled meeting, BOC cut its rates by another 50 basis points to 0.75%
BOC: “ready to adjust monetary policy further if required”
BOC announces plans to broaden eligible collateral of its Standing Term Liquidity Facility
BOC opens a new Bankers Acceptance Purchase Facility for small and medium-sized businesses
FISCAL: Government announces $10 billion credit program to “coordinate financing and credit insurance solutions for Canadian businesses”
FISCAL: Government lowers Domestic Stability Buffer requirement for domestic systemically important banks by 1.25% to free up $300 billion worth of lending capacity for large Canadian banks
March 18 FISCAL: Government announces 82 billion CAD in stimulus, with 27 billion CAD allotted for direct support for individuals and 55 billion CAD for tax deferrals for households and businesses
March 25 FISCAL: Canadian gov’t doubles value of COVID-19 stimulus package to 52 billion CAD, announces cash loan delays
March 27 BOC makes second unscheduled rate cut, bringing rates to 0.25%
BOC launches Commercial Paper Purchase Program (CPPP) to help “alleviate strains in short-term funding markets”
BOC to begin acquiring government securities in the secondary market. Purchases start at 5 billion CAD per week
Gov’t boosts wage subsidy to 75% for small and medium businesses
April 1 BOC starts quantitative easing with 1 billion CAD bond purchase
April 15 BOC maintains interest rates at 0.25%
BOC introduces the Provincial Bond Purchase Program worth 50 billion CAD to supplement its Provincial Money Market Purchase Program
BOC introduces its new Corporate Bond Purchase Program worth up to 10 billion CAD in investment-grade corporate bonds in the secondary market
BOC extends its term repo facility to permit funding for up to 24 months
May 1 Tiff Macklem is named new BOC Governor. Macklem hints openness to negative rates
May 4 BOC Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins: Pandemic will cause GDP to fall as much as 15% – 30% in Q2 2020 from its late 2019 levels


March 10 FISCAL: Government announced 1 trillion JPY worth of aid, with 500 billion JPY earmarked for zero-interest loans to small and mid-sized businesses
March 13 In an unscheduled decision, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) announced its 200 billion JPY purchase of government bonds with five to ten years maturity
BOJ injects 1.5 trillion JPY worth of liquidity via lending for two weeks
March 16 After an unscheduled meeting, BOJ decides to double its annual ETF and J-REITS purchases to 12 trillion JPY and 180 billion JPY respectively
BOJ will increase target bond and commercial paper purchases by 2 trillion JPY by September
BOJ to provide 8 trillion JPY worth of loans against corporate debt at 0.0% interest rate
BOJ lowers dollar funding loan rate by 0.25%, offered on a weekly basis with 84-day maturity
Kuroda: “If necessary, we can deepen negative rates further”
March 19 BOJ makes an unscheduled purchase of 1.3 trillion JPY worth of government bonds
March 24 Government decides to postpone Tokyo 2020 Olympics to summer of 2021, considers cash handouts topping 12,000 JPY for all in Japan
March 30 FISCAL: Japanese gov’t plans to boost bond issuance by $149 billion to fund massive stimulus package
April 1 FISCAL: PM Abe to add to $555 billion in stimulus, agrees to $2,800 in cash payouts to households
April 16 Government declares nationwide state of emergency
April 20 FISCAL: Government adds 25.69T JPY to the initial 108.2T JPY emergency package after decision to provide 100,000 JPY cash handouts to all individuals (instead of 300,000 per household)
April 27 BOJ keeps interest rates unchanged at -0.10% as expected
BOJ removes 80T JPY annual pace guidance, vows to buy government bonds “without setting an upper limit” to keep long-term interest around 0%
BOJ almost triples maximum amount of commercial paper and corporate bonds to 20T JPY
BOJ introduces Special Funds-Supplying Operations to provide loans against corporate debt with maturity up to one year at 0.0% interest rate
BOJ predicts 3% to 5% GDP contraction in FY 2020, sees CPI at -0.3% to -0.7%
May 12 Kuroda: near-term focus is on easing corporate funding strains and stabilising financial markets, rules out purchase of municipal bonds
FinMin Taro Aso: cutting tax not on the table “for the time being”
May 14 Government removes 39 prefectures from state of emergency

United Kingdom

March 11 Bank of England (BOE) made an unscheduled announcement to cut its interest rates by 50 basis points to 0.25%
BOE introduces a new Term Funding scheme for small and medium-sized enterprises, offering four-year funding over the next 12 months. The scheme could provide 100 billion GBP in term funding.
BOE to maintain its sterling non-financial investment-grade corporate bond purchases at 10 billion GBP
BOE will maintain its stock of U.K. government bond purchases at 435 billion GBP
Financial Policy Committee (FPC) cut the “UK countercyclical capital buffer rate” from 1% to 0%. It’s expected to support 190 billion GBP in business lending
FISCAL: Government announces 30 billion GBP stimulus plan (5 billion GBP for the health care system; 7 billion GBP for the labor market, and 18 billion GBP for looser fiscal policies)
March 19 In a special meeting, BOE cut its interest rates by 15 basis points to an all-time low of 0.1%
BOE increased its asset purchasing program by 200 billion GBP
March 24 U.K. locked down as PM Johnson acts on “national emergency”, U.K. Parliament set to close for four weeks
April 9 BOE reactivates Ways and Means (W&M) facility, which allows the government to “temporarily” borrow money directly from the central bank (instead of the markets)
May 11 PM Johnson announces plans to ease lockdown measures as part of the “three-phase strategy” to reopen the economy
May 12 FISCAL: Government extends end of wage subsidy program – which pays workers on leave 80% of their monthly wages up to £2,500 – from end of July to end of October


March 5 FISCAL: European Union gives fiscal leeway for individual economies to deal with the economic impact of coronavirus
March 12 The European Central Bank (ECB) keeps its interest rates unchanged BUT it launches another round of targeted long term refinancing operations (TLTRO)
ECB eases conditions for its TLTRO
ECB announces plans to add 120 billion EUR to its planned asset purchases in 2020
ECB eases capital and liquidity restrictions for banks
March 17 FISCAL (France): Government allocates 45 billion EUR  for social security contributions, unemployment benefits, and solidarity fund for self-employed and shopkeepers
March 19 ECB launches 750 billion EUR Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP) that will run until the “crisis phase” of the epidemic is over
ECB’s Lagarde: “Extraordinary times require extraordinary action”
March 25 SNB sets up COVID-19 refinancing facility starting on March 26 with no upper limits
March 26 ECB shakes off limits on 750 billion EUR bond buying plan
April 2 Swiss National Bank allots $1.27 billion in latest dollar auction
April 13 Spain partially loosens lockdown as death rate slows
April 15 Germany to partially reopen shops and schools
April 27 Spain further loosens lockdown measures
April 29 Switzerland eases lockdown measures even as it extends ban on some events
May 5 German court hands ECB three-month ultimatum to justify stimulus scheme
May 6 European Commission predicts EU GDP will contract by7.4% in 2020, the worst shock since 1930s Great Depression
May 10 SNB Chairman Jordan: “we have no choice but to maintain the negative interest rate,” reiterates bank’s “substantial commitment” to FX intervention

United States

Fed Helicopter Money

March 6 FISCAL: Trump signs $8.3B “Phase One” package to help state and local governments and fund research, quarantine, and sanitation
March 9 Fed surprises markets with 50-basis point interest rate cut, bringing its target range to 1.00% – 1.25%
March 12 New York Fed announces $1.5 trillion increase in new repo operations to address “highly unusual disruptions in Treasury financing markets.”
March 13 FISCAL: Trump declares “national emergency” over the Coronavirus pandemic. This unlocks up to $50B in relief funds
March 16 Fed unexpectedly cut its rates to 0.00% – 0.25% range
Fed announces purchase of $700B worth of Treasury bonds ($500B) and mortgage-backed securities ($200B)
Fed coordinates with BOC, BOE, BOJ, ECB, and SNB to lower rates on currency swaps to keep financial markets functioning
March 17 Fed announces additional $500B worth of repo operation
Fed creates Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), a corporation that can purchase commercial papers and short-term loans from businesses. Treasury has allotted $10B to cover potential losses
Fed revives Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF), which will grant loans to 24 large institutions to help fund other banks
FISCAL: Treasury grants 90-day extension for filing taxes for individuals who owe $1M or less and corporations that owe less than $10M
March 18 Fed creates Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF), which will make loans to financial institutions so they can buy from money market funds. Treasury has allotted another $10B worth of credit protection
FISCAL: Trump signs “Phase Two” package, which will fund free testing, paid sick and family leave, Medicaid and food security programs, and unemployment insurance benefits. The exact cost is unclear but the Joint Committee on Taxation estimates it could reach $100B
March 19 Fed establishes (temporary) dollar swap facility with counterparts in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, Korea, Mexico, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, and Sweden
March 23 Fed pledged asset purchases with no limit to support economy
March 25 White House and Senate strike deal on historic $2 trillion aid package
March 27 Fed balance sheet tops $5 trillion on bond-buying and loan extensions
April 1 Fed eases capital requirements for big banks temporarily, says recession is here
April 9 Fed unveils $2.3 trillion stimulus for businesses and revenue-pinched governments
April 19 FISCAL: Government allows companies to delay for 90 days the payment of tariffs on certain goods coming into the U.S. in March and April
April 22 Trump suspends legal immigration for 60 days with some exemptions
April 24 FISCAL: Government approves $484 billion package to help fund small businesses and hospitals
April 30 Fed keeps target interest rate unchanged at 0.00% – 0.25%, pledges to continue asset purchases “as needed”
Fed expands Main Street Lending Facility to companies with up 15,000 employees and $5B in revenue (from 10,000 workers and $2.5B in revenue)
May 12 Fed starts its Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility, which buys ETFs that hold bonds of “fallen angel” companies whose ratings were downgraded due to the pandemic
May 13 Powell: Negative rates is “not something that we’re looking at”

That’s it for my list this week!

Will we see more stimulus come our way in the next couple of days or weeks? It’s possible.

Are these measures enough to help prop the economy in the months ahead? I guess we’ll find out.