Happy Easter weekend to our readers! Even though we would love to be outside during this time of the year, we want to show our appreciation to everyone who is doing their part during lockdown. We also want to show appreciation to our NHS staff who have been working very hard during this tough time.
In the last Nightcap we discussed Covid-19 and it’s shocking impact to the economy. Over 1 million cases and more than 100,000 deaths were recorded ever since. Countries took drastic measures to flatten their curves.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to hospital after showing severe coronavirus symptoms, and was later transferred to the ICU, as his condition became worse. During this time, Dominic Raab took lead and deputised where necessary in government affairs. Mr Johnson left hospital, and thanked his nurses – Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal – for staying by his side during the critical moments.
The British public are adapting to to life under lockdown, although some could live without police controlling their time outside. The irony of this lockdown is definitely the beautiful weather we’ve been having, and being unable to enjoy it fully.
Currently, the UK has recorded 737 new coronavirus-related hospital deaths, increasing our total number to 10,612.
The United States released a $2 trillion stimulus package in aid to the unemployed/employed individuals, companies, SME’s, and state governments. A $1,200 direct deposit was in-store for individuals based on their 2018 tax return, unless they filed for 2019. The package breakdown:
- Direct payment to most Americans.
- $250bn to bolster unemployment insurance.
- $350bn in loans for small businesses to be forgiven if firms use them to keep workers on payroll.
- $500bn in aid for hard-hit industries and states and $50bn for airlines.
- $130bn in aid to hospitals.
- $150bn to help state and local governments.
The stimulus was received very well in the market, and exchanges are starting to show signs of recovery. Companies have furloughed staff in order to keep them on a payroll without risking infection, worrying about their financial safety during the lockdown. In spite of all these efforts, 6.6 million people have filed for unemployment claims since the stimulus was released.
The week’s Nightcap is brought to you by the Espresso Martini. A popular name, however ‘inexperienced by drinkers’, the Espresso Martini combines one shot of freshly brewed espresso, a shot of vodka, and half a shot coffee liqueur into an indulgent and rich cocktail. You can garnish this with coffee beans, and like Bond you want this cocktail shaken not stirred.
There’s always a bright side…
There’s always some benefit in times of misfortune even in the most smallest of ways. With the lockdown in effect, the public have been unable to access their barbers, hair & nail salons, and local gyms. Personally, the gym hits hard because I love the free weights and equipment I can access.
However, it seems the men have found an alternatives to their hair cut needs. The recent data from google trends show ‘Hair Cut’ searches increasing by over 300% ever since the lockdown. Hair cuts from home could be the new norm while this lockdown continues, which means you can always have a clean cut free of charge. So, I guess there’s some benefit in this lockdown. The best part is if you do a terrible job, don’t worry because as long as the lockdown is effective, there is no restaurant open to go for a date.
- France entered a recession Wednesday with their economy shrinking 0.1% in the last three months. This is the second consecutive quarter of negative growth. Due to coronavirus, the economic activity dropped over 30%. The last time France was hit this hard was in the second quarter of 1968. The French lockdown is expected to go on until April 15th, however, this could be extended if virus conditions worsen.
- The gold price rose 6.5% by the end of trading Good Friday. There are signs that safe haven trading is rising while many investors feel uneasy about the economy moving forward. *Invest with caution.
Stay Home & Stay Safe