• Senate Republicans and Democrats still are split on a coronovirus stimulus package
  • Experts note checks to taxpayers in the $1,000-$1,200 range provide no more than a month of relief
  • Fed took more action Monday to prop up the economy, announcing it will buy billions more in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities


As lawmakers argued about a coronavirus stimulus package and the Federal Reserve moved aggressively to buy $700 billion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities to prop up the economy, experts worried Monday whatever action taken will not be enough.

The stock market opened lower Monday despite the Fed move as the virus’ toll climbed. At least 35,225 cases have been confirmed in the U.S. with at least 545 deaths. Worldwide, at least 350,536 cases have been confirmed with at least 15,328 deaths.

Senate Democrats and Republicans have been negotiating for nearly a week about a $1 trillion to $2 trillion stimulus package that would include direct payments to taxpayers and $50 billion for the airlines. Democrats say the proposals that have been presented so far do not provide adequate funds for individuals or the healthcare system and is too focused on bailing out corporations.

Princeton University economist Paul Krugman noted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is prone to corporate giveaways.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, said the Fed’s latest move is significant, but Congress needs to act.

Derek Horstmeyer, associate professor at George Mason University School of Business, told IBTimes the market won’t hit bottom until investors “have some clarity on what earnings will look like,” and that won’t come until consumers understand how the virus will affect their lives.

“The proposed … package does some to address the underlying problem but is only a quick Band-Aid to get us through the next month or so. The primary issue with virus is the uncertainty that it leaves consumers and investors with,” he said.

Robert Johnson, professor of finance at Heider College of Business at Creighton University, said there’s little Congress can do to forestall an economic contraction and called the proposed checks to consumers “helicopter money” that “won’t accomplish anything.” He said what is needed is to take a step back and determine how the pandemic is affecting gig workers and those who will be dislocated by the contraction.

Ryan McMaken, senior editor and fellow at Mises Institute, said there’s really only so much that can be done with a global recession already underway.

“Once the losses in income take hold, then we'll start to see more loan delinquencies and the beginnings of foreclosures. Lawmakers will find ways to slow down the foreclosure process, but this will just be a temporary Band-Aid,” he said, adding the congressional approach is the wrong way to go.

He said sending checks to individuals “isn't enough to reverse years of regulations and taxation destroying innovation and entrepreneurship and the small-business economy. Besides, a check for two thousand dollars will cover a single house payment for many families. Maybe two. It's a drop in the bucket.”

Rather than an economic stimulus package, he said “lawmakers should be exploring a wide variety of ways to deregulate the economy to allow for small businesspeople to weather this storm. I suspect very little will be done in that regard.”

Jarred Kessler, CEO and founder of Easy Knock, agreed checks of $1,000-$1,200 aren’t much, but could make the difference between recession and depression.

“I don’t think it’s too late, the government has to mitigate the uncertainty. Once people understand the path of the sun shining, the average American will feel a lot better. As long Congress supports more cash to Americans, we will have scars, but we will recover. Fast action needs to happen going forward and they now seem more serious,” he said in an email to IBTimes.

“The entire government is taking action too late. This pandemic serves as a perfect landscape for partisan bickering to fall to the side, instead, it seems the aisle is now even further apart than before,” said Anthony Denier, stock market expert and CEO of Webull.

Sean O’Hara, president of Pacer ETF Distributors at Pacer Financial, said China’s experience will serve as a guide but those numbers are just starting to come out. He noted retail sales in China fell 20% as a result of the population lockdown in the hardest hit areas.

Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at, said there’s little doubt the contraction already is underway and whole sectors of the economy are teetering.

“What is most important is that workers have access to incomes and most companies can remain solvent, so workers are able to resume their daily rounds when the would-be all-clear is sounded on the virus,” Hamrick said.