Research Review | 27 March 2020 | Coronavirus

Government Equity Investments in Coronavirus Rescues: Why, How, When?
William L. Megginson (U. of Oklahoma) and Veljko Fotak (SUNY at Buffalo)
March 25, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a “great shutdown” whose ultimate impact on the US economy is hard to predict. What is already clear is that government intervention at an unprecedented scale is forthcoming. A rescue/stimulus package worth $2 trillion, or 10% of US GDP, is being approved at the time of writing. We argue that part of the intervention should take the form of preferred equity injections in both large and small firms. We discuss pros and cons of such an approach, the potential challenges, and our suggested solutions. While historical precedents help guide the policy response aimed at publicly traded firms, we call for a novel approach aimed at small businesses. With over 30 million small businesses in the country, novel public-private partnerships will be required for governments to incentivize private-sector actors to assist in identifying and valuing the right targets.

Economic Effects of Coronavirus Outbreak (COVID-19) on the World Economy
Nuno Fernandes (University of Navarra)
March 22, 2020
This report discusses the economic impact of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis across industries, and countries. It also provides estimates of the potential global economic costs of COVID-19, and the GDP growth of different countries, under different scenarios. The report shows the economic effects of outbreak are currently being underestimated, due to over-reliance on historical comparisons with SARS, or the 2008/2009 financial crisis. The results show GDP growth will take a hit ranging from 3-5% depending on the country, in a mild scenario. Every extra month of shutdown accounts for approx. 2-2.5% of global GDP growth. Service-oriented economies will be particularly negatively affected, and have more jobs at risk. Countries like Greece, Portugal, and Spain that are more reliant on tourism (more than 15% of GDP) will be more affected by this crisis.

Real-Time Weakness of the Global Economy: A First Assessment of the Coronavirus Crisis
Danilo Leiva‐Leon (Banco de España), et al.
March, 2020
We propose an empirical framework to measure the degree of weakness of the global economy in real-time. It relies on nonlinear factor models designed to infer recessionary episodes of heterogeneous deepness, and fitted to the largest advanced economies (U.S., Euro Area, Japan, U.K., Canada and Australia) and emerging markets (China, India, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa). Based on such inferences, we construct a Global Weakness Index that has three main features. First, it can be updated as soon as new regional data is released, as we show by measuring the economic effects of coronavirus. Second, it provides a consistent narrative of the main regional contributors of world economy’s weakness. Third, it allows to perform robust risk assessments based on the probability that the level of global weakness would exceed a certain threshold of interest in every period of time.

A Coronavirus Outbreak and Sector Stock Returns: The Tale from The First Ten Weeks of Year 2020
Khoa Nguyen (Southern Connecticut State University)
March 23, 2020
This paper examines the early impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak on stock returns of eleven sectors using the firm-level stock price data from ten countries.

The Coronavirus and the Great Influenza Epidemic – Lessons from the ‘Spanish Flu’ for the Coronavirus’s Potential Effects on Mortality and Economic Activity
Robert J. Barro (Harvard University), et al.
March 2020
Mortality and economic contraction during the 1918-1920 Great Influenza Epidemic provide plausible upper bounds for outcomes under the coronavirus (COVID-19). Data for 43 countries imply flu-related deaths in 1918-1920 of 39 million, 2.0 percent of world population, implying 150 million deaths when applied to current population. Regressions with annual information on flu deaths 1918-1920 and war deaths during WWI imply flu-generated economic declines for GDP and consumption in the typical country of 6 and 8 percent, respectively. There is also some evidence that higher flu death rates decreased realized real returns on stocks and, especially, on short-term government bills.

Will Coronavirus Pandemic Diminish by Summer?
Qasim Bukhari and Yusuf Jameel (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
March 17, 2020
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has spread rapidly to multiple countries and has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization. While influenza virus has been shown to be affected by weather, it is unknown if COVID19 is similarly affected. In this work, we analyze the patterns in local weather of the regions affected by 2019-nCoV virus until March 22, 2020.

Efficiency and Effectiveness of Measures to Combat the Coronavirus in Selected Countries
Constantin Zaman (CES Paris 1) and Bogdan Meunier (Novalis Research Centre)
March 26, 2020
The current contagion that has rapidly spread all over the world mobilised impressive financial and sanitary resources in most of the affected countries. However, in the majority of cases these measures seem insufficient or inefficient, as the number of cases has exploded, while the increase in the number of deaths becomes alarming. In this paper we analyse the response of authorities to the pandemic challenges in those countries that are confronted with a large number of cases. Those twelve countries record together 86,65% of total confirmed cases reported in the world. The analysis considers the statistical data available on March 25, 2020.

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