timeline:

Timeline of Events Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic

In December of 2019, an outbreak of a new strain of coronavirus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, and was recognized as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11, 2020. The pandemic led to global socioeconomic disruption as drastic action was taken to suppress the outbreak. This up-to-date timeline provides details and key events in the crisis, focusing on its impact in the United States.

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  • January 4, 2020 | WHO Announces Pneumonia Cases of Unknown Cause

    The World Health Organization (WHO) announces that China has reported a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown cause (with no deaths) in Wuhan, China.

    WHO on Twitter
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  • January 8, 2020 | CDC Issues Health Advisory

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues an official Health Advisory and a level 1 travel notice ("practice usual precautions") in response to "a reported cluster of pneumonia of unknown etiology" in China.

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  • January 9, 2020 | CDC Notes Appearance of Novel Coronavirus Outbreak in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China

    The CDC notes the appearance of a novel coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The CDC issues an interim travel health notice to people traveling to Wuhan City.

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  • January 17, 2020, 2:00 pm EST | CDC Announces Enhanced Screenings for Those Traveling to the United States

    The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security announce enhanced health screenings to detect ill travelers traveling to the United States on direct or connecting flights from Wuhan, China. Travelers from Wuhan to the United States will undergo entry screening for symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV at three U.S. airports that receive most of the travelers from Wuhan, China: San Francisco (SFO), New York (JFK), and Los Angeles (LAX) airports.

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  • January 21, 2020 | Washington State Department of Health Announces First Case of COVID-19

    The Washington State Department of Health announces the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in the United States in Snohomish County, Washington. The patient traveled from Wuhan City, China.

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  • January 22, 2020 | CDC Adds Two Airports to Coronavirus Screening

    The CDC confirms the first travel-related case of COVID-19 (patient from Washington) and announces the addition of two more airports—Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and Atlanta (ATL) to the coronavirus screening, funneling all passengers originating in Wuhan, China, through one of the five airports (SFO, JFK, LAX, ORD, and ATL).

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  • January 29, 2020 | Federal Reserve Issues FOMC Statement

    The Federal Reserve issues an FOMC statement following a regularly scheduled January meeting. Target range for federal funds rate remains at 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 percent.

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  • January 30, 2020 | WHO Declares "Public Health Emergency of International Concern"

    The WHO declares a "public health emergency of international concern" regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

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  • January 31, 2020 | Secretary Azar Declares Public Health Emergency for United States for 2019 Novel Coronavirus

    The Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) declares a public health emergency on January 31, 2020, under section 319 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d), in response to COVID-19.

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  • February 2, 2020 | State Department Warns Americans Not to Travel to China

    The State Department warns Americans not to travel to China "due to the novel coronavirus first identified in Wuhan, China."

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  • February 11, 2020 | WHO Announces Name for New Coronavirus Disease: COVID-19

    The WHO announces a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19, a name that does not "refer to a geographical location, an animal, an individual or group of people, and which is also pronounceable and related to the disease."

    WHO on Twitter
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  • February 19, 2020 | S&P 500 Closes at Record High

    The S&P 500 closes at a record high of 3386.15.

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  • February 28, 2020 | Stock Markets Report Largest Single Week Declines Since 2008 Financial Crisis

    Stock markets worldwide report largest single-week declines since 2008 financial crisis, oil futures see largest single-week decline since 2009 and yields on 10-year and 30-year U.S. Treasury securities fall to new record lows at 1.12% and 1.30%, respectively.

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  • February 28, 2020, 2:30 pm EST | Federal Reserve Issues Statement

    Chair Powell of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors issues a statement that the Federal Reserve is closely monitoring economic developments and the evolving risks of the coronavirus to economic activity. Chair Powell notes that the Federal Reserve will use its tools as appropriate to support the economy.

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  • February 29, 2020 | Governor Inslee of Washington Declares State of Emergency, Announces First Confirmed U.S. Death from COVID-19

    Governor Jay Inslee of the state of Washington announces the first confirmed death in the United States from COVID-19. Governor Inslee declares a state of emergency for Washington. (On April 21, 2020, public health officials in Santa Clara County, California, found that COVID-19 deaths had begun in the United States weeks earlier.)

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  • March 3, 2020 | FOMC Lowers Federal Funds Rate

    The FOMC holds an unscheduled meeting and lowers the federal funds rate target by 50 basis points, to 1 to 1-1/4 percent. In addition, the FOMC directs the Open Market Desk to continue to roll over all principal payments of Treasury securities and to reinvest all principal payments from the Federal Reserve's agency debt and mortgage-backed securities. The Board of Governors announces a decrease in the primary credit rate of ½ percentage point to 1.75 percent. Following the announcement, Chair Powell holds a press conference.

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  • March 9, 2020, 9:36 am EDT | Declines to S&P 500 Trigger a Level 1 Market-Wide Circuit Breaker

    The S&P 500 Index declines by 7%, triggering a Level 1 market-wide circuit breaker trading halt. U.S. equity markets resume after 15 minutes.

    NYSE on Twitter
    NYSE President Stacey Cunningham on Twitter
    NYSE President Stacey Cunningham on Twitter
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  • March 11, 2020 | WHO Declares Novel Coronavirus Outbreak a Pandemic

    The WHO declares the outbreak of novel coronavirus to be a pandemic, the first to be caused by a coronavirus.

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  • March 12, 2020, 9:36 am EDT | Declines to S&P 500 Trigger a Level 1 Market-Wide Circuit Breaker

    The S&P 500 Index declines by 7%, triggering a Level 1 market-wide circuit breaker trading halt. U.S. equity markets resume after 15 minutes.

    NYSE on Twitter
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  • March 13, 2020 | Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak

    President Trump declares a National Emergency, suspending U.S. entry of foreign nationals who have been in China, Iran, and the Schengen Area of Europe in the past 14 days.

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  • March 15, 2020, 5:00 pm EDT | FOMC Holds Unscheduled Meeting Announcing Three Actions

    The FOMC holds an unscheduled meeting resulting in three actions:

    1. Lower the federal funds target rate 100 basis points to 0 to 1/4 percent

    2. Support the flow of credit to households and businesses by encouraging depository institutions to use the discount window, intraday credit from the Fed, and their reserves (capital and liquidity buffers) to lend to households and businesses affected by the coronavirus; reduce reserve requirements to zero percent, effective March 26th

    3. Enact coordinated central bank action for U.S. dollar liquidity; set up swap lines with Bank of Canada, Bank of England, Bank of Japan, the ECB, and the Swiss National Bank.

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  • March 16, 2020, 9:30 am (EDT) | Declines to S&P 500 Trigger a Level 1 Market-Wide Circuit Breaker

    The S&P 500 Index declines by 7%, triggering a Level 1 market-wide circuit breaker trading halt. U.S. equity markets resume after 15 minutes.

    NYSE on Twitter
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  • March 16, 2020, 4:30 on (EDT) | President Trump Issues Coronavirus Guidelines for the Public

    President Trump announces guidelines for the public, including limiting gatherings to fewer than 10 people, avoiding discretionary travel, and avoiding eating and drinking at bars, restaurants, and public food courts until March 30th.

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  • March 16, 2020, 4:30 pm (EDT) | Federal Reserve Board Approves Actions Decreasing Discount Rate

    The Federal Reserve Board approves actions by the Boards of Directors of the Federal Reserve Banks of Kansas City, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Richmond, Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas, and San Francisco "decreasing the discount rate (the primary credit rate) at the Banks from 1-3/4 percent to 1/4 percent, effective immediately." This intermeeting action replaced the meeting previously scheduled for March 17-18.

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  • March 17, 2020, 9:15 am EDT | Federal Reserve, FDIC, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Announce Coordinated Action

    The Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announce coordinated action to encourage banks to provide additional flexibility for households and businesses. Includes a technical change to use capital buffers for lending to households and businesses.

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  • March 17, 2020, 10:45 am EDT | Federal Reserve Announces Establishment of Commercial Paper Funding Facility

    Federal Reserve Board announces establishment of a Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF) to support the flow of credit to households and businesses.

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  • March 17, 2020, 6:00 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Announces Establishment of Primary Dealer Credit Facility

    Federal Reserve Board announces establishment of a Primary Dealer Credit Facility (PDCF) to support the credit needs of households and businesses.

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  • March 17, 2020 | President Trump Signs Executive Order on Prioritizing and Allocating Health and Medical Resources to Respond to the Spread of COVID-19

    President Trump signs an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act to prioritize the production of ventilators and personal protective equipment.

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  • March 18, 2020, 11:30 am EDT | Federal Reserve Announces Establishment of Money Market Liquidity Facility

    The Federal Reserve Board announces that it will establish a Money Market Liquidity Facility (MMLF), with a structure similar to the Asset-Backed Commercial Paper Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility (AMLF) that operated during the Financial Crisis (late 2008-early 2010). The MMLF will assist money market funds in meeting demands for redemptions, enhancing overall market functioning and credit provision to the broader economy.

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  • March 18, 2020 | Treasury and IRS Issue Guidance on Deferring Tax Payments Due to COVID-19 Outbreak

    The U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announce non-corporate tax filers can defer any owed income up to $1 million until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest.

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  • March 18, 2020, 12:58 pm EDT | Declines to S&P 500 Trigger a Level 1 Market-Wide Circuit Breaker

    The S&P 500 Index declines by 7%, triggering a Level 1 market-wide circuit breaker trading halt. U.S. equity markets resume after 15 minutes.

    NYSE on Twitter
    NYSE on Twitter
    NYSE on Twitter
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  • March 18, 2020, 4:42 pm EDT | NYSE Moves Temporarily to Fully Electronic Trading

    The New York Stock Exchange announces a temporary move to fully electronic trading to begin with market open on Monday, March 23.

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  • March 18, 2020 | Families First Coronavirus Response Act Signed Into Law

    President Trump signs into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This law responds to the COVID-19 outbreak by providing paid sick leave, tax credits, and free COVID-19 testing; expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits; and increasing Medicaid funding.

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  • March 19, 2020, 8:30 am EDT | Federal Bank Regulatory Agencies Issue Interim Final Rule for Money Market Liquidity Facility

    The Board of Governors, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency jointly issue an interim final rule for the Money Market Liquidity Facility announced March 18, 2020.

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  • March 19, 2020, 9:00 am EDT | Federal Reserve Announces Establishment of Temporary U.S. Dollar Liquidity Arrangement with Other Central Banks

    The Federal Reserve announces the establishment of temporary U.S. dollar liquidity arrangements (swap lines) with the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Banco Central do Brasil, the Danmarks Nationalbank (Denmark), the Bank of Korea, the Banco de Mexico, the Norges Bank (Norway), the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and the Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden). These facilities, like those already established between the Federal Reserve and other central banks, are designed to help lessen strains in global U.S. dollar funding markets, thereby mitigating the effects of these strains on the supply of credit to households and businesses, both domestically and abroad.

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  • March 19, 2020, 5:00 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Board Encouraged by Increase in Discount Window Borrowing

    Federal Reserve Board announces that it is "encouraged" by the notable increase in discount window borrowing this week. The change follows the promotion of the use of the discount window by the Federal Reserve and other financial institutions.

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  • March 19, 2020 | Governor Newsom of California Announces Executive "Stay Home Except for Essential Needs" Order

    Governor Newsom of California announces the first statewide stay-at-home order. The Public Health Officer's "Stay Home Except for Essential Needs" order requires all individuals living in California to stay home or at their place of residence, except as needed to maintain the critical infrastructure sectors.

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  • March 19, 2020 | The Federal Reserve, FDIC, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Issue Joint Statement on CRA Consideration for Activities in Response to the Coronavirus

    The three bank supervisory agencies announce that they will favorably consider retail banking services and retail lending activities that are responsive to the needs of low- and moderate-income individuals, small businesses, and small farms affected by the COVID-19 national emergency, potentially including services and activities outside the banks' assessment areas.

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  • March 20, 2020, 10:00 am EDT | Central Banks Take Coordinated Action to Further Enhance the Provision of U.S. Dollar Liquidity

    The central banks of the United States, Canada, England, Japan, Switzerland, and the European Central Bank announce coordinated action to enhance liquidity through standing U.S. dollar swap line arrangements. The operations for 7-day maturity will move from weekly to daily, staring Monday, March 23, 2020, and will continue through at least the end of April. The central banks will continue their weekly 84-day maturity operations.

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  • March 20, 2020, 11:00 am EDT | Federal Reserve Board Expands Program of Support for Flow of Credit to Economy

    The Federal Reserve Board expands credit through a Money Market Fund Liquidity Facility (MMLF). The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston will manage this facility and, through it, make loans to eligible financial institutions secured by high-quality assets purchased from single-state and other tax-exempt municipal money market funds.

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  • March 20, 2020 | Tax Day Moves from April 15 to July 15

    The U.S. Treasury and IRS announce that tax filings and payments for all federal income taxes due on April 15, 2020 will now be due on July 15, 2020.

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  • March 20, 2020 | Illinois and New York Announce Stay-At-Home Orders

    The governors of Illinois and New York State announce executive orders requiring their residents to stay in their homes to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Stay at home orders now apply to over 20% of the population of the United States.

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  • March 22, 2020, 6:00 pm EDT | Federal Financial Regulatory Agencies Issue Joint Statement

    The federal financial regulatory agencies (Federal Reserve System, Conference of State Bank Supervisors, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) issued a joint statement encouraging financial institutions to work with borrowers affected by COVID-19, noting that they will not criticize institutions for loan modifications and will not automatically categorize them as troubled debt restructurings. The agencies encouraged prudent loan modifications as positive and proactive actions to mitigate adverse impacts of COVID-19 on borrowers.

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  • March 23, 2020, 8:00 am EDT | Federal Reserve Announces New Measures to Support Economy

    The Federal Reserve announces new measures to support the economy, stating that it is committed to using "its full range of tools" to support households, businesses, and the U.S. economy as they struggle coping with economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The tools include expansion of lending programs established earlier to add certain types of corporate and municipal debt. The actions announced are as follows:

    • Directs the Open Market Desk to purchase Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities in whatever amount is needed to support market functions. In addition to the securities listed above, the Desk will also purchase agency commercial mortgage-backed securities.

    • Support the flow of credit to employers, consumers, and businesses by establishing new programs that, taken together, will provide up to $300 billion in new financing. The Department of the Treasury, using the Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF), will provide $30 billion in equity to these facilities
      • Establish two facilities to support credit to large employers: the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF) for new bond and loan issuance and the Secondary market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF) to provide liquidity for outstanding corporate bonds. These tools are intended to provide support to businesses in need of credit as a result of the pandemic.

      • (Re) Establish the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) to enable the issuance of assets by lending on a non-recourse basis to holders of certain AAA-rated asset-backed securities (ABS).

    • Expanding the Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility to include a wider range of securities, including municipal bonds and bank certificates of deposit.

    • Expanding the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF) to include high-quality, tax-exempt commercial paper as eligible securities.

    In addition to these actions, the Federal Reserve announces plans to establish a Main Street Business Lending Program to support lending to eligible small-and-medium-sized businesses to complement efforts by the Small Business Administration.

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  • March 24, 2020 | Increases to Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 2,112.98 points to close at 20,704.91, an 11% gain, the largest one-day percentage gain since 1933. The S&P 500 Index rose 209.93 points to 2,447.33, an increase of over 9%.

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  • March 24, 2020, 5:30 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Provides Additional Information on Supervisory Approach Adjustments

    The Federal Reserve Board provides additional information to financial institutions on how its supervisory approach is adjusting in light of the coronavirus. In particular:

    • The Federal Reserve will focus on monitoring and outreach to help financial institutions of all sizes understand the challenges and risks of the current environment;

    • To minimize disruption and to focus on outreach and monitoring, the Federal Reserve will temporarily reduce its examination activities, with the greatest reduction in activities occurring at the smallest banks;

    • Large banks should still submit their capital plans that they have developed as part of the Board's Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, or CCAR, by April 6. The plans will be used to monitor how firms are managing their capital in the current environment; and

    • To allow firms to focus on heightened risks in this current environment and assist consumers, additional time will be granted for resolving non-critical existing supervisory findings.

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  • March 26, 2020 | Historic Rise in Unemployment Insurance Claims

    For the week ending March 21, initial unemployment insurance claims rise to over 3.2 million, a tenfold increase from the week prior and the highest level of initial claims in the history of the series (since 1967). According to the press release from the Department of Labor, nearly every state providing comments cited the impact of the COVID-19 virus.

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  • March 26, 2020, 12:00 pm EDT | Federal Regulatory Agencies Encourage Small-Dollar Loans for Consumers and Small Businesses

    Five federal financial regulatory agencies (the Federal Reserve, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency) issue a joint statement encouraging banks, savings associations, and credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses in response to COVID-19. The agencies state that loans should be offered in a manner that provides fair treatment of consumers, complies with applicable laws and regulations, and is consistent with safe and sound practices. For borrowers who experience unexpected circumstances and cannot repay a loan as structured, banks, savings associations and credit unions are further encouraged to consider workout strategies designed to help borrowers to repay the principal of the loan while mitigating the need to re-borrow.

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  • March 27, 2020 | CARES Act Signed Into Law

    President Trump signs the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law, the largest single spending bill in the history of the United States. Among other actions, the law provides nearly $2 trillion in tax relief, spending, grants, and capital to offset the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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  • March 29, 2020 | Stay at Home Guidelines Extended

    President Trump announces an extension of the Stay at Home guidelines to April 30, 2020 (from March 30, 2020).

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  • March 31, 2020, 8:30 am EDT | Federal Reserve Establishes FIMA Repo Facility

    The Federal Reserve announces the establishment of a temporary repurchase agreement facility for foreign and international monetary authorities (FIMA Repo Facility) to help support the smooth functioning of financial markets, including the U.S. Treasury market, and thus maintain the supply of credit to U.S. households and businesses. The FIMA Repo Facility will allow FIMA account holders, which consist of central banks and other international monetary authorities with accounts at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, to enter into repurchase agreements with the Federal Reserve. In these transactions, FIMA account holders temporarily exchange their U.S. Treasury securities held with the Federal Reserve for U.S. dollars, which can then be made available to institutions in their jurisdictions. The FIMA Repo Facility will be available beginning April 6 and will continue for at least 6 months.

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  • April 1, 2020, 4:45 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Board Announces Temporary Change to Supplementary Leverage Ratio Rule

    The Federal Reserve announces a temporary change to its supplementary leverage ratio rule to ease strains in the Treasury market resulting from the coronavirus and increase banking organizations' ability to provide credit to households and businesses. The change excludes U.S. Treasury securities and deposits at Federal Reserve Banks from the calculation of the rule for holding companies and is in effect until March 31, 2021.

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  • April 2, 2020 | Second Historic Rise in Unemployment Insurance Claims

    For the week ending on March 28, initial unemployment insurance claims rise to over 6.6 million, double the previous week's number and the highest level of initial claims in the history of the series. Similar to the prior week, nearly every state providing comments cites the COVID-19 virus.

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  • April 3, 2020 | SBA Announces "Paycheck Protection Program" Loans

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) announces loan processing may begin for the "Paycheck Protection Program." Loans from this program are forgiven if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program is part of the implementation of sections 1102 and 1106 of the CARES Act.

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  • April 3, 2020 | Federal Agencies Encourage Mortgage Servicers To Work With Struggling Homeowners Affected By COVID-19

    Federal and state financial institution regulators (the Federal Reserve, Conference of State Banking Supervisors, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, FDIC, NCUA, and OCC) issue a joint policy statement providing regulatory flexibility to enable mortgage servicers to work with consumers affected by the COVID-19 emergency. The announcement informs servicers of the agencies' flexible supervisory and enforcement approach during the COVID-19 pandemic regarding certain communications to consumers required by the mortgage servicing rules. The policy statement and guidance will also facilitate mortgage servicers' ability to place consumers in short-term payment forbearance programs such as the one established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Under the CARES Act, borrowers in a federally backed mortgage loan experiencing a financial hardship due (directly or indirectly) to the COVID-19 pandemic may request forbearance from their mortgage servicer by affirming their financial hardship. In response, servicers must provide a CARES Act forbearance, without requiring any application from the borrower, that allows borrowers to defer their mortgage payments for up to 180 days and possibly longer.

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  • April 6, 2020 | Agencies Announce Changes to the Community Bank Leverage Ratio

    The federal bank regulatory agencies (the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC) announce two interim final rules to provide temporary relief to community banking organizations. The agencies are acting to implement Section 4012 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which requires the agencies to temporarily lower the community bank leverage ratio to 8 percent. The two rules will modify the community bank leverage ratio framework so that:

    • Beginning in the second quarter 2020 and until the end of the year, a banking organization that has a leverage ratio of 8 percent or greater and meets certain other criteria may elect to use the community bank leverage ratio framework; and
    • Community banking organizations will have until January 1, 2022, before the community bank leverage ratio requirement is re-established at greater than 9 percent.

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  • April 6, 2020 | New York Fed Opens Registration Process for the Commercial Paper Funding Facility

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York opens the registration process for the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFF), which will begin funding purchases of commercial paper on April 14, 2020. Commercial paper consists of short-term, promissory notes that are used to directly finance a wide range of economic activity, supplying credit and funding for the operational needs of a range of businesses and municipalities. The CPFF provides a liquidity backstop to U.S. issuers of commercial paper through a special purpose vehicle (SPV) that will purchase eligible three-month corporate, asset-backed, and municipal commercial paper from eligible issuers using financing provided by the New York Fed.

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  • April 6, 2020, 2:00 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Announces Paycheck Protection Program Lending Facility

    The Federal Reserve announces a facility for lending to small businesses via the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by providing term financing backed by PPP loans. The announcement included the intention to provide additional details later in the week.

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  • April 8, 2020, 11:30 am EDT | Federal Reserve Temporarily Modifies Growth Restriction on Wells Fargo

    The Federal Reserve Board announces that it will temporarily and narrowly modify the growth restriction on Wells Fargo so that it can provide additional support to small businesses. The change will allow the firm to make additional small business loans only as part of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Federal Reserve's forthcoming Main Street Lending Program. The Board will require benefits from the PPP and the Main Street Lending Program to be transferred to the U.S. Treasury or to non-profit organizations approved by the Federal Reserve that support small businesses. The change will be in place as long as the facilities are active.

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  • April 9, 2020 | Federal Reserve to Provide up to $2.3 Trillion in Loans to Support the Economy

    The Federal Reserve announces additional actions under the authority of Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, with approval of the Treasury Secretary, to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. This funding will assist households and employers of all sizes and bolster the ability of state and local governments to deliver critical services during the coronavirus pandemic.

    These actions will:

    • Supply liquidity to financial institutions via term financing backed by the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program's (PPP).
    • Ensure credit flows to small and mid-sized businesses employing up to 10,000 workers or with revenues of less than $2.5 billion via the Main Street Lending Program.
    • Expand flow of credit to households and businesses via capital markets by expanding the size and scope of the Primary and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities (PMCCF and SMCCF) and Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF).
    • Establish a Municipal Liquidity Facility for up to $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities by purchasing up to $500 billion of short-term notes directly from U.S. states and some local governments.

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  • April 14, 2020, 6:00 pm EDT | Federal Banking Agencies to Defer Appraisals

    The federal banking agencies (Federal Reserve, FDIC, and the OCC) release an interim final rule to temporarily defer real estate-related appraisals and evaluations. The agencies are excluding transactions for acquisition, development, and construction of real estate because these loans present heightened risks not associated with financing existing real estate.

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  • April 15, 2020 | SBA Suspends New Paycheck Protection Program Loan Approvals

    The SBA exhausts funding for the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), based on available appropriations funding. The SBA has processed more than 14 years' worth of loans in less than 14 days. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

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  • April 15, 2020 | Federal Reserve's Beige Book Reflects Impact of COVID-19

    The Federal Reserve releases the Beige Book, noting sharp and abrupt contraction of economic activity across all regions of the United States. The hardest-hit industries—because of social distancing measures and mandated closures—were the leisure and hospitality sector and the retail sector (excluding essential goods). Districts reporting on loan demand said it was high, both from companies accessing credit lines and from households refinancing mortgages. All Districts reported highly uncertain outlooks among business contacts, with most expecting conditions to worsen in the next several months.

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  • April 16, 2020, 9:00 am EDT | Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility is Fully Operational

    The Federal Reserve announces that its Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility is fully operational and available to provide liquidity to eligible financial institutions who have made PPP loans to eligible small businesses. PPP lenders can secure PPPLF extensions of credit by pledging the PPP loans as collateral to the Federal Reserve. Unlike primary credit, the main discount window lending program for depository institutions, PPPLF loans are for two years while primary credit is available for up to 90 days.

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  • April 16, 2020 | White House Releases Guidelines for Relaxing Social Distancing Restrictions

    President Trump announces three-phase "opening up" guidelines for states and local governments on relaxing social distancing restrictions. The guidelines include recommendations for individuals, businesses, and employers.

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  • April 23, 2020, 2:00 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Outlines Public Release of Information for New Programs

    The Federal Reserve outlines its plan to make available (i) the names and details of participants in each CARES Act 13(3) funded facility, (ii) the amounts borrowed and interest rate charged, and (iii) the overall costs, revenues, and fees for each facility.

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  • April 23, 2020, 5:30 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Board Announces Temporary Actions to Increase Intraday Credit Availability

    The Federal Reserve Board announces temporary actions aimed at increasing the availability of intraday credit extended by Federal Reserve Banks. To mitigate the disruptions in daily liquidity caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, they encourage financially healthy institutions to utilize intraday credit, also known as daylight overdrafts, on both a collateralized and uncollateralized basis by (1) suspending uncollateralized intraday credit limits (net debit caps) and waiving overdraft fees for institutions that are eligible for the primary credit program and (2) permitting a streamlined procedure for secondary credit institutions to request collateralized intraday credit (max caps). The Board also suspends two collections of information that are used to calculate net debit caps.

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  • April 24, 2020 | Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act Signed Into Law

    President Trump signs into law the "Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act." The Act provides additional fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding to increase amounts authorized and appropriated for the Paycheck Protection Program, and provides additional economic injury disaster loans and emergency grants under the CARES Act to fund health care providers and COVID-19 testing.

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  • April 27, 2020 | Federal Reserve Board Expands the Scope and Duration of the Municipal Liquidity Facility

    The Federal Reserve Board announces an expansion of the scope and duration of the Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF) to include securities issued by U.S. counties with a population of at least 500,000 residents and U.S. cities with a population of at least 250,000 residents. The expansion announced today also allows participation in the facility by certain multistate entities. The term of securities eligible for purchase by the facility was extended to no later than 36 months from the date of issuance.
    The Federal Reserve is also considering expanding the MLF to allow a limited number of governmental entities that issue bonds backed by their own revenue to participate directly in the MLF as eligible issuers.

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  • April 28, 2020 | U.S. Becomes First Country with 1 Million Confirmed Cases of COVID-19

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center website report more than 1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with more than 5.5 million tests run.

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  • April 28, 2020 | President Trump Invokes the Defense Production Act to Order Meat and Poultry Processors to Continue Operating

    The President invokes the Defense Production Act of 1950 for the first time since declaring the national emergency on March 13. Outbreaks of COVID-19 at some beef, pork, and poultry processing facilities had led to reduction in processing capacity and some plant closures. The executive order directs these processors to continue operations under guidance from the CDC and OSHA in order to preserve the functioning of the national food supply chain.

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  • April 29, 2020 | Real GDP Falls 4.8% in the First Quarter of 2020

    Real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020, according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Per the BEA, the decline in first-quarter GDP was, in part, due to the response to the spread of COVID-19, as governments issued "stay-at-home" orders in March. This led to rapid changes in demand as businesses and schools switched to remote work or canceled operations and consumers canceled, restricted, or redirected their spending.

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  • April 29, 2020, 2:00 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Issues FOMC Statement

    The FOMC announces that it is keeping the federal funds rate at its current target of 0 to ¼ percent. The Committee commits to using its full range of tools to support the U.S. economy. The Committee notes that the ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term.

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  • April 30, 2020, 10:00 am EDT | Federal Reserve Board Expands Scope and Eligibility for Main Street Lending Program

    The Federal Reserve Board announces it is expanding the scope and eligibility of the Main Street Lending Program. In response to public input, the Board decided to expand the loan options available to businesses and increase the maximum size of businesses that are eligible for support under the program. The changes include:

    • Creating a third loan option, with increased risk sharing by lenders for borrowers with greater leverage
    • Lowering the minimum loan size for certain loans to $500,000
    • Expanding the pool of businesses eligible to borrow

    Under the new loan option, lenders would retain a 15 percent share on some loans: These are loans that, when added to existing debt, do not exceed six times a borrower's income (adjusted for interest payments, taxes, depreciation, and other appropriate adjustments).

    Also, businesses with up to 15,000 employees or up to $5 billion in annual revenue are now eligible. The initial program terms were for companies with up to 10,000 employees and $2.5 billion in revenue. The minimum loan size for two of the options was also lowered from $1 million to $500,000.

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  • April 30, 2020, 5:15 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Expands Access to its Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF)

    The Federal Reserve expands access to its Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) to additional lenders and expands the collateral that can be pledged. These changes will make all PPP lenders approved by the SBA, including non-depository institution lenders, eligible to participate in the PPPLF. SBA-qualified PPP lenders include banks, credit unions, community development financial institutions, members of the Farm Credit System, small business lending companies licensed by the SBA, and some financial technology firms. Eligible borrowers will also be able to pledge whole PPP loans that they have purchased as collateral to the PPPLF.

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  • May 5, 2020, 3:30 pm EDT | Federal Banking Agencies Modify Liquidity Coverage Ratio for MMLF and PPPLF

    The federal banking agencies (Federal Reserve, FDIC, and the OCC) release an interim final rule that modifies the agencies' liquidity coverage ratio (LCR) rule to support banking organizations' participation in the Federal Reserve's Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility and the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility.

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  • May 8, 2020 | BLS Reports Historic Unemployment and Job Loss Numbers

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 20.5 million in April and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent. This is the largest one-month decline in employment and the highest unemployment rate in the history of these series (seasonally adjusted data are available back to 1948).

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  • May 11, 2020 | Federal Reserve Bank of New York Announces SMCCF will Begin Purchasing ETFs

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announces that the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF) will begin purchases of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on May 12.

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  • May 12, 2020, 1:15 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Announces Additional Information Regarding TALF Program

    The Federal Reserve Board updates borrower and collateral eligibility criteria for the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF), which was announced March 23. To help ensure U.S. consumers and businesses remain able to access credit at affordable terms, TALF initially will make available up to $100 billion of loans. The Board also outlines the information it will publicly disclose for the TALF and Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF): the name of each participant in both facilities; the amounts borrowed, interest rate charged, and value of pledged collateral; and the overall costs, revenues, and fees for each facility. The disclosures are similar to those announced in April for the Board facilities that use CARES Act funds.

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  • May 14, 2020, 12:00 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Releases Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households

    The Federal Reserve Board releases its annual Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households with a supplemental survey from April 3 to April 6 focusing on labor market effects and households' overall financial circumstances. The report found that financial conditions changed dramatically for people who experienced job loss or reduced hours during March 2020 as the spread of COVID-19 intensified in the United States.

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  • May 15, 2020, 8:30 am EDT | Historic Decline in Advance Monthly Retail and Food Service Sales

    The Commerce Department releases the advance monthly retail and food services sales report showing a decline of 16.4% from the previous month and a decline of 21.6% from April 2019.

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  • May 15, 2020, 5:45 pm EDT | Regulators Announce Temporary Change to Supplementary Leverage Ratio Rule

    The federal bank regulatory agencies (Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC) announce a temporary change to the supplementary leverage ratio rule to ease strains in the Treasury market resulting from the coronavirus and increase banking organizations' ability to provide credit to households and businesses. The change originally announced by the Federal Reserve on April 1 has been expanded to include the other federal regulatory agencies. The change excludes U.S. Treasury securities and deposits at Federal Reserve Banks from the calculation of the rule for holding companies and is in effect until March 31, 2021.

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  • May 19, 2020 | Chair Powell Gives Testimony to Congress

    Chair Powell provides testimony on the Federal Reserve's response to the coronavirus and the CARES Act to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.

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  • May 20, 2020 | CDC Provides Guidance as States Begin to Reopen

    The CDC announces a Community Mitigation Framework that includes updated guidance for communities, schools, workplaces, and events to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Major population centers began opening in early May; individual states issued specific guidance, including California, New York, and Illinois.

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  • May 20, 2020, 3:00 pm EDT | Federal Agencies Share Principles for Offering Responsible Small-Dollar Loans

    The federal financial institution regulatory agencies (the Federal Reserve, FDIC, and OCC) issue principles for offering small-dollar loans in a responsible manner to meet financial institution customers' short-term credit needs. A March 26 joint agency statement encouraged banks, savings associations, and credit unions to offer responsible small-dollar loans to consumers and small businesses in response to COVID-19.

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  • May 21, 2020 | Fed Listens COVID-19 Event

    The Federal Reserve Board hosts an online Fed Listens event, with a focus on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has changed perspectives on the labor market, inflation, and the transmission of monetary policy to households and businesses.

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  • May 26, 2020 | NYSE Reopens Trading Floor

    The New York Stock Exchange announces the reopening of the trading floor. A temporary move to fully electronic trading was announced on March 18. According to the NYSE, trading will begin with fewer traders, and those on the floor will wear masks and maintain social distancing.

    NYSE on Twitter
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  • May 28, 2020, 4:00 pm EDT | 100,000 COVID-19 Deaths in the United States

    The CDC reports that over 100,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States.

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  • June 3, 2020, 1:00 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Expands Number and Type of Entities Eligible for MLF

    The Federal Reserve announces an expansion in the number and type of entities eligible to directly use its Municipal Liquidity Facility (MLF). These new terms allow all U.S. states to have at least two cities or counties eligible to directly issue notes to the MLF regardless of population. State governors will also be able to designate two issuers whose revenues are generally derived from operating government activities (such as public transit, airports, toll facilities, and utilities) to be eligible to directly use the facility.

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  • June 5, 2020 | BLS Reports Surprising Job Gains

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that total nonfarm payroll employment rose 2.5 million in May and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3 percent. The expectations were for a loss of over 8 million jobs and an increase of the unemployment rate to 19.7 percent.

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  • June 8, 2020 | NBER Declares Recession Began in February

    The Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research determined that February 2020 marked the peak in monthly economic activity in the U.S. economy—that is, the end of the expansion that began in June 2009 and the beginning of a recession. The expansion lasted 128 months, the longest in the history of U.S. business cycle dating (back to 1854).

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  • June 8, 2020 | Federal Reserve Expands Main Street Lending Program

    The Federal Reserve expands its Main Street Lending Program to allow more small and medium-sized businesses to receive support. The Board lowered the minimum loan amount, raised the maximum loan limit, adjusted the principal repayment schedule to begin after two years, and extended the term.

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  • June 15, 2020 | SBA Reopens Loan Program

    The U.S. Small Business Administration reopens the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19. SBA's EIDL program offers long-term, low-interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. EIDL assistance can be used to cover payroll and inventory, pay debt, or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid.

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  • June 15, 2020 | Main Street Lending Program Opens for Registration

    The Main Street Lending Program, administered by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, opens for lender registration through its online portal. Lenders are encouraged to begin making Main Street program loans immediately.

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  • June 15, 2020, 5:15 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Seeks Feedback on Extending Main Street Lending Program

    The Federal Reserve Board seeks public feedback on a proposal to expand its Main Street Lending Program to provide access to credit for nonprofit organizations. The proposed expansion would offer loans to small and medium-sized nonprofits that were in sound financial condition before the coronavirus pandemic and could benefit from additional liquidity.

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  • June 15, 2020, 5:15 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Announces Updates to its Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility

    The Federal Reserve announces that the Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility (SMCCF) will begin buying a broad and diversified portfolio of corporate bonds to support market liquidity and the availability of credit for large employers. The SMCCF, established in March, originally purchased only exchange traded funds (ETFs).

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  • June 23, 2020, 12:00 pm EDT | Regulatory Agencies Issue Guidance to Consider COVID-19 Effects

    State, federal, and credit union regulators issue examiner guidance to promote consistency and flexibility in the supervision and examination of financial institutions affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The interagency guidance instructs examiners to consider the unique, evolving, and potentially long-term nature of the issues confronting institutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to exercise appropriate flexibility in their supervisory response. No action on the part of supervised institutions is required.

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  • June 25, 2020, 4:30 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Releases Stress Tests Results

    The Federal Reserve releases the results of its stress tests for 2020, designed before the COVID-19 pandemic, and additional sensitivity analyses.

    In addition to its normal stress test, the Board conducted a sensitivity analysis to assess the resiliency of large banks under three hypothetical recessions, or downside scenarios, which could result from the pandemic. In light of the test results, the Board took several actions to ensure large banks remain resilient despite the economic uncertainty. For the third quarter of this year, the Board will require large banks to preserve capital by suspending share repurchases, capping dividend payments to the amount paid in the second quarter, and limiting dividends according to a formula based on recent income.

    All large banks will also be required to resubmit and update their capital plans later in 2020 to reflect current stresses. The Board will conduct additional analysis each quarter to determine if adjustments to this response are appropriate.

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  • June 26, 2020 | Texas and Florida Among First States to Reverse Reopenings

    As cases surge in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott orders bars to close and restaurants to reduce capacity. In Florida, where bars reopened in early June, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation announces a ban on alcohol consumption in bars after the Department of Health reports nearly 9,000 new cases.

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  • June 28, 2020 | California Reverses Reopening

    The Governor of California orders bars to close in 7 counties on the County Monitoring List due to concerning levels of disease transmission, hospitalizations, or insufficient testing.

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  • June 29, 2020, 1:30 pm EDT | Federal Reserve Launches PMCCF

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York announces that the Primary Market Corporate Credit Facility (PMCCF) is operational. The PMCCF provides a funding backstop for corporate debt to eligible issuers and is available to (i) purchase qualifying bonds as the sole investor in a bond issuance and (ii) purchase portions (up to 25%) of syndicated bonds at issuance ("co-investor" transactions). Pricing will be issuer-specific, informed by market conditions and subject to minimum and maximum spreads over comparable maturity Treasury securities.

    The Primary Market and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities were established with the approval of the Treasury Secretary and with $75 billion in equity provided by the Treasury Department from the CARES Act.

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  • July 1, 2020 | Daily COVID-19 Cases in U.S. Surpass 50,000

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports over 50,000 new COVID-19 cases in the United States, bringing the total to over 2.6 million total confirmed cases.

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  • July 4, 2020 | President Trump Signs Extension of PPP

    The application period for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is extended to August 8, 2020.

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  • July 6, 2020 | SBA Releases PPP Loan Data

    The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Treasury Department, announces it is releasing detailed loan-level data regarding the loans made under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This disclosure covers each of the 4.9 million PPP loans that have been made. The names and addresses of businesses with loans below $150,000 were not released.

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  • July 6, 2020 | MSLP Fully Operational

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston announces that the Main Street Lending Program is fully operational and ready to purchase participations in eligible loans. The Main Street Lending Program offers five-year loans to help credit flow to small- and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Timeline of Events Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic . https://fraser.stlouisfed.org/timeline/covid-19-pandemic, accessed on July 15, 2020.


Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, One Federal Reserve Bank Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63102