• He said he had warned companies to extend their credit lines because “hell is coming.”
Stocks ticked down while he spoke, with Forbes calling his CNBC appearance “The Billionaire Interview That Tanked the Stock Market.” But Mr. Ackman dialed back his panic — after revealing that he had bought shares in Hilton and Blackstone. “These are bargains of a lifetime if we manage this crisis correctly,” he tweeted later, clarifying his comments on TV. Got it?
For Wall Street, the show must go on
Our colleague Kate Kelly takes a look at how some of the world’s biggest financial institutions are keeping daily business going during the coronavirus pandemic.
• Goldman Sachs has sharply reduced the number of traders on its Lower Manhattan trading floor. And during a recent partner meeting, the firm’s leadership was split up: Its C.E.O., David Solomon, and C.F.O., Stephen Scherr, spoke from different rooms in the same building, while its president, John Waldron, spoke from a site in Jersey City.
• Blackstone’s C.E.O., Steve Schwarzman, and president, Jon Gray, are working from home.
• The hedge fund billionaire Seth Klarman has told his Baupost Group colleagues to work from home — but the new way of doing so is taking some getting used to. He told Kate: “Now I wake up, I work out, I go to my chair and am on constant conference calls all day long.”
Your ideas for a better bailout
Yesterday we asked you for ideas about how to design a bailout package. A selection of the (many!) responses, lightly edited for length and clarity:
“Any well-thought bailout would address taxpayers and small business directly. Low-cost loans with strict guidelines for allowed and disallowed usage for big business (no stock buybacks) would be much better than giving dollars with no strings attached.” — Kim Stanick
“Why doesn’t the government mandate that insurance companies open up their business insurance policies to cover pandemics? The government can then set up a fund to backstop the insurance companies’ payments.” — Christopher Akelman
“Any bailout of the airlines should only come with the permanent requirement that they immediately lengthen the back-to-back space between seats to at least 35 inches, lengthen the pitch (when backs are reclined) to at least 32 inches and increase the width of seats to at least 18.5 inches” — John Kerr