The Presidential Daily Brief

Important

  1. The World Is Closing Its Doors

    Sealed-off borders and shuttered businesses are quickly becoming the new normal as societies struggle to stem the spread of coronavirus. Travelers canceled vacations, shoppers flocked to supermarkets to stock up, and fears spiked over the financial future of countless households. Europe is particularly gripped, with nearly 40,000 cases recorded in Italy and Spain alone. In the U.S., President Donald Trump suggested the crisis could last well into the summer.

    Is there light at the end of the tunnel? The fact that the outbreak's former epicenter, the Chinese city of Wuhan, recorded only one new infection today suggests lockdowns might help.

    Keep up with OZY's coverage of the coronavirus crisis.

  2. market 3808452611 19126f70b9 o

    Global Stocks Gripped by Volatility

    Investors are hoping for relief as U.S. stock futures seesawed after Monday's massive sell-off. Asian markets provided a mostly positive picture during an otherwise volatile trading day, but their European counterparts failed to impress. "The knife is still falling," said one analyst. Meanwhile, U.S. airlines are reportedly asking the government for a $50 billion aid package.

    What's the bigger picture? With a global recession now all but certain, some investors are wondering if it'll escalate into a full-blown depression — though most believe there's still enough time for the U.S. economy to expand this year.

  3. COVID-19 Is Messing With Primaries

    He went the social distance. The race for the Democratic nomination was thrown into further turmoil yesterday after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine defied a court decision and ordered polling stations across his state to remain closed for today's primary. Contests in Arizona, Illinois and Florida will continue as planned — although tinged, some observers say, with a sense of strangeness thanks to a lack of face-to-face campaigning.

    Could other states follow Ohio's example? Georgia, Louisiana and Kentucky have already postponed their own primaries from March 24, April 4 and May 19, respectively.

    Read this OZY op-ed about why Sen. Bernie Sanders won't go down easily.

  4. director robert s. mueller  iii

    DOJ Backs Off Mueller-Charged Firm

    A U.S. federal judge approved a motion by Justice Department prosecutors to drop charges against a Russian company accused of meddling in the 2016 election. DOJ lawyers claimed Concord Management and Consulting — co-owned by a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin — was exploiting the case to keep waging its disinformation campaign. It was charged alongside two other Russian companies in February 2018 by former special counsel Robert Mueller's team.

    What's next? It remains to be seen whether the move will add to criticism that Attorney General William Barr has sought to unravel Mueller's investigative work.

  5. Also Important...

    Apple has been fined more than $1 billion by French antitrust regulators for anti-competitive behavior. The Kentucky Derby will reportedly be postponed until September. And Idris Elba is the latest celebrity to have tested positive for coronavirus.

    Coronavirus Update: As of early Tuesday, COVID-19 has infected at least 183,300 people, while more than 7,100 have died and nearly 80,000 have recovered.

    Speak up! How worried are you about your financial future amid the coronavirus outbreak? Let us know by replying to this email — and we’ll feature the most interesting answers right here later in the week.

Intriguing

  1. St. Patrick's Day Is Different This Year

    "Let’s create a virtual parade of our own." So said Ireland's national broadcaster while encouraging citizens to post videos of their previous St. Patrick's Day revelry or alternative celebrations to replace the annual parades. It's one of many creative responses to the quarantines and self-isolation that have altered daily life. But despite the lack of public gatherings, many buildings and landmarks will still be turning green.

    What other traditions will continue? Boston punk mainstays the Dropkick Murphys, who've played every March 17 for 24 years, declared "the show must go on" — though this year they'll livestream the gig without a live audience.

  2. Tech Firms Team Up Against Fake News

    Now that's tech support. In a joint statement Monday, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Reddit, Twitter, and YouTube all pledged to fight "fraud and misinformation" as the coronavirus outbreak continues sowing global confusion. They've promised to "elevate authoritative content" and share health-related updates, and have called on other companies to follow suit.

    What's the plan? While they've released few specifics, some companies have already cracked down on virus-related abuses like price gouging, hoaxes and promoting false cures.

    Check out OZY's feature about why Europeans dream of tech sovereignty.

  3. food porn

    Your Next Meal Will Be an Experience

    From Tokyo to Phoenix and Mumbai to Copenhagen, entrepreneurs, chefs, artists and tech whizzes are changing the way you eat by offering multisensory experiences, OZY reports. Whether involving 360-degree art projections, or cutlery made cold by liquid nitrogen, multisensory fine dining is emerging as the future of the industry. And while it's currently priced out of most diners' range, its increasing popularity means more people might begin eating creatively.

    But who's going to restaurants these days? The limited number of diners at each session might actually be appealing in the age of coronavirus.

  4. Bundesarchiv bild 146 1990 048 29a, adolf hitler

    Amazon Cracks Down on 'Mein Kampf'

    They're closing the book on hate. The online retailer has reportedly banned the sale of most editions of Adolf Hitler's racist manifesto, in addition to other Nazi propaganda. While Amazon informed sellers that the book breaks its code of conduct, it hasn't commented on why it acted now. But the move comes after top British politicians backed the Holocaust Educational Trust's effort to get such works removed.

    What's the bigger picture? Many will consider this a victory, though lots of Nazi propaganda remains available for free online.

    Read OZY's True Story about the Nazi boxer with a complicated legacy.

  5. tokyo olympics shutterstock 294012005

    Will Tokyo's Olympic Games Go On?

    With coronavirus getting more serious by the day, this summer's Tokyo Olympics seem increasingly under threat. Both Japanese officials and event organizers have insisted the games would kick off in July as planned, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's refusal to comment on a specific timeframe yesterday fueled speculation that their plans might shift. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of Japanese voters want the event postponed.

    What's the global consensus? As Abe ponders the political cost of postponing the games, commentators are increasingly suggesting it "feels impossible" to keep them on track.