16 minutes News

16 Minutes on the News #27: The Economic Virus – Monetary Policy, Fiscal Policy, and Small Business

Alex Rampell and Sonal Chokshi

Posted March 22, 2020

The U.S. Federal Reserve recently made a range of moves — from cutting interest rates to near zero (which it also did in the 2008 financial crisis) and using other tools — to support “the flow of credit to households and businesses, thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals” during this current pandemic and public health crisis.

However… what does this mean for small businesses, which may be most impacted? What’s the difference between monetary and fiscal policy here; where does rhetoric (such as around buybacks vs. dividends) confuse; how does adjudication and disbursement work… and where could technology come in?

In this short-but-deep dive episode of 16 Minutes on the News, a16z general partner on fintech Alex Rampell — who also covered quantitative easing and more on a previous episode — breaks it all down in 18 minutes, with useful analogies, in conversation with Sonal Chokshi. How do we stop not just the novel coronavirus, but the economic virus, too?