(Bloomberg) -- Welcome to Thursday, Americas. Here’s the latest news and analysis from Bloomberg Economics to help you start the day:

  • The U.S. Senate approved a historic $2 trillion rescue plan to respond to the economic and health crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, putting pressure on the Democratic-led House to pass the bill quickly and send it to President Donald Trump for his signature
  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made a rare televised interview appearance in a Thursday broadcast, as the U.S. central bank deploys an unprecedented array of tools to prevent the health crisis from becoming a financial one
  • Getting the $350 billion in loans for small firms in the record U.S. stimulus package into business owners’ hands before a wave of closures will strain the nation’s network of lenders and regulators as never before
  • The global economy’s most abrupt and consequential shock in at least a generation is unfolding at ports and other hubs of international commerce as the U.S. and Europe struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic
  • In the heat of a global crisis more sudden and severe than anything in living memory, economic orthodoxies are getting tossed aside at a furious pace. Some of them may be gone for good
  • The European Central Bank said it started buying bonds under its 750 billion-euro emergency plan to combat the coronavirus outbreak. It also decided to scrap most of the limits on bond purchases, a landmark decision that massively boosts its firepower

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