The government has moved quickly to introduce and then overhaul measures to supply hundreds of billions of pounds in credit to the UK economy.
First, customer demand.
Apart from groceries, no-one is really buying anything. Yes, you can get deliveries of make-up, compost, and thousands of other products from various online marketplaces, but demand for what the UK service-based economy produces has collapsed.
Many shops, restaurants, bars, hairdressers, pet stores, garden
Second, demand for credit.
Given the above, why would any business put
Yes, the government has ordered banks to remove the requirement for business owners to provide personal guarantees for loans up to £250,000.
For loans over that amount, they have also told
As things stand, the government's 80% guarantee is to the lender - not the borrower. Anyone who takes out these loans - whose interest rate the government has not capped - will be 100% liable to pay them back albeit with a 12 month deferral - not
So what can be done? Here are three ideas I have heard floated.
1. Don't defer, forgive.
Banks should permanently forego interest payments for the period of April to June.
UK banks were the recipient of hundreds of billions of pounds of financial support 11 years ago.
Analysts at stockbrokers AJ Bell estimate the bill for interest
The government has effectively ordered the banks to halt dividend payments for the rest of the year.
That gives banks additional capital resources of roughly £15bn for the calendar year - above and beyond the Bank of England's decision to relax the rules on how much capital they need to hold. The major banks' capital position is secure. They can afford it.
2. Given banks are able to borrow from the Bank of England at close to 0.1%, and that 80% of these loans will now be guaranteed by the government, it seems a bit excessive that many high street banks are charging in excess of 8% for loans that, as the government has already said, could only be taken out by businesses that were viable on their eve of the crisis.
I have been inundated
3. Any business that pays a dividend to shareholders between now and year end should be disqualified from any government bailout.
Many people think it is entirely unacceptable that any business that pays out a dividend during this crisis should then turn towards the taxpayer for cash handouts.
There are some interesting cases to watch.
P&O ferries has said it will need government support to ensure that vital ferry crossings,
Some of the other big dividend payers will face understandable public resistance if shareholders are protected only for companies to throw themselves on the mercy of the
These issues are not easy.
As I've said before, the government is dealing with a very destructive boulder, gathering momentum down a very steep hill, crushing businesses and whole national economies in its way. It is a very hard thing to get ahead of and slow down.
The government has taken unprecedented steps to try and do that.
Blunt instrumentLarge parts of the business community have also tried to rise to a once-in-a-century challenge. Many have used their ingenuity, expertise, logistical know-how and a sense of decency to do what they can.
Some, if not all, the measures I've heard, and presented here, will do serious damage to pension funds who rely on these companies to pay out money to them and their pension scheme members - their ultimate owners.
But this is an economic, existential challenge. There is a live debate about whether the cure is more deadly to our future wellbeing than the disease itself.
One thing is certain. It is not just weak businesses with underlying health conditions that will go bust. The search for an economic vaccine
The ideas suggested to me and presented here have been described as a "blunt instrument" by government officials.
But when it comes to an economic outlook that some experts argue is as dire and as