How the global economy emerges depends on the interaction between efforts to contain the virus and measures that preserve industries that will undergo financial deep freeze. The idea is to avoid widespread defaults and job losses so that the economy can get back on its feet sooner.

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens, one of the many difficulties is supporting thousands of small business that provide millions of jobs. In the US, these smaller enterprises employ nearly 50% of the workforce, according to Karen Mills, who ran the Small Business Administration during the Obama presidency. Keeping them solvent increases the odds of a faster recovery, and Mills recommends interest-free loans and other measures to keep them afloat.

In the meantime, opinions are mixed on whether the rebound will be a sharp “V-shaped” recovery, or something that’s longer, more protracted, and painful.

Jason Furman, the Harvard professor and former Obama economic advisor, told Business Insider that he wouldn’t count on a quick turnaround. The massive stimulus the US is about to receive gives it a better chance of a fast recovery, but it still takes time for bankrupt businesses to be reorganized, and for fired workers to get employment again. Economist Gary Shilling told Bloomberg Radio that this disruption is having a “decided” impact on confidence for consumers and businesses in the US. Instead of a V-shape bounce back, he expects an “endless L”: it will still take a long time to restore delicate supply chains, he said.

Others are more optimistic. Economists at JPMorgan think there will be a strong snapback if activity is able to get up and going by the middle of 2020. Dutta at Renaissance Macro said the economic data in March and April will be ugly, but there may be economic growth again by June.

“There’s going to be mechanical bounce in activity just as things turn on,” he said.  “That will give you a kick going into the third quarter.”

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