J&J Apple
Roche Facebook

Big technology and pharmaceutical companies will emerge from the chaos of the COVID-19 crisis even more powerful than they are today, according to The Economist, which dubs them the "top dogs."

Those sectors took 72 of the top 100 spots in the magazine's analysis of 800 U.S. and European companies that measured cost of debt against default, operating margins, cash buffers and leverage.

The resilience of companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Apple, Roche, Cisco Systems, Facebook and Novo Nordisk "should eventually translate into an enduring advantage, allowing them to win market share over time," reports the magazine.

The publication though warns that the top dogs may face a backlash once COVID-19 fades away. There will be calls for a new social contract with the companies pressed to "offer vital products for lower prices and to workers more security."

Capitalism may become less Darwinian as bailout and subsidized loans bolster the "small dogs." 

Some industries may become officially sanctioned cartels and allow colluding to stabilize prices and productions, making it harder for the top dogs to dominate.

"COVID-19 won't only have lasting effects on society and people's behavior. It will also alter the structure of global business," predicts The Economist.

PR will surely play a major role in reshaping the new business structure.

More than six-in-ten (62 percent) of small businesses say they won't be around in two months without federal assistance, according to a timely survey released April 3 by business.com of Waltham, MA.

The poll comes on the day that small businesses began filing for loans and grants available under the $360B COVID-19 economic stimulus program.

Nearly three-in-four (73 percent) of respondents report revenue drops of more than 50 percent and 43 percent have temporarily shut down.

The pandemic hit businesses with five or fewer employees the hardest. Two-thirds of them say they won't survive a month with financial aid.

The survey found that 57 percent of respondents estimate they need up to $100K to stay afloat for a year, while a quarter of them say would require from $100K to $500K.

As short-term survival measures, 42 percent are delaying paying bills, 33 percent laid off workers and 32 percent cut non-employee costs.

President Trump says he will have done a "very good job" if less than 200,000 Americans die from coronavirus, a disease he claimed was "unforeseen" and "came out of nowhere."

The Pentagon though warned the incompetents of Team Trump about the pandemic threat and even predicted a scarcity of ventilators  and hospital beds, according to an exclusive report in The Nation, which obtained a copy of the Defense Dept.'s plan dated Jan. 6, 2017.

"The most likely and significant threat (enemy) is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influence disease," says the 103-page report. "Even the most industrialized countries will have insufficient hospital beds, specialized equipment, such as mechanical ventilators, and pharmaceuticals readily available to adequately treat their populations during a clinically severe pandemic."

The Pentagon was on the mark.

What was Trump's response? True to form: he closed the White House’s National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which was charged with handling the next disease outbreak to prevent it from becoming a pandemic.

We are all paying for the price of Trump failing to deal with a reality that he didn't want to hear about.