Governments, because power becomes more centralized and the perception is that only they can help. With the panic comes more debt, more spending, larger budgets and expanded payrolls that tend not to shrink after the ‘crisis’ is over.
Media, because they now have round-the-clock urgent and continually changing content to report upon and more viewers to sell advertising to.
Politicians, because they become the focal point of ‘saving’ America from herself and will be able to raise money and run on re-election based on how they portray their response to the ‘crisis’ as rapid, wise, prudential, etc., regardless of how good or bad their policies and actions are.
Big Medicine, because the ‘crisis’ justifies billions in salaries, hiring, research, resource allocation, infrastructure expansion and proposals for additional resources in the future to combat the next crisis. Much of this is funded by government because of the ‘crisis’ and because of new regulations which place burdens on medicine.
Big Pharma, because the ‘crisis’ requires new drugs, new vaccines, new research and development, new testing, reallocation of manufacturing infrastructure away from China. Much of this is funded by the government because the private sector can’t be trusted to anticipate the next crisis or can’t fund the response to the current ‘crisis’ because so much of the economy has been shut down.
Law Enforcement, because budgets must be expanded to deal with the existential threat, because shutdowns, quarantines and enforcement of new emergency laws require more personnel, expanded overtime, the acquisition of new training and equipment to combat the current and next ‘crisis’.
Department of Defense, because the cities, counties and states cannot be trusted to sufficiently rule the people and enforce federal quarantine procedures. The National Guard becomes federalized, requiring federal budgeting, and in extreme emergencies the Army can be used as a federal police force to supplement local and state agencies. With these unusual roles comes the need for training, equipment and expensive deployments.
Financial institutions, because regardless of how few or how many people get sick or die, overleverage financial institutions have no ability to weather the unprecedented shutdown of the economy. The Federal Reserve makes available nearly-free money through loans and the outright purchasing of weak security instruments to prop them up and prevent a domino effect that might cause other institutions to fail. The ‘free’ money will be used to invest in assets at depressed prices and will be repaid after the worst has passed and valuations return to pre-crisis levels.
Large corporations, because they will demonstrate how essential they are to the government and to the society and cannot be allowed to fail. They receive loans to cover past bad financial decisions, to cope with business interruption, to pay salaries and to adhere to government requirements during the shutdown. When business returns to normal some of them will repay loans through generous, mostly free, payment terms. Others will fail but will have used the free money to operate beyond the time they would have otherwise folded.