Distressed high-yield debt is going to be very interesting. Looking hard at the underlying cash flow of every business is really important, staying vigilant about liquidity. Depending on the length of this, some companies aren’t going to be able to survive. If Boeing doesn’t get a bailout, it’s effectively bankrupt. (Read more: Boeing weighs deep cuts with $60 billion bailout bid pending)

What are your business-owner clients doing?
People are looking at what costs they can cut, how they can be good stewards to not only shareholders and themselves but to employees and stakeholders. How can they can keep as many people employed as possible yet have the enterprise succeed?

Any business that depends on people going out and doing things is going to be hit really hard. It won’t stop consumption of groceries and won’t stop people from buying from Amazon. It will hurt activity in some of the big consumer product areas -- consumer durables have to be very difficult.

Are clients doing much with their portfolios?
Some people are frozen. Usually when there is uncertainty they either panic or freeze. Our job is to make sure they don’t panic, and if we’ve done this right, we set up portfolios so they can withstand these kinds of downturns. People are listening to the advice not to panic.

My advice to every businessperson, harking back to my days in the private equity business, is you have to think boldly. There can be nothing that’s not on the table now, whether you look at positions that you need to temporarily eliminate, or furloughs, changes in compensation, lines of business that aren’t going to make it or even markets that won’t make it.

With compensation, maybe give people an equity interest instead of cash. There’s a lot you can do to defer things. This is definitely not a time for inability to make decisions. It’s a time for bold and decisive action. I heard an analogy the other day-- it’s almost like we know the hurricane is off the coast and you’re starting to get the rain and the wind. It’s not like we’re halfway through it and it’s going to be better tomorrow.

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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