- The White House spoke with Wall Street giants including Stephen Schwarzman and Paul Tudor Jones on Tuesday about how they view the coronavirus-battered economy and struggling financial markets, CNBC reported.
- President Trump and Vice President Pence avoided talking about potential relief measures and instead asked the investors how they see the economy recovering from the pandemic’s fallout.
- Individuals on the call said the economy can’t be allowed to crumble, and that a specific deadline for resuming regular activity might be in order, sources told CNBC.
- In a Fox News town hall after the call, Trump said he’d like to see the economy “raring to go by Easter,” defying advice given by top public health experts.
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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence spoke with some of Wall Street’s biggest names to get their perspective on how the coronavirus is hitting the US economy and financial markets, CNBC reported Tuesday afternoon.
The White House’s call included Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, Just Capital’s Paul Tudor Jones, Intercontinental Exchange’s Jeffrey Sprecher, Vista Equity’s Robert Smith, and Third Point’s Dan Loeb, according to CNBC.
Potential measures to combat the virus weren’t addressed, with the “productive” call instead focused on how the investors view the current situation, sources told CNBC. Individuals on the call highlighted the idea that the economy can’t be allowed to spin out, and that a specific date for resuming regular activity may be necessary.
The conversation also addressed the Federal Reserve’s easing measures and what else the central bank could do to protect companies against the coronavirus’s damage.
The conversation took place before Trump joined Fox News for a town hall and said he’d like the economy to be “raring to go by Easter.” The deadline arrives far earlier than what many epidemiologists suggest and risks allowing the virus to spread more rampantly throughout the US.
The coronavirus has so far driven historically sharp declines to several key US industries. IHS Markit’s composite purchasing managers index tanked to 40.5 in March from 49.6, according to a Tuesday release, marking an all-time low for the metric and its biggest drop since the financial crisis.
The March data is “roughly indicative” of a 5% GDP drop, but further actions taken to contain the virus will drive “a far steeper rate of decline” in the second quarter, Chris Williamson, IHS Markit’s chief business economist, said in a statement.
Major banks project the US will enter a recession in the first half of the year, with a select few saying the nation is already mired in economic contraction.
As the Fed has propped up money markets through capital injections, asset purchases, and loan facilities, Congress has struggled to pass a nearly $US2 trillion stimulus package. Senate Democrats blocked legislation on Sunday and Monday while calling for stronger worker protections and greater scrutiny around how the White House may issue corporate relief loans.
Markets erased Monday’s losses in Tuesday’s session as investors hoped for the Senate to approve wide-ranging fiscal relief.
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