Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Gary Cohn, once a key aide to President Donald Trump, told CNBC on Wednesday that the federal government should go as far as possible to save the economy from collapse due to the coronavirus outbreak and that it is not possible to go too far.
“You can’t overreact in this situation,” said Cohn, who served as chief economic adviser from 2017-18. “The job of the executive board and the job of all of Congress at this time is to act decisively and move swiftly and spend as much money as possible on the situation.”
Cohn made the comments at a CNBC town hall on Wednesday.
Overnight, the White House and Senate agreed on a $ 2 trillion stimulus bill to curb the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, though the legislation continues to face some opposition in the room.
In the legislation, lawmakers allocated $ 500 billion to the Treasury Department to direct loans, loan guarantees, and cash grants to struggling businesses. It also includes a $ 350 billion program to finance small businesses to avoid layoffs as the economy slips into a downturn. Wall Street fell into a deep bear market as investors contemplate the impact that “stay-at-home” and quarantine orders across the country could affect trading.
As for citizens, authorities have offered to distribute cash payments to help mitigate the impact of large-scale layoffs. If approved, individuals could receive $ 1,200 and married couples $ 2,400, plus $ 500 per child. The plan has income restrictions.
“Time is running out” and there is no time for people to queue in banks, the former chairman of Goldman Sachs said during the discussion.
“It’s about giving the hardworking people money tomorrow,” Cohn said, “and I don’t care if we go into the banks, and the banks lend against that, or if we go to the big guys. payroll services and tell them to do the payroll tomorrow because [the payroll companies] know exactly who they’re going to pay it to. “
Businesses, especially those in the travel industry, are seeking government assistance in the form of loans and cash grants to deal with business losses due to the rapid spread of the disease. Airlines, cruise lines and hotels are in the eye of the storm after scores of consumers and businesses cancel vacations, business trips and conferences.
Public health officials around the world are working to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, which causes the deadly COVID-19 disease. The disease has been contracted by nearly 467,600 people and has killed more than 21,000 people worldwide, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Heads of government in the United States have fought to stop the spread of the coronavirus, which has particularly affected New York state, as well as California, New Jersey and Washington state.