Steve Mnuchin did something silly on Sunday.
Specifically, he went on national television and said the US isn’t likely to fall into a recession. Or at least that was the implication.
Responding to a question about Gary Cohn’s contention that the US is likely already in a downturn, Mnuchin told ABC’s “This Week” that he doesn’t believe Cohn is correct. “I don’t think so”, Steve remarked, before admitting that a slowdown is a guarantee, even if an outright downturn is not.
“I think the real issue is not the economic situation today, but what economic tools are we going to use to get through this”, Mnuchin added, before insisting that the administration will take the necessary steps.
“Later in the year, obviously economic activity will pick up as we confront this virus”, he went on to muse.
His assessment in an interview with Fox was predictably more upbeat. “I expect we’ll have a big rebound later in the year”, Mnuchin told the “home crowd”, as it were.
It’s worth noting that although nobody could have reasonably been expected to forecast a pandemic, expectations for the US economy in 2020 were not what one might call “rosy”.
There seems to be some confusion with regard to how the “pros” (if you will) were thinking about things headed into the year. Here is the distribution of professional forecasts for US economic growth in 2020 as they stood going into the new year:
The point is simply that the only people projecting 3% growth were the folks who worked for the president. There was no “right tail” in that distribution.
To his credit, Mnuchin was instrumental in helping Nancy Pelosi push through a package of measures aimed at assisting the most vulnerable Americans amid the burgeoning epidemic. As much as you may revile Steve, he is a relative bastion of sanity and stability in an otherwise volatile cabinet.
Asked why Donald Trump seems more fixated on Wall Street than Main Street as the crisis unfurls, Mnuchin said Saturday that “the president is focused on the stock market because it’s just one indication of the economy that gives people confidence”.
Read more: Trump So Proud Of Nightmare On Wall Street, He Autographed A Chart And Gifted It To Lou Dobbs
3 thoughts on “Steve Mnuchin: The US Is Not In A Recession”
In other words it is a confidence trick.
Rumors leaked I heard that the federal reserve is planning some additional measures to release on monday
Kudos to Nancy and Steve, but they seem like a sideshow. Democrats will trickle some funds but they want 2020 and it may only cost them a few conservative souls.
I am far more impressed by how the private sector may run circles around Federal government to get testing ramped up. That shows the President wasn’t just keeping the throne warm. Not impressed by the bank CEOs, they were licking their lips at the thought of cherry picking all the SMEs that just got kneecapped.
Three cuts last year gave the US some serious positive momentum. Coronavirus is a brick wall. We’ve seen the first contact, so now we have to be careful and cognizant of the echoes in the coming months.