Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari is urging Congress to be “aggressive” with economic assistance in order to boost the United States’ recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m seeing, especially on the small business front, I mean, some sectors of the economy are doing fine. If you are a white-collar worker like I am … you’re able to work from home. You’re really not affected by this pandemic,” Kashkari told CBS’ Face the Nation. “But there are many sectors of the economy that are still being devastated. The travel and tourism industries, the frontline service industries, restaurants, and that’s where you’re seeing big job losses and bankruptcies. And this is going to continue to spiral and continue to bleed on.”
Kashkari said that there are roughly 11 million Americans who are still struggling to pay their bills and put food on the table, and that as long as the problem continues for consumers, there will be “spillover effects” on other areas of the economy.
“The reason the economy bounced back as strongly as it did in June and July is because Congress was so aggressive in the spring,” Kashkari added. “We need Congress to continue to be aggressive so that the recovery can be stronger.”
He warned that it took 10 years to rebuild the labor market from the Great Recession and that the country can avoid going through a similar experience now if Congress is more aggressive in its spending in the immediate moment rather than the future.
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While Kashkari acknowledged that the Federal Reserve can use broad-based tools like lowering interest rates and quantitative easing, he stressed that it cannot fix the specific areas