content-header__row content-header__hed” data-testid=”ContentHeaderHed”>Steven Mnuchin Swears He’s Not Tanking the Economy Just to F–k Over Joe BidenStrangely, not everyone believes him.
November 20, 2020
By Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Something you’re probably aware of by now, unless you live in a cave or exclusively get your news from @realDonaldTrump and his big boy sons, is that there’s a very contagious disease ravaging the globe that is not just killing more than a million people but jobs and businesses as well. Jobs, for the lazy rich who are unaware, are how people buy stuff like food and pay for things like shelter. So losing them is bad; less bad if you live in a society where the government actually cares about people and doesn’t just say, “tough shit, them’s the breaks,” when you lose one, and more bad if you live in, for example, the United States of America. The current Treasury secretary presumably knows this and, yet, he’s apparently hoping to make a bad situation even worse!
On Thursday, Steven Mnuchin said that he doesn’t plan to extend a number of key emergency lending programs beyond the end of the year, asking the Federal Reserve to return the money supporting them to the Treasury. While the programs expire at the end of 2020, investors had expected them to continue without interruption, given that COVID-19 is spiraling out of control and continues to pose major economic risks. As The New York Times reports, “the pandemic-era programs…have provided an important backstop that has calmed critical markets since the coronavirus took hold in March,” and “removing them could leave significant corners of the financial world vulnerable to the type of volatility that cascaded through the system as virus fears mounted in the spring.” And while any Joe Biden–appointed Treasury secretary would likely restart them immediately, Mnuchin’s move would significantly delay doing so. In a rare critical statement, the Federal Reserve said it “would prefer that the full suite of emergency facilities established during the coronavirus pandemic continue to serve their important role as a backstop for our still-strained and vulnerable economy,” which is Fed-speak for “Bitch, the fuck is wrong with you? The economy is hanging on by a thread here!”
Per the Times:
With coronavirus cases on the rise, the economy may sour again, making the programs more necessary. As recently as Tuesday, [Fed chair Jerome] Powell warned of the potential for economic scarring and said that the economic recovery had “a long way to go.”
Mnuchin, of course, is one of Donald Trump’s most devoted lackeys and Trump would obviously love nothing more than to choke the economy to death right before his successor takes over. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce denounced the move, with Neil Bradley, the group’s executive vice president, saying, “a surprise termination of the Federal Reserve’s emergency liquidity program, including the Main Street Lending Program, prematurely and unnecessarily ties the hands of the incoming administration and closes the door on important liquidity options for businesses at a time when they need them most.” As the Associated Press notes, “many progressive economists have argued that,” with the election of Biden, “a Democratic-led Treasury could support the Fed taking on more risk and making more loans to small and mid-sized businesses and cash-strapped cities under these programs. That would provide at least one avenue for the Biden administration to provide stimulus without going through Congress.” Stimulus that, for some reason, Mitch McConnell is in no hurry to get out to struggling Americans.
Ask Mnuchin about the whole thing, though, and he swears nothing nefarious is going on. “We’re not trying to hinder anything,” he said on CNBC Friday, a claim that somehow not everyone is buying. “There can be no doubt, the Trump administration and their congressional toadies are actively trying to tank the U.S economy,” Senator Sherrod Brown said in a statement. “For months, they have refused to take the steps necessary to support workers, small businesses, and restaurants. As the result, the only tool at our disposal has been these facilities.”
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