FOX BUSINESS: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discusses President Trump’s strategy to reopen the economy and the new $3 trillion coronavirus relief package House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled this week with FOX Business’ Lou Dobbs
DOBBS: Well, let’s turn to the economy, the devastation wrought by the Wuhan virus. The damage is extraordinary. You have talked about it as an unprecedented event. And, certainly, it is. We are looking at trillions of dollars being added to the national debt. The Federal Reserve balance sheet is skyrocketing toward $8 trillion, $9 trillion, who knows. And we have a Federal Reserve chairman stepping up yesterday to talk about how difficult and how severe this downturn is. Totally unhelpful, to put it in the kindest terms I can, and without talking about any of the policies that he will pursue or solutions that he might offer. The Fed chair, your — your sense of how well the cooperation is between your departments, the administration, and the Fed, and what in the world Jerome Powell thinks he’s doing as Fed chair? MNUCHIN: Well, I think, Lou, first of all, let me just start with, we had an unprecedented response from Congress, $3 trillion. We’re putting that money into the economy. We’re just beginning to see the impact on that. That’s very important. As part of that, we have over $450 billion that we can work with the Federal Reserve. I must say, they have been a terrific partner working with us on these facilities. We have approved about $2.5 trillion. And if you look at the corporate bond markets, just the mere fact that we announced these facilities with the Fed unlocked record issuance of corporate bonds, so companies like Boeing could borrow in excess of $25 billion. DOBBS: Yes. MNUCHIN: So I think the– DOBBS: That’s correct. MNUCHIN: I think you’re being a little harsh on the Fed at this point, because the Fed has really done a great job, whether it’s the monetary policy or it’s working on these facilities. This is what’s keeping American business alive. DOBBS: I’m being perhaps harsh. I don’t mean to be. I’m just trying to be straightforward about it. A Federal Reserve chairman, in my experience, who talks as Jerome Powell does, without consideration for both effect and prospect of a policy solution, is — is, frankly, contributing to the problem, rather than solving it. That’s been, I think, the history of Fed chair — chairmen and Fed chairs, don’t you think? MNUCHIN: Let me just say, I think the good news is, we got approval to spend $3 trillion. The good news is, interest rates are really low. So, we do care about a deficits, but we can borrow this money for 10, 20, 30 years, lock it up at close to zero in many cases, or 1 percent on long-term borrowing. So, we’re going to do everything we can. The president is determined to protect the U.S. economy and U.S. workers and open up in a safe way.