CNN’s Harlow Presses Navarro on Recession Fears as Coronavirus Sinks Market: ‘This is Freaking People Out, Peter’
CNN’s Poppy Harlow confronted White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro on whether the Trump administration’s attempts to stabilize the financial markets in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic will work as the markets tumbled.
Harlow spoke to Navarro on Monday, and she began by asking if America is heading for recession despite President Donald Trump’s announcement that the Federal Reserve is going to slash its target interest rate to zero. As Navarro argued that he and the White House are protecting the people and the economy by halting the spread of Covid-19, Harlow noted that the Dow has fallen by 9.7 percent, and the S&P 500 is down by 8 percent.
“You’re a top economist at the White House, are we headed into a recession?” Harlow asked again. “I appreciate the efforts you just outlined, but this is freaking people out, Peter.”
The back and forth grew increasingly heated when Harlow repeated that the stock market is down by 2,000 points and said “the market is not responding well at all” despite the fed rate cut. Navarro responded by arguing that the fed’s actions aided liquidity issues, and he called for a payroll tax cut to initiate a broad-scale fiscal stimulus.
Harlow questioned if that was “really the best answer,” noting that people can’t spend money when everything is closed, plus conservative sources have argued that such a measure is “probably not the tool to combat a pandemic.” She also noted that CNN couldn’t keep track of the market’s movements anymore because the opening drop was so severe that the stock exchange had to halt trading for 15 minutes.
Towards the end of the interview, tensions reached their peak between Harlow and Navarro when the CNN host asked why Trump and Dr. Anthony Fauci seem to be contradicting each other on whether the virus is actually under control.
“Markets are looking for leadership. Leadership is prescriptive,” Harlow said. “The markets here are reacting also to the president and his words. Is he doing enough to put confidence in the market by saying something that’s not under control is?”
“Poppy, let’s not do that kind of thing right now,” Navarro protested.
“Peter it’s not doing that kind of thing,” she responded. “The market is hanging on his words. You know this.”
Watch above, via CNN.
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