Donald Trump was burning up the airwaves Wednesday as he tried to reach U.S. corporate leaders. He expected them to be immediately available to him. Instead, a number of bankers did not know about the call and already had conflicts. It went downhill from there.
JPMorgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon was not available, and Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon could not come since his company’s earnings call was scheduled. A second JPMorgan executive tried to dial in for 20 minutes but could not get in, so he gave up, according to The POLITICO.
One of the executives called it a “shit show.” Trump embarrassed another executive by praising him after he recovered from a “relatively mild” case of coronavirus.
A number of the top executives said that Trump had been pelted with calls from governors, legislators, and those in the medical field regarding testing. One individual who was briefed on the call said:
‘It was really nothing.’
Many executives’ schedule their days six months in advance and considered Trump’s handling of this call sloppy. They said they needed testing not Trump’s pressure before the economy could begin to rebuild. The corporate leaders felt that both citizens and businesses felt frustrated and too uncertain about their futures.
One of the CEOs spoke to POLITICO anonymously to prevent Trump’s ire from descending upon him and his company:
‘I really don’t understand how they are communicating on this. He’s got to stop talking about turning the economy back on and start talking about making people feel safe, things that are happening around testing and the health care system. That’s the only way you will really get the economy reopened over a period of time.’
Wall Street executives. and top bankers believed that that Trump was talking about opening up the economy before the virus was under control. The bankers pointed out that there was a tremendous amount of uncertainty about when that would occur.
Of course, these bankers wanted the economy restarted, because they are taking “huge earnings hits” on what they anticipate will people will default on — car loans, credit cards, and mortgages. Why? Twenty million-plus employees will likely be furloughed or released employees.
Trump’s plan to jumpstart the economy on May 1 or earlier could easily open up the pandemic and cause more company shutdowns and “more panic.”
The corporate titans prefer this action plan:
‘[Take their] big hits now, get the the virus in check, and restore people’s sense of safety while providing them with as much financial support as possible. Only then can the economy truly start to crawl back toward anything resembling normal.’
They pointed Trump to providing the necessary dialysis fluids as patients develop kidney failure. It seems about 20 percent of all of the coronavirus patients taken to ICU had failing kidneys.
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