Farvahar Partners CEO and Daily Caller contributing editor Omeed Malik and Allianz Chief Economic Advisor Mohamed El-Erian joined Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo to discuss the recovering U.S. economy during a Friday night “Maria Bartiromo’s Wall Street” segment.
The COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdowns caused a massive surge in unemployment and quickly put the brakes on what had been historic highs for the stock market. Though deaths declined from April to May and beyond, a surge in cases has kept a damper on the recovery.
Kicking off the segment, El-Erian stressed the difficulty of balancing “economic health, public health and individual freedom” when it comes to a bounceback for an economy devastated by a global pandemic.
Malik went on to make the case that much of the economic damage that remains is self-inflicted.
“It’s the public policy, the public health policy that’s failing us, and that’s creating all of the issues we’re having with the economy,” Malik said. “Let’s talk about COVID-19 for just a moment. 85% of fatalities have been with people who are over 65 years old. That only accounts for 15% of the population.”
Malik, a former Bank of America Merrill Lynch executive with years of Wall Street experience, argued that policy makers should approach the issue “more thoughtfully.”
“If you look at the ten states that have an unemployment rate over 10%, every single one of them have draconian lockdowns still in place,” he said. “So it’s very clear to me that most of the economic issues that we’re facing are self-inflicted in nature.”
The Farvahar Partners CEO suggested that the “$130 billion of PPP loans that are collecting dust” and “over $600 billion with the Federal Reserve’s main street lending program” be allocated before new stimulus money is spent.
Referring to whether things will change after the election, Malik said people can “do a quick Google search” to find out what party controls “those ten states that have those over 10% rates.”
El-Erian went on to stress the coming economic volatility and the “strong stomach for a roller coaster” investors need to have. (RELATED: ‘This Is How We Do Social Distancing’: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem Posts Video Of Herself Shooting Bird)
“I would tell people just make sure you can afford a mistake, because the likelihood of making a mistake is high,” he said. “How do you minimize a mistake? Look for companies that have very strong balance sheet, positive cash flow and the world is coming to them.”