Economic Adviser at Allianz Sends SOS to Congress: Stop Focusing on Markets

Mohamed El-Erian, the chief economic adviser at financial services giant Allianz, is calling on US leaders to shift their focus as both peaceful and violent demonstrations sweep across the country, sparked by the death of George Lloyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protests from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. have led to thousands of arrests and at least five deaths, with President Donald Trump urging governors to ‘dominate’ protesters.

Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box with host Joe Kernen, El-Erian says hope will come in the form of a new attitude and direction as the country tries to regain its footing with shops and enterprises reopening.

“Now that stores have to worry about whether they’re going to be looted or not – should they open, should they expose their employees to danger – will make the process slower. The good news is that there are policy tools.”

While the Federal Reserve has been applying its might to print trillions of dollars in an effort to support emergency funds and to keep the markets afloat, El-Erian says the country needs to look elsewhere, and not to the Federal Reserve, for solutions.

“[The policy tools] are not with the Federal Reserve. They’re with Congress and the administration. It’s about more focused relief efforts to get to segments of the population that are really suffering and are in pain. It’s about better safety net so that insecurity doesn’t hinder this recovery. And it’s also about addressing productivity up front: labor retooling, retraining, infrastructure.

There’s lots we can do if we focus on what are the problems, what are the market failures, what are the institutional failures, and let’s get on with it. And stop focusing on just boosting asset prices, and focus on the real economy – on people – rather than on markets.”

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