Mar 11, 2020
Transcript: Donald Trump, Bank CEO’s Announce Coronavirus Measures
Donald Trump met with bank CEO’s today at the White House and announced the measures being taken to alleviate economic fallout from the coronavirus. Read the full transcript here.
Donald Trump: (00:00)
Well, thank you very much. And, we are having a meeting, a very important meeting with the, I would say, the greatest bankers in the world, the most important banks in the world, financial centers. And, having a good discussion. We’re discussing the economy. We’re discussing how it relates to jobs and all of the things that are happening right now with the virus that we’ve become so familiar with. I’ll be making some decisions. I’ve already made some decisions, actually, today. But, I’ll be making some, some other ones that are very important.
Donald Trump: (00:36)
And, I thought I’d let the press into here some of the wisdom from the folks in the room and maybe Brian, I’ll start with you. And, Brian’s the chairman and you said the man at Bank of America. Highly respected. Everybody in this room is at the highest level, highly respected.
Donald Trump: (00:54)
Brian Moynihan: (00:55)
Thank you, Mr. president. Thank you for bring us together. If the C-E-Os of the large banks here want you to know that we’re, because of all the work done on the capital liquidity and all of the things as we look forward to uncertainty due to the virus and the oil price changes, we’re very strong capitalized. We are in great position, in terms of liquidity, capital and strength. But, most importantly, we’re doing what we do best, which is helping our teammates, importantly, but, also, our clients and our small business customers and medium sized business customers to continue to have access to credit.
Brian Moynihan: (01:29)
All of us are providing relief to any customer that has an issue of being out of work for the virus. The things we’ve done in every natural disaster that’s occurred in many years. And, we can tell you that, up until last couple of weeks, the activity been very strong and it’s still strong.
Brian Moynihan: (01:46)
We’re still seeing people spend money. We’re still seeing people go out. Small business loans are continuing to grow. Auto loans are growing. Mortgage loans are, obviously, very strong. But, the real key is we’re well capitalized. We’re here to help small businesses, medium sized businesses, the core American economy run. And, to help our consumer clients really weather the storm in case they’re directly impacted by it.
Donald Trump: (02:06)
Thank you, Brian, very much.
Michael Corbat: (02:08)
I think a part of that, Mr. President. I think it’s important to recognize a few things. There’s one is building off what Brian said, this is not a financial crisis. And, the banks and the financial system are in sound shape and we are here to help. Part of it. I think, second is, when we look at what’s going on, in many ways we’re going at several challenges at the same time. We woke up or we went through Sunday in a precipitous drop in oil prices and we needed to deal with that when the market opened on Monday.
Michael Corbat: (02:41)
Clearly, corona is part of mind for everybody, not just here in the U-S. And, I think the market’s going through a period of trying to get price discovery. And, I think, also, trying to figure out what is the intermediate and longer term health of the economy. And, I think what we saw, we saw some fears on the back of those. And, some talk about potential recession on the back of those. And, I think the market’s going through a discovery phase and really trying to figure out what earnings are going to look like and where valuation should be.
Michael Corbat: (03:13)
I think the good news is that the market check performed in the quarterly way. The infrastructure that supports the markets, I think, has held up through some pretty good tests. We’ve had some strains along the way, but, I think it’s held up well and it’s been orderly.
Michael Corbat: (03:29)
And, as Brian said, from the banking perspective, we’re here to help. We want to provide liquidity, we want to lend to our small businesses, we want to be supporting our consumer clients.
Donald Trump: (03:38)
Well, thank you very much, Michael. That’s good. And, I think prior to the coronavirus it was just all go. The numbers were fantastic. And, we don’t even know what the numbers are now. We’ll have to see. The numbers from a week ago were great. And, from two days ago were great. But, now, we’re hitting a patch and we’re going to have to do something with respect to getting rid of this virus as quickly as possible and as safely as possible.
Donald Trump: (04:07)
Our number one priority is the health of the people of our country. And, so, we’ll be making, most likely, a statement… I’ll be making a statement later on tonight as to what I’ve decided to do and what our country will be doing.
Donald Trump: (04:22)
Charles Scharf: (04:23)
President, the only thing I would add to what Brian and Mike have said is, first of all, I’d reiterate that we are all here to help. I think what our institutions do, we’re all in the positions to do it. And, I think we’re being very, very thoughtful about how we can do that for both consumers, small businesses, as well as the companies that we deal with.
Charles Scharf: (04:43)
I think we’re all encouraging any of our customers or clients who are having any issues to make sure that they talk to us. We’re all developing programs to ensure that as they and the employees and their customers go through the situation, that we’re there to be a source of strength. Whether it’s to help them through issues with their fees, payments. Or, to be there to lend. That’s what we do.
Donald Trump: (05:05)
That’s great. I’m glad you saying that. That’s great. Because, maybe some of that, frankly, more so than you’ve been used to for the last three years. Right?
Donald Trump: (05:13)
It could happen. David.
I appreciate it, Mr. president. I’m glad to be here with my colleagues and these other institutions. Most of what I’d say would echo what’s been said. The banking system is in good shape. The virus, obviously, poses unique challenges for policymakers and for businesses large and small operating across the country. All businesses are very, very focused on their people. Taking care of their people. As part of the banking system, we’re looking to help businesses, large, small. Individuals any way we can. Making the same steps, and taking the same steps that these other institutions have spoken about it.
So, we’ll get through this, but, it’s going to require some navigation on the of all of us.
Donald Trump: (05:54)
And, we’re focused on doing our part.
Donald Trump: (05:54)
You’ll do it very well. And, we’ll be doing a lot of additional work with small business, as you know. We’re going to be betting many billions of dollars and we’re going to be making lots of small business loans. The banks are, too. So, we’ll be, do you have anything to say, doctor?
Speaker 6: (06:15)
Yes, of course. But, first I’d like to thank you for being so aggressive and very specific about protecting health and safety of employees. I’m very encouraged by the leaders in this industry that are thinking along the same lines about their employees. And, their community.
Speaker 6: (06:31)
I’d like to point out that S-B-A has the authority, currently, with $18 billion to provide loans with the support of all the members in this room. And, they also have the opportunity to extend some of the payment terms up to six months.
Donald Trump: (06:49)
Speaker 6: (06:49)
I’m looking forward to working with every one of them to leave no money on the table with those $18 billion dollars to provide support to small businesses.
Donald Trump: (06:58)
Yesterday’s, as you know, we met with the insurance companies, the top companies, the top people in the top companies, like yourselves. And, they were very generous. You know what they did with copays and everything else. They’re going all out. So, we appreciated that very much. Steve. Anything to say? Steve. Sorry, Steve.
I think the financial system in the U-S is in great shape. And, is prepared to handle this problem. One of the issues is that when people are tested more and more, there will be a better handle on what we’re dealing with. Just because there will be some economic effect, obviously. As this goes on. And we all hope it’s short. But, it’s going to need the support of the banking community. It’s going to need the support of the ability to be tested. And, if we can do that, this has a natural ending, which, most people lose sight of. And, there will be vaccines developed that will take your order, but, there may be other things meanwhile and requires immobilization of our society to deal with them.
Donald Trump: (08:24)
Yeah. They’ve made very good progress, the C-D-C and different places that are dealing with the problem. They’ve made really tremendous, tremendous strides. We’ll be announcing that, also. Thank you. Anybody else have anything to say? Ken? Anybody? Anybody?
Speaker 8: (08:41)
Mr. president, I think you’ve done a fantastic job of putting the interests of our country first with your fast action on China and travel to and from China.
Donald Trump: (08:48)
Speaker 8: (08:49)
I think you’re focused on fiscal stimulus is really important.
Donald Trump: (08:52)
Speaker 8: (08:53)
How do we help American that live, too often, paycheck to paycheck, get through this difficult time where they may lose their job or otherwise face more difficult circumstances. So, I think your leadership on fiscal stimulus is really thoughtful and appreciated. And, then, all of us in this room know that the financial markets are working to help America.
Speaker 8: (09:12)
The interest rates changes that we’ve seen both in the fed and in the bond markets create an odd precedent opportunity for Americans to refinance their mortgages-
Donald Trump: (09:21)
Speaker 8: (09:22)
… at a dramatically lower rate. Which is really good for American households. Or, to have the opportunity to buy their first house. Or, a new house for their growing families.
Speaker 8: (09:30)
So, the markets have worked as we would hope at this moment of time to help provide stimulus to the entire economy through me for lower interest rates.
Donald Trump: (09:40)
Great job you’ve done, too. Please. And, how is Jamie doing?
Speaker 9: (09:45)
Jamie’s doing well.
Donald Trump: (09:46)
All right, say hello to him. All right?
Speaker 9: (09:48)
I will. I will. For sure.
Donald Trump: (09:49)
I hear he’s doing fine.
Speaker 9: (09:49)
He’s making great progress. So, thank you. Thank you very much for asking. So, the bank has very rigorous resiliency plans both in United States and around the world. All of those are on the way right now. All of our plans are designed, obviously, to protect and help our people. And, to protect consumers and small businesses. We’ll be there with forbearance plans. We’ll be there to waive fees for consumers and small businesses who are under stress. And, I think, a very fair question is are we still lending? And, over the course of the last 40 days at J-P Morgan, we’ve extended $26 billion worth of loans to both consumers and small businesses.
Donald Trump: (10:28)
Speaker 9: (10:29)
And, that’s, as I said, the last 40 days. We looked a little bit at Seattle, which you know, has been, you know, a center of the virus. And, economic growth is still continuing. So, we see it’s slowed down significantly, but, people are still going to restaurants, for example. We still see that. People are buying food to be delivered by the new [inaudible 00:10:55] services. And, interestingly, in the data we also see the pull back is much more about, from the older generation, my age, than it is from the millennial generation.
Speaker 9: (11:08)
So, millennial generation spend seems to be holding up very well.
Donald Trump: (11:12)
I think there’ll be a pent up demand when this is gone. I think that everything that, maybe, where it’s stamped down now, people are leaving their homes. I think you’re going to see a tremendous pent up demand. Which, hopefully, won’t be in the too distant future. Please.
Mr. president, we’re not waiting for the customer or small business to call the banks. We are proactively reaching out to the customer and small businesses, waiving fees, making sure we can refinance a loan when possible. We’re up 79% versus last year in refi. Still going to take a little while to find out how much the effect really is.
Donald Trump: (11:42)
Great, Richard. Thank you. Thank you, very much. Anybody else? Anybody? Please.
Mr. president, I just add, as I represent the community banks across this country, rural markets, urban markets, suburban markets. They’re there, they’re standing ready, strong to support their communities. Whether it be your very smallest businesses, the ag communities, the community banks are here to support them. Here to help.
Donald Trump: (12:05)
Speaker 12: (12:07)
I would echo all the sentiments that you just heard, Mr. President. And, thank you for convening the group. I would also add that, and, echoing on something Rebecca said, we’re also helping not just all the large globally active banks, but, the 5,100 banks across the United States build continuity and resiliency programs so we can keep the banking system open to support our customers and clients who are, in many cases, are facing a time of need.
Speaker 12: (12:29)
That’s what banks do, is stick by their customers in good times and the challenging times. And, that’s what all the banks in the United States are doing today.
Donald Trump: (12:35)
Speaker 13: (12:37)
Very focused U-S bank, very focused on providing credit for small businesses.
Donald Trump: (12:40)
Speaker 13: (12:40)
They are the ones right now who are going to, perhaps, have a little bit of struggles. So, getting credit to them rapidly and also being very lenient on repaying terms.
Donald Trump: (12:48)
That’s great. Thank you, very much. And, thank you all. Yes, please.
Speaker 14: (12:51)
Mr. president, you’ve heard that the financial system is strong and I start to echo that. But, for those listening, the country is really strong. You’ve done a fantastic job. Your administration. We’re adding jobs. We need to all be more diligent on the terms of our health management. We’re learning that out of this. This is a longterm lesson to learn.
Donald Trump: (13:10)
Speaker 14: (13:10)
But, at the end of the day, if you’re not in Central America, my view and very strong. And, we need to remind ourselves that part of getting through a challenge like this is about confidence and supporting each other. And, having hope for the future. And, for myself, I believe our best days are ahead. And, working together, we’ll make that happen.
Donald Trump: (13:28)
Thank you, very much. Thank you, very much.
Donald Trump: (13:32)
So, I’ll be making a statement tonight probably at eight o’clock. And, we’ll be starting some additional solutions. We made a great decision on China and Asia. And, they’re healing and they’re healing at a pretty good rate. And, happy about that. And, we could start to think about getting back involved in that part of the world. And, as you know, we have a another part of the world, Europe, that’s in very tough shape. It’s having a hard time right now with the virus.
Donald Trump: (14:05)
And, we’ll be making various decisions. You’ll be hearing about them at approximately eight o’clock tonight. Steve.
What sort of travel restrictions on Europe are you thinking?
Donald Trump: (14:15)
Well, I’ll be letting you know that a little bit later.
Speaker 15: (14:18)
Mr. president, are you going to be declaring a national disaster tonight?
Donald Trump: (14:21)
We’ll be talking about that later. All those things. We’re making a decision on.
Speaker 16: (14:25)
Mr. president, we’ve heard in the past of industries that are too big to fail. In your estimation, are the airlines, are the cruise lines, is the hotel industry to make them fail?
Donald Trump: (14:35)
I think they’re going to be great. I think the folks around this table are the ones that finance that. And, they understand and they’re great companies. But, we’re having to fix a problem that four weeks ago nobody ever thought would be a problem. Nobody. You read about them. You read about him from 1917 and you read about him from lots of other times. But, nobody thought that we would be seeing. We were just discussing that this came out of nowhere.
Donald Trump: (15:03)
And, actually, came out of China, which is the way it works. But, we are going to get the problem solved and the country is so strong. The institutions are so strong. You know, in the past you had problems with institutions. These are powerful institutions. They’re built up, they’re ready to go. And, I know they’ll be helping their customers during this short term period. We think it’s going to be a short term period.
Speaker 16: (15:26)
Do you mind if we ask the C-E-Os what they think a sort of stimulus package or measures might need to be?
Donald Trump: (15:31)
I don’t mind that. I mean, it’s actually a very good question. I was going to ask it myself. If you’ve been hearing about the various forms, Brian, of stimulus.
Brian Moynihan: (15:40)
Donald Trump: (15:41)
Different. Very different forms of stimulus. What would you say would be good appropriate under these circumstances?
Brian Moynihan: (15:46)
Well, I think the first thing is to have fiscal stimulus in a time of stress is the absolutely right answer. I think anything that gets out to the most people. And, so, keeping people who are become underemployed or unemployed due to this, pull on their wages are somehow supplementing that through unemployment and other types of programs, we think as a key thing.
Brian Moynihan: (16:05)
Because, if you keep the broad group of American people with cash flow and money to buy goods and do things, the economy will be strong and those individuals will have other people we should take care of. No question. In all our companies, anybody who is out from this virus is getting paid for as long as it takes or anybody that has high risk, we’re all taking care of it.
Brian Moynihan: (16:22)
So, I’d focus first on that level. And, then, the second major thing is take care of the health care problem. Because, the healthcare problem is what generated confidence.
Donald Trump: (16:31)
Brian Moynihan: (16:31)
Between testing and building up the hospitals so they can receive and do great work as American medical community, hospital community can do with the patients is critical. So, other than the broad base of people in the hospitals, I think businesses and other things, we’ll get through this. But, if we take care of those things, this thing will correct pretty quickly.
Donald Trump: (16:50)
If we get rid of the problem quickly, everything solves itself. We don’t need stimulus. So, that’d be good. But, we are talking about various forms of stimulus. What would you think, Michael?
Michael Corbat: (17:02)
I think to add on to what Brian said, the support of small business is critical.
Donald Trump: (17:06)
Michael Corbat: (17:06)
You look at the employment and you look at the importance across our economy. And, unfortunately, right now small business is suffering from both sides. One is there’s been disruption in their supply chains in terms of receiving their goods that they need. And, the second, the other side is that there’s uncertainty from the demand side in terms of what the future holds.
Michael Corbat: (17:27)
So, I think, working with the banks in this room and well beyond the S-B-A to be able to put programs in place around forbearance to be able to, potentially, up the limits in terms of lending in these programs… and, again, I think they’re things that have been used before, effectively. And, I think we can do it again.
Donald Trump: (17:50)
All right. Thank you, very much. Ken, go ahead.
I think all of us in this room are fortunate. We’re in a position to take care of our workforce. And, I know that that large corporate America is there 110% for their employees, the weak spot or the smaller business that don’t have the financial flexibility. And, in particular, our workers who are part of the gig economy. How do we think about, we’re a necessary direct fiscal support to the individuals in our economy who are least secure in their employment? You work for I-B-M, life’s going to be fine. You work for Goldman Sachs, life’s going to be fine. And, if you are a part time or gig worker, this is a moment of real trial and this is where fiscal accommodation can be quite powerful.
Donald Trump: (18:29)
Right. I agree with that 100%. Anybody? Anybody?
Charles Scharf: (18:34)
I would say that stimulus is appropriate. I personally like what you had mentioned in terms of some form of adjustment of payroll tax. A holiday. Or, even a complete restructure. It is a regressive tax and it’s something that could help in the short run and the long term. And, help provide more support for the 70 plus percent of U-S that need some help in terms of more savings and stability of livelihood. And, so, here’s a chance, maybe, to do something to help the short run and the long term.
Donald Trump: (19:04)
I think so. I think the payroll tax would be great. Democrats are not in favor of it. I’ve tried to figure out why. Because, it would be something that would be very good for the citizens, for the people. And, even longer term, for the country. So, that’s a tax that people have long been talking about either cutting or getting rid of entirely. So, Steve, what do you have?
All right. Just say it’s great to always have the bankers in because you have tremendous visibility into the economy and what’s going on and we are interested in hearing that feedback, particularly, at small and medium sized businesses in particular industries. We’ve cataloged for the president all of his executive authorities, which are quite significant. So, there’ll be various proposals. He’ll be rolling out quickly on that front. And, we’re also working with Congress on a bipartisan basis to be able to immediately help small and medium size businesses as well.
Donald Trump: (19:59)
Thank you, very much.
Speaker 18: (19:59)
What do you say to Americans who are concerned that you’re not taking this seriously enough? And, that some of your statements don’t match what your health experts are saying?
Donald Trump: (20:07)
That’s C-N-N. Fake news. Go ahead. Thank you, very much, everybody. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.
Speaker 19: (20:09)
We’re done. We’re finished. Guys, lets go.
Speaker 20: (20:19)
Open that door. Let’s go. Let’s go, guys. Let’s go, guys.
Donald Trump: (20:20)
Thank you, very much. Eight o’clock tonight. Eight o’clock tonight.
Speaker 20: (20:26)
This way. Thanks, guys. All right, Jim. Thank you, Jim.
Donald Trump: (20:27)
We’ll be another five, very shortly. But, around here.
Speaker 21: (20:29)
Economic or health announcement?
Donald Trump: (20:32)
Within 50 feet.
Speaker 21: (20:32)
Economic or health announcement?
Donald Trump: (20:32)
Speaker 21: (20:32)
Speaker 20: (20:32)
All right, guys, let’s go.
Donald Trump: (20:38)