indica News Bureau-
President Trump has named a group of 200 business leaders to his various Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups intended to lead the country out of the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus crisis.
“President Donald J. Trump announced many of the esteemed executives, economists, scholars, and industry leaders who together will form various Great American Economic Revival Industry Groups. These bipartisan groups of American leaders will work together with the White House to chart the path forward toward a future of unparalleled American prosperity. The health and wealth of America is the primary goal, and these groups will produce a more independent, self-sufficient, and resilient nation,” said a statement from the White House.
There are 6 Indian-American corporate leaders among 100 business leaders. The president has named Google’s Sunder Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, IBM’s Arvind Krishna and Micron’s Sanjay Mehrotra to the Tech Group. Other members of the group are Apple’s Tim Cook, Oracle’s Larry Ellison and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
Indian-American Ann Mukherjee from Pernod Ricard has been named to the manufacturing Group, which among others includes Caterpillar’s Jim Umpleby III; Tesla’s Elon Musk, Fiat Chrysler’s Mike Manley, Ford’s Bill Ford, and General’s Mary Barra.
Ajay Banga from Mastercard has been named to the Financial Services Group along with, among others, Al Kelly from Visa, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman; Fidelity Investment’s Abigail Johnson and Intuit’s Sasan Goodarzi.
Trump said the 200 business leaders “will work together with the White House to chart the path forward toward a future of unparalleled American prosperity. The health and wealth of America is the primary goal, and these groups will produce a more independent, self-sufficient, and resilient nation.”
The New York Times reported that Trump described them as the leaders of “companies that no other country will catch, if they’re smart” and suggested they were taking on formal roles advising his administration, adding that Trump said “the names that are, I think, the best and the smartest, the brightest, and they’re going to give us some ideas.”
As COVID-19 has affected nearly all facets of the economy, much recent debate has focused on when and how to reopen the economy and recapture economic momentum. The groups will play a role in that national effort. A task force has also been formed at the state level to focus on reopening the Alabama economy.
The various groups created by Trump are: agriculture, banking, construction/labor/workforce; defense, energy, financial services, food and beverages, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, real estate, retail, tech, telecommunication, transportation, sports and thought leaders.
The US now faces the sharpest rise in unemployment in its history, a surge that is already highlighting income inequality across the nation and comes as the global economy goes into a nosedive that is likely to exacerbate the situation in the months ahead, The Guardian reported.
More than 6.65 million people filed for unemployment benefits in the US last week, the latest official figures to highlight the devastating economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the American economy.
The federal labor department announced that a new record number of people sought benefits after losing their jobs in the week ending 27 March as long lines formed at unemployment offices, phone lines jammed and websites collapsed under the weight of claims across the US.
Some 3.3 million had filed for unemployment the previous week, bringing total claims to 9.95 million for the two weeks. More people have filed for unemployment in the last two weeks than filed in the last 10 months.
With large parts of the US now on lockdown, millions of people working in retail, restaurants, travel, hotels and leisure industries have lost their jobs and the losses are spreading. Oil and gas companies are laying off workers as oil prices collapse and engineering firms including General Electric are cutting staff as the airline industry grinds to a halt.
All 50 states reported a rise in unemployment claims with the largest rises in Pennsylvania (up 362,012), Ohio (up 189,263) and Massachusetts (up 141,003). The layoffs were widespread with losses reported in almost all sectors of the economy from leisure and retail to construction and manufacturing.
Senior economist Sal Guatieri estimates inflation will slow to below 1% in the year ahead, using the core rate in the consumer price index that strips out food and energy. By contrast, the core CPI was rising at a 2.4% yearly rate in February.
“This means the Fed won’t even think about raising policy rates until long after the pandemic has passed and likely not until 2022,” he said.