John Stoltzfus, chief investment strategist at Oppenheimer Asset Management, joins ‘Barron’s Roundtable.’
Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic said Sunday that he’s “concerned” the road to recovery from the coronavirus pandemic may be uneven for different sectors of the U.S. economy.
Though Bostic acknowledged that the U.S. is “recovering and rebounding in a very robust way” in some areas, he warned that hotels, restaurants, and small businesses in minority and lower-income communities, in particular, are “seeing much more difficult situations.”
“[The coronavirus] has put a wedge in our economy. And for all those who have been in more precarious situations, it’s made them even more precarious,” Bostic told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “Those that have been in distress are in much more distress, while others are not really feeling that at all. And I think it’s important to recognize that whatever people are experiencing, there are a lot of other Americans out there who are struggling and are on the edge.”
“Those segments where we’re not seeing that recovery, that’s really what I’m concerned about as we move forward,” he added.
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Bostic said he believes that the Federal Reserve can support the Black community and other minority communities that are struggling with racial inequities by being more willing to talk about the situation.
“First of all, we have to acknowledge that there’s a problem and we have to be willing to talk about it,” Bostic said. “You know, my institution has for a long time not been willing to be out in front to talk about the importance of racial inequalities. I actually think that that’s been a mistake. And what we’re seeing is many more of my colleagues jumping up and being willing to talk about this.”
In terms of policy action, Bostic believes that the the U.S. needs to create opportunities for better schooling and training and ensure that all Americans have access to capital and can participate in the economy.
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Bostic is set to be a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee in 2021; the FOMC makes key decisions on interest rates and economic growth.
He previously served in the Obama administration from 2009 to 2012 as an assistant secretary for policy development and research at the Department for Housing and Urban Development, and is reportedly being considered for Treasury Secretary or Federal Reserve Chairman in former vice president Joe Biden’s administration, should he win the 2020 presidential election.
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He deflected a question on whether he’d considered the offer, however, arguing that he currently has other priorities to think about.
“I’ve got a pandemic. I’ve got an economic crisis, and I’ve got my own bank to worry about in terms of the policies that we’re doing,” Bostic said. “So I’ll let things play out … as they will and we’ll just see how that goes.”
According to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, there are more than 8.1 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 219,000 related deaths in the United States.
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