Here’s The Advice JPMorgan Is Giving President-Elect Biden

Topline

JPMorgan Chase has circulated a set of policy recommendations with President-elect Biden’s transition team, CNBC first reported Monday, as the former vice president prepares to take office during twin economic and health crises. Here are the big bank’s recommendations. 

Key Facts

JPMorgan recommends that Biden prioritize additional federal stimulus and especially federal supplemental unemployment insurance since the bulk of the benefits from March’s CARES Act have expired or will expire at the end of the year. 

To help Americans weather unexpected events like job losses and health crises, the bank recommends pursuing policies—like non-retirement savings accounts attached to existing retirement accounts and baby bonds—that encourage emergency savings and asset-building.

JPMorgan also suggests Biden implement policies that boost earnings and job access—like expanding the earned income tax credit and job training programs—to help reduce the racial wealth gap.

The bank says housing reforms including more accessible mortgage forbearance, more federal funding for affordable housing, policies that address housing discrimination, and simplifying the federal processes involved in buying a home will help underserved communities better weather economic volatility and provide more opportunities to build wealth. 

Extending federal student loan forbearance during the coronavirus crisis will prevent a potentially catastrophic payment cliff for millions of borrowers, JPMorgan says, since the economic burdens caused by the coronavirus recession continue to fall on the most vulnerable. 

Last, JPMorgan says Biden should provide more support to struggling small businesses through new coronavirus relief spending and changes to the Small Business Administration to better reach minority business owners.

Key Background

Biden will take office amid what White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx called “the worst event that this country will face.” There are still 10.9 million Americans unemployed, with years to go before the U.S. economy recovers those jobs without additional fiscal relief. If Congress doesn’t act to extend two key pandemic unemployment programs before the end of the year, 12 million will lose benefits. A recent analysis from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia estimated that 1.3 million renter households now owe a collective $7.2 billion in back rent, or $5,400 each. The president-elect has already pledged to prioritize coronavirus aid in his new administration and has also thrown his support behind a new $908 billion stimulus proposal that will be finalized in Washington this week, though there’s no guarantee that Congress will pass it.

Big Number

83%. That’s the portion of members of the Business Roundtable—an organization of top American CEOs—that rated a federal coronavirus relief bill as a “most” or “very important” priority for Congress and Biden’s incoming administration. Close behind, with 77% rating it most or very important, is investing in infrastructure. 

Crucial Quote

“I know now we have this big debate. $2.2 trillion, $1.5 trillion—you’ve got to be kidding me,” JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said last month at the New York Times DealBook summit, referring to the ongoing impasse over competing relief proposals in Washington. “I mean, just split the baby and move on. This is childish behavior on the part of our politicians. We need to help the citizens of America!”

Further Reading

Five Big Ideas To Narrow The Racial Wealth Gap (Forbes)

Despite Signs Of Progress, Congressional Staffers Skeptical More Stimulus Is Coming This Year, New Poll Finds (Forbes)

Trump And McConnell Will ‘Come On Board’ With $908 Billion Stimulus Plan, Sen. Cassidy Says (Forbes)

Jamie Dimon Slams Politicians For ‘Childish Behavior,’ Urges Washington To Pass Stimulus And ‘Move On’ (Forbes)

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