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COVID-19: Alan Greenspan says “I’ve never seen anything like this”

Incoming President-elect Joe Biden’s team has a lot of work to do and dealing with with the non-ending COVID-19 pandemic should be the top priority of the new administration, according to former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, a move that will help recuperate the economy.

“I’ve never seen a particular situation during my professional experience anything like this,” the 94-year-old Greenspan told CNN’s Julia Chatterley on her show First Move on Thursday. Although he was not working in finance during his boyhood, he witnessed and lived through the Great Depression. Greenspan oversaw the Fed from 1987 to 2006, the second-longest run in that role; he missed being first by 4 months. Although biopharmaceutical companies have boasted about the unexpectedly high efficacy rate of their trial vaccines, the infection is soaring in US as well as across other part of the globe.

Trying to predict where the virus is going at this stage will be a little more than a guess, Greenspan said. It might be possible to get back from new normal to actual normal by the next spring, he added, but only if the spread of the infection is prevented. Jerome Powell who currently heads the Fed has repeatedly said that the economy will fully recover after the departure or control of the virus. Even then we may not be able to hit the pre-pandemic marker. Millions of Americans still need support to make ends because of job losses and unemployment contributed by the infection.

The current administration spent trillions to give benefits through the CARES Act in the spring but couldn’t add more since then. This must change, Greenspan said.

“I think Pelosi has a particular set of ideas to confront the problems right now in front [that] seem quite credible to me,” the former central banker said. “All they have to do is implement them.”

If there is a general consensus over something, passing a new stimulus package should be easy, said Greenspan. But during this precarious scene, the Washington may be tentative do pass any additional stimulus.

“I’m not convinced at all that we have enough information to know how to deal with this type of problem,” Greenspan said, adding that the oversight may cause unintended consequences for masses.