Kudlow Says US "May Take Equity Position" As Part Of Coming Bailouts

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Mar 18, 2020 - 04:12 PM

At this point, the White House has reportedly discussed bailouts for the shale industry, the airlines, cruise lines, Boeing and a non-specific bailout allotment worth hundreds of billions in the second economic relief package.

So it should hardly come as a surprise that Larry Kudlow said Wednesday - after the market closed off the lows following an afternoon ramp - that the White House might consider outright purchases of equities as part of its corporate bailout plan.

"One of the ideas is, if we provide assistance, we might take an equity position," Kudlow said Wednesday during a brief huddle with reporters at the White House.

Those who remember the last crisis should recognize the creeping nationalizations similar to what the US did with Citi and various other insolvent banks in 2008.

He added that the 2008 bailout of GM had been "a good deal" for the federal government (though the same cannot be said for all of the government's GFC-era bailouts, air travel certainly isn't going anywhere, and we suspect there aren't too many eager entrepreneurs looking to start an airline right now).

But Kudlow cautioned that the idea was just one of many, and that the ultimate form of the coronavirus stimulus legislation would depend on negotiations on Capitol Hill.

"This thing is one day at a time,” Kudlow said.

Just as he said earlier during an earlier interview with Fox News before his huddle with the rest of the White House pool, Kudlow reiterated that the administration could "up the ante" beyond its $1.3 trillion stimulus proposal if the economic impact of the coronavirus is more severe than anticipated.

"We’ll do whatever it takes," Kudlow said.

He also made a few other interesting claims during that interview, such as the notion that furloughed auto workers would return to work just to build ventilators to combat the crisis without compensation.

Bottom line: The US has "enormous resources" to deal with the economic fallout, Kudlow said.