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Citigroup CEO on government stimulus: We probably need another round

Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat joins 'Influencers with Andy Serwer' to discuss the government stimulus plan in response to the economic crisis that was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Video Transcript

- How would you characterize the US economy right now? And how critical is another round of stimulus at this point?

MICHAEL CORBAT: Well, I would say that the US economy has actually performed better than expectations. If we take a look at what you would think would be happening around GDP, around unemployment, around the challenges of individuals, families, small business, bigger business, I think, you know, so far, the programs that have been put in place by the Fed, those programs that have been put in place coming out of Treasury, I think, have served us well. What we don't know, from where we are, is what the forward trajectory looks like.

And so I think right now, we're all trying to watch the data to see that as we head back into colder weather, as we head back into flu season, do we actually see a continual uptick or resurgence, in terms of COVID cases? As of late, we've seen a bit of that. I would say, in some cases, that was expected. But really, what we want to see is again, we want to see that curve turn and bend and start to go back down.

And clearly, I think we all have optimism. And there's a lot of work going on, in terms of the vaccine and the antivirus out there. And you know, hopefully that's not too far in the future, and that we can get that out. We can get that scaled. We can give people the benefit of that, so that we can start to have a more expedited return to normalcy-- our willingness to use mass transportation, our willingness to go into crowded space, our willingness to go indoors into a restaurant.

I think all of those things are critical. From a stimulus perspective, I think without a doubt, people recognize that we probably do need another round. I think we've got the ability to be more targeted this time, in terms of those businesses, those geographies, those areas that have been more acutely affected by the virus. And I think at this point, it sure feels like to me, it's not about are we going to get it. It's when will it come? And exactly how will that be designed as we go forward?