(Bloomberg) -- Hedge funds, stock exchanges, banks and even brick-and-mortar businesses have a unified message for Washington policy makers: Shutting markets because of coronavirus-fueled volatility would wreak havoc on the U.S. economy.
“The markets continue to serve the needs of participants to raise capital, manage investments, access cash and manage risk,” more than a dozen corporate trade groups wrote in a Thursday letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and financial regulators. “Closing the markets would have a devastating impact on the U.S. economy.”
Among those who signed the letter was Managed Funds Association President Bryan Corbett, whose Washington-based group represents hedge funds, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley. The leaders of Nasdaq Inc., CME Group Inc. and Cboe Global Markets Inc. also signed on.
The plea follows days of violent market swings that have triggered a surge in rumors that regulators will suspend trading to halt steep sell-offs for stocks and other assets. Mnuchin added to the speculation Tuesday by saying that the Trump administration plans to keep markets open but may shorten trading hours.
“Even persistent rumors about closing the markets are themselves causing adverse effects,” the groups wrote in their letter, which was also sent to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton and Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Heath Tarbert. They urged federal agencies to make a formal announcement that emphasizes that keeping markets open is essential during times of economic uncertainty.
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