Mar 26, 2020
Mnuchin wants U.S. markets open, with shorter hours if necessary
'It will take two to three years before you get money back in the markets': U.S. equity strategist
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reiterated Thursday that U.S. markets should remain open as the nation struggles with unprecedented disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mnuchin said there’s a consensus among financial regulators that it’s “in the best interest” for trading to continue. Speaking on a call with the heads of the Federal Reserve, the Securities Exchange Commission and other agencies, Mnuchin said businesses and investors need access to capital markets.
The past two weeks of wild market swings have fueled rumors across Wall Street that the government could halt trading. Last week Mnuchin added to the speculation by saying that while President Donald Trump’s administration plans to keep markets open it could shorten trading hours. On Thursday he clarified his position.
“We will do everything we can working with the regulators and the exchanges to make sure that the markets stay open,” Mnuchin said Thursday. “If for whatever reason we get to a point where the underlying regulators determine that the markets can’t stay open full hours, we may consider limiting the trading hours, but that is not our preference.”
A broad coalition of hedge funds, stock exchanges, banks and even brick-and-mortar businesses have urged U.S. policy makers to keep markets open.
And some pressure has eased this week with stocks soaring on expectations that Congress will pass a US$2 trillion stimulus bill by tomorrow to aid struggling businesses and consumers.