Though the coronavirus stimulus packages passed throughout the spring have marked some of the only bipartisan moments on Capitol Hill, there is one financial analyst who is sounding the alarm. Chamath Palihapitiya, a CNBC contributor and billionaire in his own right, stated that he believed the decision to pump trillions of dollars into the economy was not only a “drunken binge,” but would have serious repercussions in the future.
According to Business Insider, Palihapitiya made the withering assessment on a podcast on Friday afternoon.
His assessment likely centers around the $2.2 trillion stimulus package passed by lawmakers in late March as the COVID-19 crisis began to force businesses to shut down amid social distancing regulations.
But the $2.2 trillion ended up being only the start of the relief package process. President Trump signed another law in April that offered businesses an additional $484 billion, and further potential stimulus packages loom on the horizon.
However, Palihapitiya has made clear his belief that the packages are only postponing — and not preventing — the difficult financial hardships lawmakers are hoping to avoid.
“The handcuffs we put on companies when we give them these handouts are very [brittle]. What happens in the case of airlines is that we made them sign a pledge which essentially said we wouldn’t lay anybody off but until September 30,” Palihapitiya continued, claiming that airlines have simply deferred their decision to fire workers to October — while pocketing millions in the process.
“In no event did this capital do anything other than dilute the actual problem in hand and confuse us all into thinking what the problem was.”
Palihapitiya added that he worried that the sheer amount of money spent — with little promise of return — will have dire “unintended consequences” in the future.
“Ask yourself what happens in 2025 when you look back at 2020, you realize we printed eight, nine, ten trillion dollars, almost 50 percent of a year’s worth of GDP,” he added.
Many financial experts have expressed their own concerns about the economy’s recovery from the severe hit caused by COVID-19. Even President Trump has weighed in on the matter, issuing his own criticism of the Federal Reserve.
This is not the first time that Palihapitiya has made headlines for his financial views. As was previously reported by The Inquisitr, Palihapitiya had previously slammed bailouts in a viral television interview in which he said that hedge fund managers should get “wiped out” rather than receive any financial aid.