President Donald Trump has called for another US$2 trillion in stimulus just days after a controversial hedge fund manager urged him to spend big on infrastructure.
While Washington has already unleashed more than $2 trillion in fiscal stimulus – including in cheques of more than a thousand dollars to Americans who are out of work – President Trump wants more.
“With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill,” President Trump tweeted.
“It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4.”
The tweet comes just days after controversial hedge fund manager Bill Ackman urged President Trump to launch that initiative.
“Mr. President, why don’t you launch the biggest infrastructure program of all time now?” Mr Ackman tweeted.
“Roads, bridges, and other infrastructure involve outdoor work that allows for social distancing. Doing so will put Americans back to work now in good paying, virus-safe jobs.”
Mr Ackman made $2.6 billion in the market rout after an appearance on CNBC, in which he warned that “Hell is coming” – sending markets spiralling, and drawing fierce criticism from some parts of the finance sector. Mr Ackman has previously run short-selling campaigns that rely heavily on manipulation of media coverage, including one in which his company, Pershing Capital, attempted to short multi-level marketing company Herbalife.
SEC filings reveal that Pershing recently increased its investment in Howard Hughes, a real estate company, by $500 million.
“Just this Friday, we invested $500m to provide the Howard Hughes Corp., one of the largest real estate development companies in the US, with the capital it needs to continue its various development projects which will create 1,000s of construction and other jobs,” Mr Ackman tweeted.
“These jobs and development projects will help the economy recover. HHC’s equity offering on Friday is the first, hopefully of many, equity offerings that will provide fuel for an economic recovery. Without this capital, HHC would have had to mothball many of its projects.”