“The CEOs of the Business Roundtable stand ready as constructive partners,” said the chairman of the powerful trade association, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. The Partnership for New York speaks of a “very promising start” after the new US President Joe Biden rejoined the Paris climate agreement and the WHO. The online retailer Amazon offers its help with vaccination.
After a difficult relationship between US companies and Donald Trump, the latest statements sound like a true “honeymoon”. Democrats in particular are not used to so many warm words from the business world. At the same time, the CEOs of the companies make it clear that they will not approve of tax increases or stricter regulation.
Tom Donohue, the president of the US Chamber of Commerce, said that his association wanted to help the new government to be successful. But at the same time he warned: “The recovery in the midst of a pandemic is” exactly the wrong time to test the resilience of businesses further through tax increases or new regulations that do more harm than good. “
Praise for the stimulus package
On the other hand, there is a lot of praise from Wall Street for the planned Corona stimulus package. JP Morgan shared an internal study with Biden’s team in early December. America’s largest bank had analyzed anonymized customer data and demonstrated how much the additional unemployment benefits, which initially expired in August, would have helped customers and, ultimately, the economy.
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There is also support on Wall Street for Biden’s announced minimum wage. “A minimum wage of $ 15 an hour lifts a family of four above the poverty line. Everyone who works 40 hours a week should at least live above the poverty line, ”said Ralph Schlosstein, head of the New York investment bank Evercore on Bloomberg TV.
Schlosstein could even imagine coupling the minimum wage to the inflation rate in order to secure purchasing power. With that he contradicts Doug McMillon, the Walmart boss and head of the Business Roundtable. The does not support Biden’s plan, which provides for the minimum wage to more than double from currently 7.25 dollars. Walmart had recently raised the hourly wages for its employees voluntarily above the minimum wage. But McMillon wants the minimum wage to be adjusted to the local cost of living.
The major US banks released their fourth quarter figures last week. It was clear there: financial institutions like Bank of America and Citigroup, which live more from business with private and corporate customers, had a much more difficult time than the investment banks, which benefited from strong capital market activities.
Interest rates are low and demand for new loans is weak. Default rates are not as high as initially thought, but all bank managers warned that the crisis was not over. They therefore have an interest in new and comprehensive stimulus packages from the Biden government.
Companies want to help vaccinate
In view of the disastrous situation of the corona pandemic in the USA, companies have recently offered their help for vaccination: Amazon, Starbucks and Walmart all want to make their logistical competence and their presence in the area available to get the vaccines into the arms of the people faster Get people.
Walmart, which also runs pharmacies, plans to open more than 5,000 shops to vaccinate people there. Amazon partners with a Seattle hospital to vaccinate thousands of people in a pop-up clinic.
Biden claims to have vaccinated 100 million people in the first 100 days. So far, only just under 20 million have been vaccinated. That was originally the goal for the end of the year. But vaccination on site is often slow in the USA too. In New York, on the other hand, distribution works on site.
But on Friday the vaccines were almost completely used up and supplies were missing. New York had to cancel thousands of vaccination appointments last week because there weren’t enough doses. Most recently, the situation in New York had worried the city’s largest employers to such an extent that they had now offered to help the city themselves.
Dozens of company representatives were on a conference call with state vaccination officer Larry Schwartz on Thursday. Including the largest institutions on Wall Street, JP Morgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and KKR.
They are also acting in their own interests: they all know that New York’s economy cannot recover and that employees cannot be called back to the offices while the vaccinations are stalled. The managers offered the state help with the logistics and distribution of the vaccines so that additional doses could be obtained.
“The business community is very concerned about the consequences of the vaccination delays. This is extremely important for economic recovery, ”emphasizes Kathy Wylde, head of the influential“ Partnership for New York City ”organization, which represents the interests of the city’s major companies.
The companies would know how many fronts the city and state are fighting on. “Therefore, they offer expertise in logistics, as well as medical facilities and staff who can help distribute the vaccine.”
CEOs have had a difficult relationship with Trump
America’s CEOs and Washington have had an eventful relationship over the years. Under Trump, several company bosses such as Apple boss Tim Cook and GM boss Mary Barra initially joined the president’s advisory staff. But after the lack of condemnation of the racist demonstrations in Charlottesville, the panel had disbanded.
After that, many CEOs were particularly careful not to attract attention in order to avoid the president’s anger. Almost everyone has benefited from the policy of tax cuts and deregulation. But anyone who suffered from the trade war and dared to relocate production abroad, such as Harley Davidson, quickly got caught in Trump’s Twitter fire.
After the elections in November, many associations and individual company bosses pushed for recognition of the Biden victory. When the Trump-fueled mob stormed the Capitol, they distanced themselves from the Republicans and even withdrew some of their financial support. Under the new president, the signs have so far been on cooperation.
More: In some industries, Joe Biden’s presidency will bring significant changes. What that means for individual stocks.