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'There is no panacea to make this all right:' Gordian Group President Peter Kaufman

Heidi Chung
Reporter

The COVID-19 outbreak has devastated numerous American businesses, and despite the government’s best efforts, it may be too little too late, according to Gordian Group President Peter Kaufman.

“There's no easy fix. Whatever comes out of Washington, there is no panacea to make this all right,” Kaufman said Wednesday on Yahoo Finance. “There's only action that's going to try to soften the blows, but the damage has already been done and the longer this goes on, the worse the damage is going to be.”

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talks briefly with reporters after arriving at the U.S. Capitol with White House Director of Legislative Affairs Eric Ueland (C) and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows (R) to continue negotiations on a $2 trillion economic stimulus in response to the coronavirus pandemic March 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Early Wednesday morning, the government announced that it had agreed on a massive $2 trillion fiscal stimulus deal to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The deal will include $1,200 government checks to some Americans and a $46 billion bailout for the embattled airline industry.

“The government has been really good about bailing out large companies, not so much small businesses,” Kaufman said. “I’ve read that it might be until May that these checks go out. The timing is critical, I think it's a daunting task for the politicians candidly to be balancing the health issues with the economy and trying to get it restarted.”

Even as the government comes to the rescue, early economic indications show that the damage to the economy has already been done. Layoffs across the country have been rampant, and the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits skyrocketed in the past week.

“This much I really believe, no matter when these checks go out, no matter what these bills say, I think that there's not going to be a V-shaped recovery here,” Kaufman explained.

“We're in a ditch, the coronavirus implications has got us into a recession no question about that. I don't see that coming out any time soon.”

Heidi Chung is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @heidi_chung.

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