Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday morning, the author of a book on financial instability painted an ugly portrait of the U.S. economy already tumbling into a recession and said it was unlikely Donald Trump would be able to stop the slide.
Speaking with host Ali Velshi, Harvard Professor Ken Rogoff didn't pull any punches when it came to describing the U.S. economy being buffeted by the coronavirus pandemic.
"I think a U.S. recession is almost baked in a cake at this point, and I think the reason is the virus," he began. " It's become clearer that we need to put a pause on the economy. We need social distancing, stopping NBA games, potentially, you know, closing off a lot of plane flights. There are some people in the economy who can work from home -- I think they're less efficient -- but there are an awful lot who can't."
"So even under the optimistic scenario that this passes in six weeks or two months, I think that alone could give us an impulse big enough to have a steeper, deep dip than we had in 2008," he added, to which the MSNBC host replied, "Wow."
"Markets are functioning. We were very strong coming into this, but this is a huge drop. We have pushed the pause button on the economy, and we don't know how long it's going to last," Rogoff admitted before warning, "I think what Congress has done is very good. I mean, people still need to get their paychecks. We have to try to protect firms, encourage them not to lay off workers, but this is putting a lot of stress on the system. I expect to see unemployment go up sharply, and that's, of course, what really hurts."