CNBC’s Jim Cramer blasted the U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus on Thursday, arguing “this is the time for radical action.”
“They know nothing. They know nothing. We know more than they do, and that’s not acceptable either,” Cramer said, hearkening back to his famous 2007 rant about the Federal Reserve before the financial crisis.
“I want the federal government to know more than me. I knew more than they did in 2007, and I know more than they do now and it is disappointing,” he said on “Squawk on the Street.”
Later Thursday, President Donald Trump said that markets will be “just fine.” Trump made the comment as he was meeting with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar.
Cramer said he is worried that multiple companies in the S&P 500 could go bankrupt within four weeks due to the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus.
“Are we going to sit here and let so many companies go bankrupt because of an illness? I think that is stupid,” Cramer said. “Once we settle that out and stop worrying about money, we can worry about health simultaneously. Right now we can’t do both.”
Cramer argued the government should temporarily suspend all manner of tax collection.
“Everyone owes the government at all time. Everyone in this country, individuals, corporations. That has to be suspended right now so they have more money,” Cramer said.
“Are these radical actions? You bet they are,” he added. “This is the time for radical action and the action can be done by the federal government.”
About 30 minutes later, Cramer took a phone call live on CNBC at 9:38 a.m. ET. After hanging up, he said he believes the government is debating some big options to tackle the economic and financial markets crisis due to the outbreak.
“You’re going to get clarity,” he said.
Cramer’s comments come after Trump‘s prime-time address on Wednesday, in which the president announced travel restrictions that would curtail travel from most of Europe to the U.S. for 30 days in an attempt to slow the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump also said he will be asking Congress to provide payroll tax relief for Americans and instructing the Small Business Administration to “provide capital and liquidity” for small businesses.