Former Fed chair warns coronavirus could throw the US into recession

Former Fed chair warns coronavirus could throw the US into recession
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Janet YellenJanet Louise YellenFed chair issues dire warnings on economy Black Caucus moves to front and center in COVID fight Forget the 'veepstakes' — Biden should make history with finance picks MORE, who served as the first chairwoman of the Federal Reserve from 2014 to 2018, said on Wednesday that the concerning spread of the coronavirus across the world could put the U.S. economy on a path toward recession.

"We could see a significant impact on Europe, which has been weak to start with, and it’s just conceivable that it could throw the United States into a recession,” Yellen said in Michigan, Bloomberg reports.

“If it doesn’t hit in a substantial way in the United States, that’s less likely. We had a pretty solid outlook before this happened — and there is some risk, but basically I think the U.S. outlook looks pretty good," she added.

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Talking at a Brookings Institution event in Clinton Township, Mich., Yellen also reportedly said that factory closings in mainland China, where the disease originated, will affect supply chains for companies that rely on products from there and cause a decrease in consumer spending.

Stocks opened with steep losses Thursday morning as investor fears of the virus spreading grow. The Dow Jones Industrial Average formally entered a correction.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump anti-reg push likely to end up in court Biden set to make risky economic argument against Trump Hillicon Valley: Tech companies lead way on WFH forever | States and counties plead for cybersecurity assistance | Trump weighing anti-conservative bias panel MORE announced Wednesday evening that he is putting Vice President Pence in charge of the U.S. response to the novel coronavirus, saying his administration is "very, very ready for this."

“The number one priority from our standpoint is the health and safety of the American people,” Trump, standing next to Pence, said at the White House.