Wells Fargo’s Scharf Predicts Rapid Economic Rebound After Vaccines Are Out

Charlie Scharf, the CEO of Wells Fargo, thinks once the COVID vaccines are able to reach wide swathes of the country, the U.S. economy will recover quickly, CNBC reports.

“The world that we’re experiencing today is certainly far, far better economically than we thought it could’ve been sitting here three months or six months ago,” Scharf said, speaking at a Goldman Sachs-hosted virtual banking conference. “It’s certainly quite possible that you’ll see a very quick recovery as the vaccines get rolled out, given all the pent-up demand that exists.”

Scharf also has a unique kind of insight into the saving and spending habits of Americans as the head of one of the biggest banks in America, CNBC writes. He said government action early in the pandemic was instrumental in helping both households and businesses. He likened the government actions from the CARES Act to “a bridge” and said it had ended.

The effective vaccines slated to come in the next several months, he said, will help even more and signal that “an end is in sight.”

American banks have put up loan loss reserves of tens of thousands of dollars for the pandemic this year. Most of them haven’t been needed because of the CARES Act’s $2.2 trillion help line. There have been negotiations going on for a new stimulus for months now, all smaller in scope than the original one, aimed at trying to help smaller businesses and individuals until a vaccine can be made widely available sometime next year.

Economists have been vocal in recent months about the need for both another government stimulus for the country, as well as a vaccine, in order for the U.S. economy to fully recover in 2021. A survey of 48 professional forecasters found that 73 percent are optimistic about this, expecting to see “pre-pandemic levels of recovery” by the end of 2021, PYMNTS reports.