Lloyd Blankfein, chairman and chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., listens during the New York Times DealBook conference in New York, U.S.(Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)  

Blankfein Says Now Isn't Best Moment for Tax-Cut Stimulus

(Bloomberg) -- Now’s not the best time for tax cuts, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein.

“I can’t say this is the moment where you want the most fiscal stimulus in the market, when we’re mostly at full employment, when GDP last registered at 3 percent,” Blankfein said Thursday in a Bloomberg Television interview. “I don’t know that this is the moment that you provide the biggest stimulus.”

House Republican leaders began rolling out a tax bill Thursday that cuts the individual tax rate for millions of Americans and reduces the corporate tax rate to 20 percent. The 2018 budget resolution approved by the House and Senate allows for tax legislation that would increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion over 10 years, before accounting for any growth that might result from the changes.

Blankfein agreed with President Donald Trump that the U.S. economy could grow faster than its current rate. But he said improving confidence and stripping away unhelpful regulation would be a cheaper way to achieve that growth.

The U.S. can afford some stimulus from reduced taxes, “but not so much of it that we make inflation inevitable down the road,” Blankfein said.

Blankfein also endorsed Jerome Powell, said to be Trump’s pick to be the next Federal Reserve chairman, calling him a “very credible” candidate. While Blankfein said he’s not as concerned as others about the unwind of the Fed’s monetary stimulus, he compared it to handling unstable chemicals and said the process will require a “deft touch.”

The 63-year-old CEO will join Trump on a trip to China this month. Blankfein has been bullish on the long-term prospects of the Chinese economy, and indicated he’ll be busy on the trip.

“Let me tell you, there’s very few places where I don’t have an agenda,” he said.

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