Jeremy Siegel (© LILA PHOTO for TD Ameritrade Institutional)

Jeremy Siegel is a professor of finance at UPenn’s Wharton School and a senior investment strategy advisor to WisdomTree Investments.

What can be done?

During a recent call with investors, Siegel highlighted four measures that leaders should take to rescue the U.S. economy from the coronavirus crisis.

The suggested steps are to provide massive fiscal and monetary support; “flatten the curve” to slow the spread of the coronavirus; make vaccines and therapeutics broadly available; and set up extensive testing to find out who has the virus and who has the antibodies to fight it and thus can go back to work.

What’s next for the economy?

Even if a vaccine isn’t available this year, “We cannot wait a year to open up the economy,” he said.

While “the market will tolerate a two- to three-month shutdown,” it will not tolerate a “six- to nine-month shutdown.” If we get this lengthy shutdown, “a lot more downside” is likely for the economy.

But if the crisis can be resolved by Dec. 31 and consumers are confident “they can spend the way they were before this virus — wow, we’ll have purchasing power like we’ve … not had since [World War II]. We will have a booming economy.”

– Jeff Berman contributed to this report.