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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump told reporters on Thursday he would be "OK" with a conditional coronavirus bailout that bans stock buybacks for companies that receive federal relief.

Why it matters: Trump's tax cuts set off a record-setting buyback spree in corporate America. The comments are a shift in tone, given that his deputies have defended share repurchases in the past.

What he's saying: Trump said he was "never happy" that companies were using cash to buy back stock.

  • A number of companies hard hit by the halt in economic activity due to the COVID-19 outbreak are asking for federal relief. But they’re facing criticism for how much cash they spent in recent years repurchasing their own shares.

Flashback: “Even if people buy back stock, that is money that goes back into the economy that lets investors take that money and allocate it to other things. It’s a complete system,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in 2018.

  • Larry Kudlow told CNBC last year that when companies buy back stock, money returned to investors and shareholders "will be recycled into the economy and they will start new companies, new businesses.”

Go deeper

Updated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Inauguration Day dashboard

Screenshot: Fox News

President Trump has delivered a farewell speech and departed Washington for the last time on Air Force One, kicking off the day that will culminate with President-elect Joe Biden taking office.

What's next: The inaugural celebration for young Americans is being livestreamed, starting at 10am.

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump departs on final Air Force One flight

President Trump and his family took off on Air Force One at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning for the final time en route to Florida.

The big picture: Trump's final hours as president were punctuated by his decisions to snub his successor's inauguration and grant pardons to many of his allies who have been swept up in corruption scandals.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen said all the right things to reassure the markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Treasury Secretary nominee and former Fed chair Janet Yellen's confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday showed markets just what they can expect from the administration of President-elect Joe Biden: more of what they got under President Trump — at least for now.

What it means: Investors and big companies reaped the benefits of ultralow U.S. interest rates and low taxes for most of Trump's term as well as significant increases in government spending, even before the coronavirus pandemic.