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The Fed’s benchmark overnight lending rate currently is within a range of 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent. There was also little said by lawmakers about the Fed’s evolving plan to maintain a balance sheet of perhaps $3.5 trillion, which would be lower than the current $4 trillion but still massive by historical standards. Republican lawmakers generally have pushed the central bank to reduce a financial footprint inflated by crisis-era programs many in the party considered risky. Financial markets were largely unmoved by Powell’s testimony, which was the first of his two hearings this week in Congress. He is due to appear before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Wednesday double button cufflinks.
U.S. Treasury yields were lower in afternoon trading while major U.S. stock indexes were slightly higher. The dollar was weaker against a basket of currencies. Powell told lawmakers that the Fed expected the U.S. economy to grow solidly but at a slower pace this year than the estimated 3 percent growth for 2018, an outlook that was built into the central bank’s policy statement in January. The “patient” approach to rate hikes has been a staple of Fed commentary since early last month double button cufflinks.
“As long as we have steady growth with no inflation, that should keep the Fed at bay,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Chicago. But Tuesday’s hearing did offer a preview of issues the central bank may confront as the 2020 presidential campaign takes shape, and Democrats use their recently-won control of the House to press new economic and political ideas. Amid a growing debate over whether the U.S double button cufflinks. government may have far more room to expand its debt than conventional economics might recommend, or whether the Fed’s own balance sheet might help finance a “Green New Deal” of economic and environmental programs, Powell made clear he was among the traditionalists..
“The idea that deficits don’t matter for countries that can borrow in their own currency I think is just wrong. I think that U.S double button cufflinks. debt is fairly high as a level of (gross domestic product) and, much more importantly than that, it’s growing faster than GDP,” Powell said. “To the extent that people are talking about the Fed – our role is not to provide support for particular policies” on environmental, social or other related issues. Indeed, asked about the upcoming need to boost the U.S. debt ceiling, he said he considered the prospect of a U.S. government default on its obligations “a bright line, and I hope we never do pass it.”..
Powell’s appearances on Capitol Hill this week, part of his semi-annual testimony to Congress, are his first since Democrats won control of the House in the November elections. They also follow the kickoff of a number of 2020 presidential campaigns. Along with questions that ranged from the sources of rural poverty to the impact of climate change on banks, Senate committee members pressed points likely to figure into the Democratic primary battle. “The Fed works for big rich banks that want to get bigger and richer,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat running for president double button cufflinks. She questioned whether Powell would be adequately aggressive in reviewing a proposed megamerger between U.S. regional lender BB&T Corp and rival SunTrust Banks Inc..