WASHINGTON— The Latest on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s congressional appearance to deliver the Fed’s semi-annual monetary policy report. (all times local)
Powell is getting praise from lawmakers for his efforts to avoid economic jargon in explaining what the Federal Reserve is trying to do to manage the economy and also for pushing for more openness at the central bank.
Powell tells lawmakers, “We have this precious grant on independence. We have to earn it.”
Powell, the first non-economist to head the Fed in nearly four decades, says his goal is to speak so that he can be understood not just by economists and Wall Street investors but also by the typical household.
He noted that he has already announced he will double the number of press conference he holds each year from four to eight — one after every Fed meeting starting next year.
Powell faced a number of questions for a second day from lawmakers about the threat that a trade war poses for the U.S. and global economies. Powell again tried to avoid criticizing President Donald Trump’s get-tough policies while endorsing free trade.
In response to one question, Powell said, “The bottom line is that a more protectionist economy is an economy that is less competitive, less productive. We know that. It is not a good thing if this is where it goes.”
But Powell said that the administration believes that its imposition of penalty tariffs against China and other countries will eventually end up forcing those countries to negotiate for lower tariffs.
Powell is appearing before Congress for the second day to deliver the Fed’s mid-year report on the economy and monetary policy.
His written testimony to the House Financial Services Committee is identical to the comments he delivered Tuesday to the Senate Banking Committee.