Published: Wed, February 07, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Powell sworn in as Fed chief pledging to explain policy moves

Powell sworn in as Fed chief pledging to explain policy moves

Powell took the oath of office at the central bank in Washington on Monday.

After years of near-zero interest rates, the Federal Reserve has been slowly allowing rates to rise, and recent unemployment data and wage increases has spooked the market into thinking that the threat of inflation will put the Fed in a position where it has to allow rates to increase faster than previously expected. The financial system, he says, is now "stronger and more resilient than before financial crisis that began a decade ago". Her final act at the agency, imposing a consent order on Wells Fargo for its phony-accounts scandal, dealt a huge blow to the bank. "We intend to keep it that way".

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But as a Republican nominated by President Trump, Powell has said he supports easing some financial oversight, particularly for small- and medium-sized banks.

Powell, 65, also said the Fed would continue to remain "vigilant" in guarding financial stability while working to make regulation "efficient as well as effective". He brings a background in financial markets, a contrast with Ms Yellen and her predecessor, Ben S Bernanke.

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Powell, a former investment banker who has served as a Fed governor, was confirmed by the Senate last month to a four-year term as chair of the central bank.

Yellen, appointed by President Barack Obama, was the first woman to lead the Fed. Starting Monday, Yellen will become a distinguished fellow in residence in economic studies at the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution. The Fed board signed off on the consent order by a 3-0 vote, with Powell supporting the move. "I've found him to be a very thoughtful policymaker".

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