New Fed Chair Powell Says Bank Alert To Any Financial Stability Risks

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - The US Federal Reserve "will remain alert to any developing risks ...

Alliance News 13 February, 2018 | 4:26PM
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WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - The US Federal Reserve "will remain alert to any developing risks to financial stability," new Chairman Jerome Powell vowed Tuesday amid a rise in volatility in recent weeks on US stock markets.

The remarks were part of his ceremonial swearing in at the US central bank.

Powell was official sworn in on February 5, succeeding Janet Yellen on the expiration of her term.

A member of the Fed since 2012, Powell was nominated as chairman in November by President Donald Trump and confirmed last month by the Senate to a four-term term.

A lawyer with a background in finance and banking, Powell is the first non-economist to helm the Fed since the 1970s.

The financial system is "incomparably stronger and safer, with much higher capital and liquidity, better risk management, and other improvements" than when he first joined the Fed, though monetary policy makers still face "evolving challenges," Powell said.

"The global economy is recovering strongly for the first time in a decade," he said. "We are in the process of gradually normalizing both interest rate policy and our balance sheet with a view to extending the recovery and sustaining the pursuit of our objectives."

The Fed has been intermittently raising interest rates since December 2015 and last year began a very gradual reduction in its unprecedented holdings of government-linked bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

In addition to setting monetary policy, the central bank is seeking to "ensure that our policies are as efficient as possible" in its role as a financial regulator.

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