Fed’s Powell: Will keep lending ‘aggressively’ to support economy

Fed chair Powell says will provide nearly unlimited lending

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the USA economy "may well be in a recession", but that the central bank is taking unprecedented action to help ensure economic activity can resume as soon as the coronavirus pandemic is under control.

"We will keep doing that aggressively and forthrightly, as we have been", Powell mentioned in a unprecedented interview on NBC's "Today" display Thursday.

"We may well be in a recession".

But the situation is so unusual that policymakers have become atypically blunt, arguing that a deliberate choice to close stores in the name of public health, as Powell said, "is not a typical downturn.There is nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy". The virus is going to dictate the timetable here, ' he said.

When asked if the Fed would run out of ammunition to support the economy, Powell said no. "The virus makes the timeline", Fauci told CNN.

The Fed slashed interest rates to near zero, has injected trillions into the financial system, and this week launched unlimited bond-buying and a number of facilities to aid local governments and businesses.

"The Federal Reserve is working hard to support you now".

'When the economy begins to rebound, then we'll be there to make sure that rebound is as strong as possible'.

Asked about criticism that the Fed had used up all the arrows in its quiver to ameliorate the financial side of the crisis, he said the reserve bank had plenty of weapons left.

"The sooner we get through this period and get the virus under control, the sooner the recovery can come.We know that economic activity will decline probably substantially in the second quarter but I think many expect and I would expect economic activity to resume and move back up in the second half of the year", Powell said. "That just doesn't happen", he said.

The U.S. central bank chief's remarks are a contrast to the urging by some of President Donald Trump's advisers for a faster reopening.

"What I'm saying is we don't know", he said.

Ben Bernanke, who led the Fed all over the monetary disaster, made his personal uncommon look in a televised interview on CBS's "60 Minutes" program in March 2009.



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