Key Words: Powell: Be open to criticism or ‘go over the falls’

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Jerome Powell.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Image

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says the central bank needs to be transparent in order to succeed.

‘We’ve done a ton of things to open ourselves up, welcoming input from the outside, welcoming criticism. I think it’s a better way to run things. I do think if you’re not doing that right now, then you may or may not know it, but you’re about to go over the falls.’

— Jerome Powell

In a largely admiring profile in New York magazine, Powell wins plaudits from his predecessor, Janet Yellen, as well as from Republican Sen. Pat Toomey for his willingness to engage with people on both sides of the political spectrum.

During the pandemic, the Fed has acted quickly to cut interest rates and backstop the corporate bond market. However, its program for small businesses, the Main Street lending program, has been largely unused, as banks have been reluctant to take advantage.

The article suggests that former Vice President Joe Biden, if he wins, may want to nominate Powell for a second term as chair, particularly if Fed Gov. Lael Brainard becomes Treasury secretary.

President Donald Trump, should he prevail on Nov. 3, also might want to consider Powell for a second term, despite his frequent criticism.

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