Fed chair says he’s met with Biden’s team, spoken to Yellen

Fed chair says he’s met with Biden’s team, spoken to Yellen

December 16, 2020

Janet Yellen: We will build our economy back better than before

Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks after being nominated by President-elect Biden for Treasury Secretary.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday said he has been in contact with President-Elect Joe Biden’s transition team, including his predecessor at the central bank – Janet Yellen – who has been tapped to lead the Treasury Department.

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During a news conference after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting, Powell explained that his meetings with the transition team mostly involved explaining to members what the Federal Reserve does.

He also mentioned that he has been in touch with Yellen, with whom he has worked very closely in the past, offering his congratulations on her candidacy for the key economic post.

“I did that but I have not discussed policy with her and I’m not going to do that until she’s confirmed,” Powell said.

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Biden nominated Yellen for the post last month, passing over progressive favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who was said to be eyeing the role. Biden has explained that it was important for him to have strong Democratic support in the House and Senate in order for him to move forward with his agenda.

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The Fed Reserve Board of Governors announced on Wednesday that it planned to hold the federal funds rate near zero for the foreseeable future – possibly even through 2023.

The central bank also adjusted its forecast for U.S. economic growth in 2020, expecting a shallower contraction that it had previously estimated in September at 2.4%. However, economic forecasts are highly uncertain and will depend “significantly” on the trajectory of the pandemic.

Powell said that Americans should be able to return to a sense of normalcy in the second half of next year after people have access to the vaccine, which will help economic activity begin to recover.

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