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The Fed will need to make the hard decisions to help stabilize prices, said Powell

The Fed will need to make the hard decisions to help stabilize prices, said Powell
The Fed makes the hard decisions, but Powell calls for freedom from politics

Image source: Revolving Door Project

The Fed: The Federal Reserve made an effort to reduce inflation last year after prices reached unprecedented heights in decades.

Their attempts have encountered difficulties nonetheless since political intervention has constrained the Fed’s decision-making power.

The Fed chairman, Jerome Powell, recently gave a speech on the subject.


On Tuesday, Jerome Powell reaffirmed the need for the central bank to be separated from political pressure if it is to control excessive inflation properly.

The Fed Chairman warned Sweden’s Riksbank that harsh measures would be required to stabilize prices, even if it results in politically unpalatable criticism.

“Price stability is the bedrock of a healthy economy and provides the public with immeasurable benefits over time,” said Powell.

“But restoring price stability when inflation is high can require measures that are not popular in the short term as we raise interest rates to slow the economy.”

“The absence of direct political control over our decision allows us to take these necessary measures without considering short-term political factors.”

The Fed Chair made remarks during the meeting to discuss central banks’ independence.

A session for questions and answers followed the remarks.


There were no allusions to the policy’s direction this year in Jerome Powell’s address.

The Federal Reserve increased interest rates seven times in 2022, setting a record-high increase of 4.25 percentage points.

The increases boost the likelihood of additional hikes this year.

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The decisions made by the Federal Reserve are usually fiercely criticized.

The complaints and criticisms of public officials are nothing new, but Powell’s Fed has come under fire from both political parties.

Under his direction, prices rose, which former president Donald Trump criticized.

Progressive senator Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats have opposed the recent interest rate hikes.

President Joe Biden has stayed silent over the Fed’s actions because he believes the central bank should be in charge of dealing with inflation directly.

Despite the accusations, Jerome Powell claimed that politics had not affected his decision.

Calls for climate change

Powell addressed the lawmakers’ urge to use the Fed’s regulatory authority to combat climate change during his speech on Tuesday.

He received letters from four of the top Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee last year.

The Federal Reserve shouldn’t regulate consumer demand or choose which businesses receive more assistance, according to the Republican argument.

According to Powell, the Fed should keep moving in the same direction rather than veer off course to pursue ostensible societal benefits that are only dubiously related to its legal commitments and purposes.

The Fed’s recommendation that central banks assess their financial readiness for climate-related disasters (such as storms and floods) is the closest to climate-related activity in which these institutions should be engaged in.

“Decisions about policies to directly address climate change should be made by the elected branches of government and thus reflect the public’s will as expressed through elections,” added Powell.

“But without explicit congressional legislation, it would be inappropriate for us to use our monetary policy or supervisory tools to promote a greener economy or to achieve other climate-based goals.”

“We are not, and we will not be, a ‘climate policymaker.'”

Climate program

The six largest US banks are included in a “scenario analysis” for the Fed’s pilot program starting this year.

Through the analysis, the adaptability of an institution to large climatic calamities will be determined.

The test will be similar to the ‘stress tests’ that the Fed uses to gauge how banks could react to real economic downturns.

Participating banks in the exercise are as follows:

  • Bank of America
  • Citigroup
  • Goldman Sachs
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Wells Fargo


Through his remarks, Jerome Powell emphasized central bank independence and insisted that the American people benefited from it.

Powell contends that the independence of central banks allows them to make uncomfortable decisions.

“Restoring price stability when inflation is high can require measures that are not popular in the short term as we raise interest rates to slow the economy,” he added.

For the Fed and its employees to be autonomous and use their resources to achieve its goals, Congress established the highest employment and price stability targets.

“Taking on new goals, however worthy, without a clear statutory mandate would undermine the case for our independence,” said Powell.


The Fed is not a ‘climate-policy maker,’ Powell says

Powell says Fed might have to make unpopular decisions to stabilize prices

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