Fed chairman under scrutiny on inflation at confirmation hearing

Federal Reserve (Fed) Chairman Jerome Powell will highlight the central bank’s efforts to combat inflation and stabilize the US economy at his confirmation hearing in Congress, according to testimony released Monday.

“We are firmly committed to achieving our statutory goals of maximum employment and price stability. We will use our tools to support the economy and a strong job market and to prevent further inflation from taking hold,” according to testimony.

However, Powell is also expected to face ethical scrutiny after New York Times reported last week new details about Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida’s stock market activity in February 2020, just a few weeks before it collapsed as the covid-19 pandemic began.

The Fed then aggressively intervened to stop a further liquidity crisis.

In a letter sent Monday, Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, citing the Times reports, asked “that the Federal Reserve … release all available information on the operations of Fed officials” by next Monday.

The Fed announced stricter investment rules in October after a controversy over the activities of Powell and two other top officials, who ended up resigning.

Powell’s testimony Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee comes after President Joe Biden nominated him for a second term at the helm of the central bank, as the US economy faces a wave of record inflation that has led critics to accuse the Fed of complacency.



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