Jerome Powell is chairman of the federal reserve.

More About Jerome Powell

Professional Experience

Academic History

  • Unlike his recent predecessors had primarily private sector experience (vs academic)

Federal Reserve Under Jerome Powell

  • Overall his Fed was much different than under past chairman
  • For most of 2018 focused on the real economy - not stock market performance
  • Fed Officials rarely issue public comments outside of official Fed events ( far more public statements under Yellen & Bernanke)
  • Directed the FED to look for new methods to measure REAL economic levels (past measurements have been manipulated)
  • Adopted a policy that fed focus was on reaching  a "neutral interest rate" without concern of stock market valuations
  • Oversaw a Hawkish Fed policy 2018:  multiple rate hikes and QE on Autopilot
  • Didn't waiver in 2018 as Emerging Markets crashed (some think because of Fed Policy Tightening)
  • Claims that the Fed is Data Dependent (not driven by market performance)

Jan 2018 - Dec 2018 Policy

  • Fed policy was set on 3-4 rate hikes/year
  • Page of QT would reach $50B/month and stay there
  • Not concerned about EM problems caused by this
  • Only a major crisis would change this

Jan 2019 Policy Shift

  • Said that he'd consider changing balanced sheet policy if needed (1/4/19)
  • Said that he might end QT earlier than expected (1/25/19)
  • Suggested that there may be no more rate hikes in 2019 (even with historically low unemployment)
  • Criticism that Powell shifted to supporting the markets vs. normalizing policy (Powell Put) after market declines in Dec 2018
  • One of the biggest Fed reversals / policy shifts in history
  • Potential Reasons for Policy Shift
  • Jan 30, 2019 is the day he publicly became concerned about stock markets (like Bernanke and Yellen before him)

Notable Actions / Speeches

  • Indicated that the Fed would raise rates above the neutral rate and that we weren't at the neutral rate yet  (October 2018)