In contrast to many previous monetary policy hearings, the questions from participants were more to the point, and the Congresswomen and -men appeared to be playing less to the TV audience and focusing more on substantive issues. Some asked about the impact of global warming on the economy, while others inquired how policy might help particular parts of the country that are not doing as well as others and what if anything can be done about taxes and their role in promoting income inequality. In each instance Powell respectfully noted the importance of the concerns and said that the Fed was researching many of those issues, but they were really the province of fiscal policy and the Congress and not the responsibility of the Federal Reserve. Overall, the hearings were both thoughtful and respectful, and they stood in sharp contrast to the ongoing impeachment hearings that shoved Powell’s presentation into the shadows.

1. https://www.federalreserve.gov/mediacenter/files/FOMCpresconf20191030.pdf

2. https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/powell20191113a.htm

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