60 minutes interview transcript

Again, the United States is a long way from any such event. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. The one thing I can absolutely guarantee is that the Federal Reserve will be doing everything we can to support the people we serve. PELLEY: Well, that is the question that everyone wants an answer to: "What is a while?" That gives us faster growth. And we've done a great deal. So I think what we can do is learn our lessons from that crisis. PELLEY: In terms of stimulus, has the Congress done enough? And we have the ability to borrow at low rates. Who do you answer to? That was the worst financial crisis in 75 years. But if it's avoidable, the more of that we can do, the stronger the recovery will be. That's not to say that the failure of a large bank wouldn't be a very challenging event for the economy and for the financial markets. And he told me that he wanted to build a new manufacturing plant in the United States but he couldn't find enough American workers who had the education to operate computerized machine tools. POWELL: When the financial crisis hit, the Fed cut our interest rates to near zero, effectively as low as we could. Copyright © 2020 CBS Interactive Inc.All rights reserved. But I will say that we're not out of ammunition by a long shot. How big a problem is that for the United States? And we will. 25%? We can't fully recover though until people feel confident that they're safe. It seems as a reasonable base case that there will be more layoffs probably this month and next month. In this case, you have governments around the world and central banks around the world responding with great force and very quickly. And we are putting together a facility that will lend money to companies that were in good financial shape before the pandemic hit, and we'll do that in order to get them through this difficult period of when their revenues may be very low. And that is right now, unemployment is at a 50-year-low. So that's an extraordinary tool that one wouldn't use in the ordinary course. PELLEY: In the early days of the crisis in this boardroom, you and the committee lowered interest rates essentially to zero. POWELL: I believe that is right.

The banks are taking much less risk now. Scott Pelley's interview with Mr. Powell aired Sunday, March 10, 2019. So that's something that deserves a careful look. And I expect that it will recover substantially, but that it will take some time. How independent is the Fed? POWELL: Well, U.S. educational attainment led the world for a long time.

It's not something the Fed can really lead on. We have negative policy rates in many countries around the world as a result of the financial crisis. You point to the retail sales number. PELLEY: But the middle class is getting left behind, Mr. Chairman.

PELLEY: How much do you expect the economy to shrink in the second quarter? But we can't fully recover because those other parts of the economy matter. But we really are not the ones to decide when the economy should reopen. Likely to happen in the second half of the year.

PELLEY: We have seen big swings in the stock markets in the United States. [Treasury] Secretary [Steven] Mnuchin, [Federal Reserve] Vice Chair [Richard] Clarida, the president, and I had dinner. It's, you know, the threats evolve and develop.

Are those people going to be made whole ever? Consumer confidence is high, business confidence is high. POWELL:  We hear that all the time from our business contacts.

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