Dow sinks ahead of key Fed and Treasury testimony – CNN

This post was originally published on this site

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are testifying before the Senate Banking Committee this morning, answering questions about the large scale monetary and fiscal stimulus their institutions have deployed to help the US economy through the coronavirus recession.

Powell, who in recent remarks has stressed how people at the lower end of the income spectrum are bearing the brunt of this recession, will once again make that point to the Committee:

“People have put their lives and livelihoods on hold at significant economic and personal cost. All of us are affected, but the burdens are falling most heavily on those least able to carry them,” the central banker’s prepared remarks read, calling the scope and pace of the downturn unprecedented and worse than any recession since World War II.

Last Friday, a Fed survey found that 40% of workers with a household income below $40,000 reported a job loss in March.

He will also stress that the Fed is committed to use the “full range” of its tools to support the economy as part of the public sector response to the crisis.

Powell will walk the Committee through all the tools already deployed since mid-March, including slashing interest rates to near zero and launching various lending programs. But he is also looking ahead to programs that are still waiting in the wings.

The Main Street Lending Program, designed to provide loans to small and medium-sized businesses, is being prepared for launch. Powell stressed in his prepared remarks how important public input was in designing these unprecedented programs.