President Trump today ramped up his criticism of the Federal Reserve, issuing a tweet suggesting that Chairman Powell’s appearance today before HFSC lowered stock market prices and reiterating his call for lower interest rates. Sticking to his practice of not commenting on the President, Mr. Powell did not comment on this and Republicans did not echo Mr. Trump’s criticism. Asked whether the FRB supports licensing requirements for payment providers – standards that could give nonbanks access to the Fed under Fed governance – Mr. Powell referenced Gov. Brainard’s call to review the U.S. oversight framework for retail payments. Pressed by Reps. Sherman (D-CA) and Scott (D-GA) on the potential need for LIBOR transition legislation, Mr. Powell said that the FRB is reviewing this and will shortly determine whether legislation is necessary. Treasury Secretary Mnunchin has said that legislation may be required to ensure a smooth LIBOR transition (see Client Report FSOC24).
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