Chair Yellen was not wasting her precious time when she visited Senate Democrats last week and the meetings planned for the Republican side of the aisle are similarly essential if the FRB is to maintain its institutional status as the GOP-controlled Congress gets to work.  The semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins hearings start the last week of the month and, following them, the Hill will get to work on several measures anathema to the central bank.  The FRB has also recently decided to expand its role in the U.S. payment system, a move sure to rile still further those who want a limited central bank – if any at all. 

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