Powell pledges to remain alert to emerging stability risks

FILE - In this Nov. 28, 2017, file photo, Jerome Powell, President Donald Trump's nominee for chairman of the Federal Reserve, testifies during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Federal Reserve Chairman Powell said Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, that the global economy is recovering strongly for the first time in a decade, but the central bank needs to remain alert to any emerging risks to financial stability. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday that the global economy is recovering strongly for the first time in a decade, but the central bank needs to remain alert to any emerging risks to financial stability.

In brief remarks during a ceremonial swearing-in, Powell said the central bank is in the process of "gradually" raising interest rates and trimming its massive holdings of Treasury bonds..

He said the Fed is seeking to normalize its policies in a way that will extend the recovery and bolster its goals of achieving stable inflation and maximum employment.

"We will remain alert to any developing risks to financial stability," Powell said in his only reference to the wild swings in the past two weeks in financial markets.

Powell made the comments during a ceremonial swearing-in event witnessed by Fed staffers and members of his family gathered in the giant atrium of its headquarters building in Washington.

Powell took the oath of office the first time on Feb. 5 when he succeeded Janet Yellen as Fed chairman. The Fed released a brief pre-recorded video message at that time in which Powell pledged to remain "vigilant" to any emerging economic risks.

But the video message and Tuesday's comments made no specific reference to the recent wild market gyrations. Analysts have said the increased volatility could reflect rising fears in markets that inflation will soon become a bigger threat, prompting the Fed to accelerate the pace of its rate hikes.

Powell is certain to face questions on how the Fed plans to deal with the market turmoil when he delivers the central bank's semi-annual monetary report to Congress on Feb. 28.

In his comments Tuesday, Powell said the central bank had made "great progress" in moving closer to its goals of maximum employment and stable prices, as well as creating a financial system that is "incomparably stronger and safer, with much higher capital and liquidity, better risk management and other improvements" since the 2008 financial crisis.

"Much credit for these results should go to Chairman (Ben) Bernanke and Chair Yellen. I am grateful for their leadership and for their example and advice as colleagues," Powell said, saluting his two predecessors.

Powell was tapped by President Donald Trump to succeed Yellen, who has said she was disappointed that Trump did not offer her a second term.

In his remarks, Powell said that the Fed has been a leader over the past 25 years in improving transparency to give the public a better understanding of the decisions it has made in managing the economy.

"We will continue to pursue ways to improve transparency both in monetary policy and in regulation," Powell said.

Must Read

Relatives of MH17 victims seek EU help in getting...

Aug 31, 2016

Frustrated relatives of those killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot out of the sky over...

Turkey accuses Germany of 'Nazi' practices; rift...

Mar 5, 2017

A diplomatic rift between Turkey and key European nations deepened Sunday as President Recep Tayyip...

Dutch minister calls for funds for Syria war...

Mar 9, 2017

The Dutch foreign minister paid tribute Thursday to activists who risk their lives in Syria to...

Turkey-Dutch relations shatter after Turkish...

Mar 12, 2017

The escalating dispute between NATO allies Turkey and the Netherlands hit a new low Sunday, with a...

UN court orders Pakistan not to execute Indian...

May 18, 2017

The International Court of Justice has ordered Pakistan not to execute an Indian naval officer...

People also read these

Ukraine takes Russia to UN court over rebel...

Mar 6, 2017

Ukraine's deputy foreign minister on Monday accused Russia of financing terrorism by shipping arms,...

The Latest: French candidate Macron condemns...

Mar 12, 2017

French centrist candidate Emmanuel Macron "strongly condemns" what he calls provocations from the...

Turkey dispute timing may benefit Dutch premier...

Mar 12, 2017

Just days away from national elections at which he is seeking a third term in office, Dutch Prime...

Did Erdogan, Trump hurt Geert Wilders' bid for...

Mar 16, 2017

If Geert Wilders is looking for somebody to blame for his disappointing showing in Dutch elections,...

After takeover bid, Unilever announces major...

Apr 6, 2017

Consumer products giant Unilever says it plans to sell its spreads division and combine its foods...