Jerome Powell "60 Minutes" Interview: Federal Reserve Leader Discusses If Fed Will Reach Interest Rate Again, Trump and More

The US economy is about to hit record, 10 years of continued expansion, although there are some signs that the expansion may slow down. Economists and the President will discuss whether the Federal Reserve is the cause. The Federal Reserve chair is undoubtedly the most powerful person to handle our economy. But interviews with the Fed leader are rare. Chairman Jerome Powell was appointed to the Board of President Obama and was elevated last year to President Trump. Since then, the Fed has raised interest rates four times leading Mr.Trump to call the Federal Reserve "crazy."

When we met Powell in early March at the Fed's headquarters in Washington, we asked the chairman about the interest rate, if the president could burn him and what he thinks are the greatest threats to prosperity.

Scott Pelley: Have you stopped raising prices?

Jerome Powell: Well, that's a good question. We see the economy as in a good place. We believe the outlook is favorable. Inflation is subdued and our policy rate we believe is in a suitable place. So what we have said is that we would be patient.

Scott Pelley: What does patient mean?

Jerome Powell: Patient means we don't want to change our interest rate policy. What ̵[ads1]1; what happened in the last 90 days or so, is that we have seen increasing evidence that the world economy is slowing down, even though our own economy has continued to work well.

Scott Pelley: Where do you see weakness in the US economy?

Jerome Powell: In general, the US economy comes out of a very strong year last year. We had growth only a touch – higher than 3 percent. We have a high level of employment, low unemployment, wages are rising. Consumer confidence is high, business understanding is high. We have seen a bit of braking, but I would say that the most important risk to our economy now seems to come from slower growth in China and Europe, and also risking events like Brexit.


Scott Pelley: A record 7 million Americans have fallen behind on car payments. It has never happened before. What are you doing about it?

Jerome Powell: Car sales have been quite high for a number of years. So the entire body of outstanding car loans is much larger than it was. I also think it shows th Do not everyone knows this widespread prosperity that we have. And that's something we also keep in mind.

Scott Pelley: But the overall question is, are we heading for a recession?

Jerome Powell: I think growth this year will be slower than last year. Last year was the highest growth we have experienced since the financial crisis, really for more than 10 years. This year, I expect that growth will continue to be positive and continue to be at a good pace.

The Federal Reserve system was created by Congress a century ago to prevent economic panic. The goal is to create maximum employment while keeping inflation under control.

Scott Pelley: You mentioned growth last year just over 3 percent. It was with the tax cut and with unemployment in this country at a rate that we have not seen for decades. Is it the best economy can do now? Are the days growing by 4 percent?

Jerome Powell: You can break it down into a few things. One is how fast is the workforce growing? And the second part is how fast is productivity growing? The labor force, back when we used to have 4 per cent and 5 per cent grow, the labor force grew rapidly, 2.5 per cent, 3 per cent in some cases back in the 60s and 70s. We have an older population now. And our workforce grows slower. It grows less than 1 percent a year. So it is not likely that we could maintain the growth rates we had when the population and workforce grew faster.

Scott Pelley: So 4 percent is something we shouldn't expect in the future?

Jerome Powell: It will be years with 4 percent growth. But it would be challenging to see continued 4 percent growth again, due to the slow growth of the labor force.

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Pre President Donald Trump: No, I think the Fed is wrong, they are so tight. The Fed has gone mad.

Jerome Powell: I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment on o

Scott Pelley: Isn't it your duty to respond when the president calls the Fed a much bigger problem than China?

Jerome Powell: My duty is one that Congress has given us, which is to use our tools to achieve maximum employment and stable prices, and to monitor and regulate banks so that they treat their customers fairly and so that they are strong well capitalized and can perform its critical function in good times and bad. It's my job.

Scott Pelley: Can the President Shoot You?

Jerome Powell: Well, the law is clear that I have a four-year period. And I will fully serve it.

Scott Pelley: So no, in your view?

Jerome Powell: No.

Scott Pelley: How independent is the Fed? Who are you answering?

Jerome Powell: We are committed to taking, in order to conduct politics, in a strictly non-political manner, serving all Americans, and that is what we do. We are independent in that sense. Our pricing decisions cannot be reversed by any other part of the government. Our responsibility goes through the elected representatives and the supervisory committees in the congress.

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Traditionally, Fed trust does not interview, their words can outweigh markets, but that tradition was ruined by Ben Bernanke for 60 minutes during the big recession, and recently we collect Bernanke, his successor, Janet Yellen, o g Powell.

Scott Pelley: And I deserved what kind of advice have you given Chairman Powell about the reprehensible criticism you can get from the public, the congress, the business, the president?

Ben Bernanke: Well, I kept on my desk a quote from Abraham Lincoln to influence it, "If you're right, it doesn't matter what they say. If you're wrong, it doesn't matter what they say. "So the best thing to do is get what you think is the right conversation.

Scott Pelley: Trust Yellen, what advice did you give to Chairman Powell

Janet Yellen: We worked together closely. And I knew he knew everything one needed to be a successful chair … to be inclusive in the decision-making process, to get many votes to the table to listen carefully.

Jerome Powell: Being in this role is a very humble thing. And you learn to listen to others' perspectives quite well.

Powell listens to a lot of perspective in the Fed's boardroom. The Federal Open Market Committee sets the interest rate. 19659002] Scott Pelley: You've had four interest rate increases in your mission. I wonder if any of these were unanimous?

Jerome Powell: They were all unanimous.

Scott Pelley: All four?

Jerome Powell: That's not to say we don't have strong discussions and a lot of perspectives.

The Federal Reserve, 10 years after the Great Recession

The Fed wants to maintain 2 percent inflation. About where it is now. But Powell told us he's flexible – to a point.

Scott Pelley: If inflation rises slightly over 2 percent over a limited period, doesn't it mean the Fed is jumping on the brakes?

Jerome Powell: I think we wouldn't overreact to inflation modestly over 2 percent more than we overreacted to inflation modesty below 2 percent. I believe that we will always move inflation back to 2 percent with our policy. But I think we do it in a symmetrical way.

It is almost a decade to worry about inflation again. The collapse of the financial crisis in 2008 was the worst since the Great Depression. Mortgage fraud on a massive scale caused Dow to fall 54 percent and unemployment to rise to 10 percent. Taxpayers were forced to bailout ruthless Wall Street profits. Then, restrictions on the banks were tightened. But now, Powell and Congress are loosening these rules.

Fed rely on quantitative relief

Scott Pelley: Are US Banks Safe Today?

Jerome Powell: The US banking system is much, much stronger and more resilient than it was before the financial crisis. Especially the largest banks have double or more amount of capital, which is to say resources to absorb losses. In addition, we have required that they undergo resolution planning in case they fail. There is a plan for what to do that does not involve a taxpayer's bailout.

Scott Pelley: But in 2007, Fed missed the ruthless, criminal bank that happened. How do you know today that banks are safe?

Jerome Powell: We spent 10 years analyzing, understanding what went wrong and trying to fix it.

Scott Pelley: A breakdown of the financial system we saw in 2008 cannot happen again?

Jerome Powell: "Can't" is a strong statement. You know, I want to say that our system is far more resistant

Scott Pelley: How concerned is it with criminal or more important hostile nations that attack our banking system through the computer system?

Jerome Powell: We spend a lot of time and resources to protect the Fed, but also to protect financial institutions and financial markets. The banks we monitor are required to have plans in place and state of the art, you know technology. I would say for cyber risk though, I never felt a time when I – when I think we do enough.

Scott Pelley: I have the feeling that I just turn on things that keep you up at night.

Jerome Powell: I want to say about the risks we are facing, it is certainly the biggest.

Scott Pelley: It has become your top priority.

Jerome Powell: The risk we encountered in the financial crisis is very real, but we know I generally seem to do it there. Cyber ​​is a relatively new type of risk with national actors. And it is one where – the play book is still being developed in real time.

Powell told us about another risk hidden in our economy. It includes an estimated half a million workers who have given up work.

Jerome Powell: We have an unusually large number of people in their primary work years who are not in the workforce. The United States has a lower labor force participation rate than almost any other advanced country. It is not our self-image as a country.

Scott Pelley: Where did these people go who are no longer looking for work?

Jerome Powell: Part of it is development technology. As technology evolves, it requires rising people's skills. The US level of education has not gone up as fast as in other countries. Globalization is also a factor. For many advanced economies, production to some extent, has moved into developing countries. So for whatever reason, and the opioid crisis is related to the other factors.

Scott Pelley: The Opioid Crisis?

Jerome Powell: The opioid crisis is millions of people. They tend to be young males. And that is a very important problem. And it's part of a bigger picture.

Scott Pelley: You seem to be talking about part of this generation that's lost.

Jerome Powell: That's the problem. When you have people who do not participate in a country's economic life in a meaningful way, who do not have the skills and abilities to play a role or who do not because they are addicted to drugs or in prison, then they become left.

Nevertheless, it is not bad days to be a Fed leader. Unemployment is close to 50 years, wages grow at a rate of more than 3%, and if the expansion lasts another month, it will be the longest in the history of 10 years.

Scott Pelley: How Long Can It Last

Jerome Powell: I just want to say there's no reason why it can't continue.

Scott Pelley: For many years?

Jerome Powell: Finally, extensions come to an end. The business cycle has not been abolished. But I would say that there is no reason why this economy cannot continue to expand.

Since our story was first sent, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee has kept interest rates stable, while President Trump continues to push Powell and Fed to lower them. The Fed is meeting again later in the month to discuss prices.

Produced by Henry Schuster. Associated Manufacturers, Rachael Morehouse and Sarah Turcotte.

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