Business

Fed's Powell warns lawmakers not to become complacent in dealing with coronavirus


Congressional Republicans and the president want that additional benefit to end to push more Americans into the labor market, but many economists warn their expiration could sharply reduce spending in the economy.


An estimate from JPMorgan Chase analysts found that the amount of federal fiscal support would drop by more than $1 trillion from the second quarter to the third without additional relief efforts.


“We have a lot of important features that all come to an end in July,” Mnuchin said, adding he was committed to working on a bipartisan basis on whether those programs needed to be extended.


Still, the Fed has faced criticism that its lending programs and efforts to bolster the markets, including through corporate debt purchases, widen economic inequality and don’t trickle down to the tens of millions of Americans who are out of work.


In particular, Powell said the Fed was open to making changes to its Main Street lending program for small and midsize businesses, including lowering the minimum loan amount, which has already been reduced from $1 million to $250,000.


Mnuchin also suggested the administration would support direct financial aid for the hotel industry in the next stimulus package, in response to questions from lawmakers about their ongoing challenges.






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