Powell Stresses Importance of Lending Programs, Calls Economic Outlook ‘Extraordinarily Uncertain’

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are speaking before Congress this week as part of mandated updates on CARES Act funding.

by Jeff Cox

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell emphasized the importance of the lending programs it has deployed during the coronavirus pandemic, telling senators in testimony to be delivered Tuesday that they’ve been integral in keeping the economic fallout from being worse.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who will appear twice on Capitol Hill with Powell this week, has said that the legislation that enabled the programs does not permit them to run past Dec. 31. The two officials are speaking as part of required updates on the CARES Act funding initiatives Congress passed to aid the economy through the pandemic.

Many of the key programs that the central bank has used since March are expiring at the end of the year, and the Fed will be forced to return the funding that supports them.

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