Fed Chair Jerome Powell under Pressure to Calm Markets amidst Ukraine War

amidst Ukraine War

March 3, 2022

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appears before Congress for his semi-annual monetary policy update.

Considering the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war, Fed Chair Powell faces much pressure to calm markets. The war has completely disheveled the monetary policy calculations.

Powell Explains How the Fed will Control Inflation amidst Ukraine War

Powell’s testament will be before a House panel on Wednesday and before a Senate committee on Thursday. Anticipated topics include inflation, stablecoins, and a potential central bank digital currency (CBDC).

Because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, markets expect that the Fed will be doing less to control inflation. For instance, Wall Street expected the Fed to raise interest rates seven times in 2022. However, recent pricing reveals the agency has only made five moves.

Additionally, markets have also been expecting the Federal Open Market Committee to approve 25 basis point hikes at each of its seven meetings this year. It was highly anticipated that the March 15-16 meeting would check off 50 basis points. However, the approval seems off the table with the ongoing Ukraine-Russia crisis.

Powell’s testament has the task of convincing markets that it will be doing more to control inflation while also being mindful of the geopolitical turmoil.

Crypto Community Expect a Discussion on the Digital Coins 

The crypto community is also eagerly waiting as signs point to a discussion on digital coins. The memorandum for the Wednesday hearing before a House panel has a section for the Financial Stability Oversight Council’s (FSOC) annual report from December. The report mentions the rapid growth in cryptocurrency and stablecoins in 2021.

Fed Reserve Chair Jerome Powell may have to explain the effect of the rapid growth of the cryptocurrency industry on traditional financial markets. The FSOC report says there is a risk of potential “spillover effects” from price volatility and speculation among the digital assets.

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