In this report, we add our analysis to those forecasting the Federal Reserve under Jerome Powell. We do not differ from those who view Mr. Powell’s term as one that will continue much from Chair Yellen’s approach to both monetary and regulatory policy. Not only has Mr. Powell consistently supported both Chair Yellen and Bernanke on monetary policy, but – often overlooked in recent coverage – monetary policy is made by the FOMC, not just the Board of Governors. Next year, several of the most dovish Reserve Bank Presidents now on the FOMC will be replaced by those with a more hawkish bent, giving Mr. Powell a strong platform should he wish to tighten policy more than Ms. Yellen has been willing to do in response to the soft recovery. Given GOP opposition to QE, Mr. Powell might also be willing to speed up portfolio reduction, although fears of market turmoil will worry him at least as much as his predecessors.
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