Fed chair says he’ll resist climate goal bullying: ‘We just don’t do that’

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that the central banking system must “avoid mission creep” when it comes to the climate change agenda if it is to “maintain the public’s trust.”

“Wait,” asked one user on X, “so we believe them now?”

Speaking at Stanford University, Powell said that it isn’t the Fed’s job to address climate change.

“Our nation faces many challenges, some of which directly or indirectly involve the economy,” he said. “Fed policymakers are often pressed to take a position on issues that are arguably relevant to the economy but are not within our mandate, such as particular tax and spending policies, immigration policy, and trade policy. Climate change is another current example.

“Policies to address climate change are the business of elected officials and those agencies that they have charged with this responsibility,” Powell explained. “The Fed has received no such charge.”

“We do, however, have a narrow role that relates to our responsibilities as a bank supervisor,” he added.

“The public will expect that the institutions we regulate and supervise will understand and be able to manage the material risks that they face, which, over time, are likely to include climate-related financial risks,” the chairman said. “We will remain alert to the risk that there will be pressure to expand that role over time.”

“We are not, nor do we seek to be, climate policymakers,” Powell stated. “In short, doing our job well requires that we respect the limits of our mandate.”

In a later Q & A session, Powell stressed the need for the Fed to stay out of “partisan” policy fights.

“We have a specific mandate,” he said. “Stick to that mandate. Focus on that mandate and don’t be dragged into partisan political fights.”

“When I testify, people are always trying to get me and my colleagues to support their perspective on, you know, fiscal issues or immigration issues and they think of an economic hook,” he said. “But we just don’t do that.”

(Video: YoutTube)

As previously reported, in November, Powell allegedly yelled for attendees at a Washington D.C. speech he was giving at the International Monetary Fund’s annual research conference to “just close the f*cking door” on a bunch of climate activists who disrupted him.

And, in October, a group of activists hijacked the stage at an event at the Economic Club of New York. Powell had to stop speaking as the protesters, who were chanting “Off fossil finance, Jay, off fossil finance,” were removed.

(Video: YouTube)

Still, Republicans have accused the Fed of being too deep into the climate debate, the Washington Examiner reports.

“Last year a group of Republicans sent a letter to Powell expressing frustration with the Fed’s engagement in environmental and climate research, which they argued is ‘far outside’ the central bank’s statutory mandate,” the outlet reports. “At the time, the lawmakers noted that the Fed recently announced a pilot climate risk analysis exercise that uses scenario analysis to examine the resiliency of financial institutions under different hypothetical climate scenarios.”

Despite “clever pilot program marketing,” the senators said, the exercise is essentially a “climate stress test.”

According to the Examiner, “The Fed itself has said that its climate scenario analysis is distinctly separate from bank stress tests.”

On X, few were impressed by Powell’s Stanford remarks.

“He just talks, and moves the market,” one user said. “‘M’ stands for ‘manipulation.”

Melissa Fine


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