Powell to appear one day earlier for House testimony

Fed chairman to brief Senate Banking Committee March 1

Changes in the House schedule have led to a change in the testimony date for the new chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, the House Financial Services Committee said Friday.

In a release, Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) announced that, due to changes to the House schedule, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell will now appear before the committee on Tuesday at 10 a.m.; that’s a change from the previously announced date of Wednesday (Feb. 28).

Powell, who was sworn in to office earlier this month, is scheduled to deliver the Fed’s semiannual monetary policy report to Congress and to discuss the state of the economy.

Separately, Powell will appear before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday (March 1) at 10 a.m. to provide the Fed’s semiannual monetary policy report.

In a memo, the committee’s majority staff note limits on the effectiveness of Federal Reserve monetary policy. “First, monetary policy is not the only force acting on output, employment, and prices,” the memo states. “Many other factors affect aggregate demand and aggregate supply and, consequently, the economic position of households and businesses. Some of these factors (such as changes in consumer confidence, natural disasters, or supply disruptions) cannot be anticipated.”

The memo additionally lists a second limitation: timing. “Given that it takes time to compile key information on the economy, the Federal Reserve runs the risk of setting policy based on stale information. Because economic data describe the past state of the economy rather than the current one, the FOMC is, as one economist has described it, in the position of a driver navigating the highway by looking in his rearview mirror.”

Calendar: House Financial Services Committee/FRB Chairman Jay Powell

Calendar: Senate Banking Committee hearing/FRB Chairman Jay Powell