Jerome Powell takes oath as sixteenth president of the Fed

In 2012 he was nominated by then President Barack Obama as Fed governor.

However, Powell has praised the approach the central bank has taken under Yellen, specifically the gradual raising of interest rates and the slow chipping away of the $4.5 trillion balance sheet that the Fed amassed to support the United States economy after the financial crash of 2008.

Although expansion progressed progressively over past nine years, inflation remained mysteriously low, as Powell acknowledged.

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"Through our monetary policy decisions", he says, "We will support continuation of economic growth, a healthy labor market and stable prices". However, he will be the first leader of the central bank in 40 years without an advanced degree in economics. The Dow Jones index has lost 5% of its value since last record, after extending this Monday heavy falls that were seen on Friday, on last day of Yellen.

Powell vowed to explain "what we are doing and why we are doing it". The financial system, he says, is now "stronger and more resilient than before financial crisis that began a decade ago".

One of the worries from the market is that the Fed, under Powell, will accelerate its interest rate hikes, undermining the momentum of a bullish market.

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Yellen is leaving after one term as Fed chair.

"We want regulations to be the most intense and most stringent for the very largest, most complex institutions and decrease in intensity, stringency as we move down" to regional and community banks, Powell said in the hearing, before the Senate Banking Committee. The plan at this time is three rate increments in 2018.

"If the Fed raises (the) rate sufficiently to assure financial stability, there is the risk that the economy will slow too much".

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  • Kelly Blake