tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 27, 2018 12:30pm-1:29pm EST
hmda records and found that 61 municipal areas across the united states had unfairly -- had denied people of color, black and brown people the right to take on a mortgage kpaired to equally qualified whites. what is the economic impact of that discrimination in your view? when people can afford a mortgage and are told you can't have one, what impact cans we expect to see when that happens on a systematic basis. >> i think it's so fundamental to our society that there should not be racial discrimination along the lines of credit availability. >> that's a moral position and i agree with you but i want to know how it affects the economy. >> well, start with those people. if people are denied access to
credit then they're going to be less able to attend school, perhaps, let able to start a family, less able to move to a new job. all kinds of things, economic outcomes for individuals would be potentially significantly reduced and if you take that out across a broad population it would hurt the growth of a country. >> i want to get your views on whether you agree with fed chairman neel kashkari that increasing legal immigration would help our economy but i'll get to that another time. >> mr. bud? >> thank you, mr. chairman, chairman powell, congratulations. i know you've heard it many times but we're glad to have you here. would it be fair to say the current situation is willing to review and question decisions made by the fsb, the financial stability board, in the past.
would you be willing to review and question those? >> sure. i mean, i think we always -- if fsb doesn't make decisions about u.s. regulation, they make recommendations and if we were to enact something in a regulation we would put that out for comment and anything like that could be reconsidered in princip principle. i don't think any anything that comes to mind but maybe you can help me. >> so as much as their opinions have influenced policy, there's one in particular i'm thinking about. in 2013, the fsb instructed the international agency of insurance supervisors required them to have insurance groups. there seems to be concern among u.s.-based insurers that this would be bad for the u.s. market and u.s. policyholders so many times the leadership attempts to
hide behind the fsb, they say fsb told us to do this, told us to do that so it's my view if they don't move in a more positive direction we need to look at how the fsb is affected by this. so i want to have your thoughts about reviewing that with international capital standards. >> i served on the supervisory committee for several years but i haven't been involved with it for some time now and i'm not sure where that one is but i know that we had rolled out a capital requirement in broad form and i have to come back on where that stands if that's all right. >> >> sure. it may have the fsb involved, new directions or can i have you confirm that you're willing to work through the fsb to redirect the -- excuse me, so manying a roe names. with the iais if needed, would
you have the fsb review that? >> can i confer with our people who do insurance regulations? >> no problem at all, thank you. >> thank you. >> i yield back. >> would you yield to the chairman? >> appreciate the gentleman for yield i yielding. chairman powell, i want to revisit an area we've spoken about briefly during my questioning and i'm not sure i'm clear on the answer and this has to do with the runoff of the balance sheet. again the monthly cap on your security rolloffs, your treasury security rolloffs will rietsz to $30 billion in the report you released friday according to data from the systems open market account you don't have $30 billion of treasury secur g
securing, so are you making up the short falls that i understand you to say these caps are flexible? i don't understand what you intend to do when you don't have enough treasuries that are actually maturing to hit the $30 billion? >> so the purpose of the caps was to gradually start the runoff. the caps won't be binding for treasuries and nbs. i think only for the treasuries in the big treasury financing months so you can think of them as not restraining either so we weren't saying -- our projections don't say we're going to roll off $50 billion per month, that's not how it was intended and we don't know how fast mbs are going to run off because they run off depending on where interest rates are. we know with treasuries and we know we're moving right along. these are significant reductions
this year and next year in the size of the balance sheet. >> so as of a couple of weeks ago, the balance sheet if i saw it right was at $4.4 trillion and by years end it ought to be at $4 trillion and if you don't the pace, $3 trillion, two additional years of rolloffs about two trillion four years from now, does that sound about right. is that a current expectation. >> that sounds about right. >> but do you expect it to stay there and do you not expect for cash to wayne as interest rates rise? >> right now we have $2.2 trillion in non-reserve liabilities. when we shrink the balance
sheet, what goes away is the reserves. that's the liability that goes away. so that 2.2 trillion liabilities, you have to add on whether the equilibrium demands kwhaer t whatever if reserves it and it will be at least $700 billion no matter what we do. >> the time of the gentleman is expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. foster. >> thank you for appearing here. this is an important parent of communication with congress. >>. i'd like to follow up on representative rice's dangers of default. i'd like to repeat his thanks to you of being involved in educating members of congress about the necessity of taking seriously our payments on principle and interest. there are two different kinds of defaults. they're driven by fundamentals. the country doesn't have the ability to repay its debt. if you think about iceland where
there were debts from the banking crisis of 700% of gdp and no way for the people to pay it off, they're the ones that are self-inflicted wounds like our voluntary failure. this is a country that has more than enough money to pay its debts simply for some political reason refuses to do it. over time, both parties have been guilty of weaponizing the debt limit. i want to encourage you that there is a bipartisan consensus that could be assembled to get rid of it. it's always abused by which ever party is in the minority and i think everyone should step back and -- you know, you're an important part of opinion making in washington and in financial circumstance t circles so anything you can do to encourage that to happen, there may be a moment when the stars align and we can get rid of this uniquely dumb thing that
we do of threatening to not pay our debt. you hear there's not enough money and we have to cut medicare and that we have to cut all the things that poor people depend on so i'd like to go into that. the u.s. household net worth is going to go over $100 trillion. $100 trillion and that publicly held debt is 75% of gdp so it's around 16, 17. so what you agree is that there's clearly enough money in the united states to pay off our national debt? will we ever reach a situation where the world says there is so much debt in the united states, public or private, that we cannot do it? we cannot cover our debts?
>> i wouldn't want to run the test. i think there would come a test in which -- it's not this time by a long shot but there could come a time when the public -- the global debt-buying public would come to the view that we either weren't prepared to honor our debts or couldn't service them. but we're a long way from that. >> but that's different -- for example, in japan where the debt is 200%, more than 200% of gdp the markets are not concerned because the amount of private wealth in japan is more than enough to cover that. the situation is different in china where there's a huge amount of often unacknowledged private sector debt and when you think of what will happen when the debt fails that will land first on regional banks and the main banks and basically on the government's balance sheet so there's a real danger in the case of china that there's not enough money in china and enough wealth in china to cover the dealt. and so i think -- would you agree there's a fundamental
difference in the united states that we do have the money to pay off our debts by a long margin? because of the large public wealth in this country and that really it's a political problem that we face rather than one of just not having enough money. >> we certainly have enough money to service our debts and honor them without question. but the issue is servicing them getting more and more expensive as they accumulate, as the numbers go up and those bills will be borne by our children. >> i agree completely and the wisdom of lowering taxes at a time when the economy doesn't need to be stimulated is something that is -- well is sort of elementary macro economics. when the economy recovers you pay a debt in order to smooth things out. you have a section on page 14 and 15 of your report that
you're presenting on the low inflation in advanced economies which is something that's of widespread -- do you have any thoughts on really what's -- what your main suspicion is for why that is taking place? >> inflation has been coming down all over the world and it probably has something to do with the aging of the population and with low productivity. it probably also has to do with -- sorry. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maine. >> thank you chairman hensarling. it's wonderful to meet with you again chairman powell and thanks for being so direct and giving us the answers to the questions that we ask. sir, i represent probably the most stunningly beautiful part
of the world, rural maine, and if you haven't been there, mr. powell, we are blessed with such natural beauty, we have 3600 miles of breathtaking coastline, we have thousands and thousands of lakes and ponds and hundreds of miles rivers and streams. we're also called vacationland. you look like a fellow that probably needs a vacation and i'm not sure if you booked your may vacation but if you have a problem, call up our office and we'll help you out. now, when you go on your maine vacation -- and this is a great time to go if you like snowmobile, or the summer -- you'll find throughout our district, the rural part of maine, mostly, that we have a lot of shutdown factories and mills. when i was a kid growing up we had maybe two dozen paper mills, we have six left and they're healthy. you look at a lot of our tax tile and tanneries and shoe factories, mostly shut down. and we -- in many cases we've done that to ourselves with trade agreements that were unfair and hurt our workers,
high taxes that didn't allow us to be competitive, i know we partially fixed that problem in december and costly regulations. i'm sure you're familiar with a competitive enterprise institute that says -- and i summarize -- about $1.9 trillion a year cost is paid by our employers and through them passed through to some of our consumers. $1.9 trillion cost to comply with federal regulations. not state and local, just federal. is it fair to say mr. powell that unnecessary and costly regulatory burdens hurt the economy's growth and job creation. is that fair to say? >> yes. >> and would you look at the past year, 2017 and up until now when you have the economy growing at roughly 3% as compared to 1.7% the last roughly eight to ten years, is
part of that increased economic growth the result of repealing unnecessary and expensive regulations? >> you know, intuitivety i would guess that it is but it's very hard to pip that down. >> i think anybody -- with all due respect mr. powell who's run a business as i have realizes that if it's less burdensome to run my business and sell product or services that i'll be more competitive, be able to high more people and do better. let me give you an example. this morning i met with 100 folks from our credit unions in maine. these are wonderful people that are spending more time or too much time dealing with compliance as compared to pushing money in the community so businesses can grow and hire more workers. can you commit that you will do everything possible within your purview to make sure the regulatory burden for our small financial institutions are controlled and hopefully repe repealed? >> i will make you that commitment. >> you will or will not? >> will. >> thank you, sir. have you looked at senate bill
2155 which deals with part of the choice act that we sent over to the senate and they're dealing with issues, in particular with small credit unions and community banks that help them deal with the regulatory sfwhurd have you looked at that, sir? >> i'm not so good on the numbers of the bills. does this bill have a name. >> i believe it is mr. crapo's bill. >> i am familiar with that. >> you're supportive of that, because that deals with what you and i are talking about. >> it's a big bill, there's a lot in there, i think the aspects you're talking about i certainly think are sensible. >> perfect. thank you very much. let's talk about what mr. foster was talking about and this is wonderful talking about the national debt. we have $21 trillion and chairman hensarling is good to put that number up and you can see it on both sides of the room. it makes my belly sick. now, we've had other folks in the last administration, mr. powell, have th that have come said this is no big deal, bruce. $21 trillion in national debt. i used to be the state treasurer
in maine and we knew how to balance our books and spend only what we took in. when i was there the debt clock was unwinding. now we have $245 billion per year interest payments on that debt. do you take a different tack from the folks moo that were here earlier in the last administration? do you think this is a problem? this $21 trillion in debt? >> we're not on a sustainable fiscal path. >> i would agree. so we can agree this is a problem. with that said, sir, my second day here in congress i co-sponsored -- the first bill i co-sponsored was a balanced budget amendment to the united states constitution to finally force washington to live within its means and start paying down the debt. do you think that's a good idea? >> not a supporter of the balanced budget approach. i am a supporter of sustainable fiscal path. >> i'm going to come back to mr. powell on that. >> time of the gentleman has expired. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from ohio. >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, ranking member and
thank you, mr. chairman. certainly as one would expect with you being the chair of the federal reserve that the questions would be centered around economic projections, economic developments, financial stability, monetary policy. but i'm going to keep in my true form of asking you the same question that i've asked everyone who has sat in that se seat. are you familiar with section 342 of dodd/frank. >> yes, ma'am, i am. >> so with that, the office of minority and women inclusion can you tell me in your short time, which i recognize but you also have almost a half decade of being chairman of that board, tell me what you're proud about that's under your leadership with this group?
>> i've been involved with my seventh reserve bank research and we've been able to select diverse candidates and i'm proud of that. i think the reserve banks do a good job on this. i think at the board, cherry allen started a group of us to meet regularly and try to advance diversity and inclusion agendas at the board. >> so let me ask you this, who is your person? >> sheila clark. >> and do you think you can increase your numbers as chairman yellen had worked on rising them? while it was a fair job under her, i asked they are same question and she admitted tngtd be better. so while i'm saying you've -- the entity has done something i want to hear how we can do more because it's still bragging
rightes in my opinion. so i want to you to think about that. we have a lot of people in the audience today in green t-shirts who represent many of the people who i represent in the third many of them women, many of them women of color who also are concerned -- the only difference is they put the people face, the human resources on the same monetary policy and all of the questions my colleagues on the other side asked you about numbers. have you met with these individuals? >> yes, i have. >> okay. and can you share with me some positive progress that you or the people who work with you are doing with them? >> so we met with a group with the green t-shirt as couple of years back. and wanted to tell us about what was going on in our communities. and frankly, i thought afs a
proud day. it was respective and useful. and we also have other meetings. >> would someone on your staff be able to send me a report so i would have something in writing to know some benchmarks. i know in meeting with them and their representatives, they have specific questions. and they're asking about interest rates and they're asking about how we can help improve the economy for what we call working hid l class americans -- middle class. i would loo i can to get a report from your staff sharing with me chiend of commitments and things you are working on. and secondly. let me move to a financial question. i noticed in your report there wasn't anything about the stock market. can you tell me if you think the stock market is one of the best or better indicators of the
strength of the economy or of the financial conditions for everyday americans? and i ask you this because a lot of the colleagues have been bragging a lot about the stock market and how it is going up. >> so there was one reference in there about the recent volatility. i don't think we called it the stock market by name, but that's what we were talking b. we don't manage to stock market but stable prices to maximum employment. it's an important place for businesses to raise capital and investors to invest. >> is that a yes or no in your opinion? >> is it an important indicator? >> yes. >> the stock market is not the economy but it plays a factor. >> would you say only 50% of americans own stock -- and the
other 50% who may be women and minorities don't? >> yes. >> and now mr. ladder milk -- >> thank you for spending so much of your day was. it is important that we have this dialogue. i want to talk about something, i don't know if it has been doesed much here today t. is important for me especially after spending over 20 years in the i.t. industry securing data. it's been on the mind of most americans and that's cyber security and protecting the data of americans. and one of the the areas of interest of mine and i've stated this in almost every hearing we have had on this topic. when i was in military and worked in intelligence and i worked on the technology side of it and when dealing with the nation's secrets, there's a huge
responsibility to protect that information. we had a simple prince pm. you don't have to protect what you don't have. if you don't need it, get rid of it, otherwise it become as risk. the federal board of governors experienced data breeches sins 2011. that is alarming. and requires private sector businesses to collect and they have to protect it as well. your predecessor chair yellen said when i ask these types of questions that the fed follows -- and was working on minimizing access to sensitive data. i'd like to follow up. what are your -- what are you working onto strengthen the fed cyber security profile and protect the data that you have? >> so thank you.
i'm getting started on this. i'm going to place a high priority, i think chair yellen and others before her did too. we need to protect the sensitive information that we have and we don't need to collect sensitive information we don't need. i think we've done a good job and we can do better. it's going to be a high priority. >> i appreciate that and that's one of the areas and i'm glad to hear you say that you're looking at disposing or not keeping certain data unless you need it. that's something we overlook as a government because access to information is power. when you have it, you have to secure it. transition over into another area that we've been dealing with here and understand that you're supportive of the regulatory relief proposals pending in congress. increasing the threshold to 250 billion from the current 50
billion and while the reform bill take as thought full approach to measuring and designating systemic risk. it's a step in the rite direction. can you help explain why banks under 250 billion in assets don't pose a systemic risk to the economy? >> as a general matter. they are more engaged in the business of banking and less complex activities and smaller and have smaller footprints. the way the bill works is we have the ability to create a framework to look below 250 down to 100 billion to identify places anden standards may need to be implied. i think our view has been that that combination of raising the threshold and giving the ability to go below gives us the tools that we need.
>> and from what i understand, $50 billion was the wrong threshold and we need to adjust it. one last question. what is the fed doing with the private sector on faster payment technologies? are you engaged in that at all? >> i'm glad you asked that. i was in the middle of that in my prior life at the fed. this came out of the thought that we are falling behind other countries and widely available of mobile payments. that sort of thing. so we convened a group of companies and consumer groups and regulators and customers around the table and tried to make progress toward faster mobile payments. i'm proud of what we've done. the kansas fed has had a lead and done a great job. we're continuing to work on it and think it is important.
>> thank you for your leadership and i look forward to working with you over the next few years. thank you, i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. heck. >> thank you. for con sumg this awesome responsibility for the country. i'm going to ask you the same question that i've asked each of your pred ses ors, when does america get a raise? the reason i'm asking is because we've been through a protracted period of time where wage growth has been stagnant. before you answer sir, i know you are going to make indication of the up tick and latest report of the wage growth of 2.9%. i want to qualify your response by reminding you that that 2.9% was impacted by some tran sen toir or one time bonus payment and if you disaggregate the data between supervisor and
nonsupervisory employees, didn't get anywhere near that. it was below. and 2.9% in and of itself despite how encouraging we may or may not put it in the context of the last 18 months. it is below modern historical ages closer to 4%. when is this economy going to function and grow in a fashion that enables americans to get a meaningful raise? >> so over time, wages should grow in keeping with basically, the sum of inflation and increased productivity. so if we assume inflation comes down to 2.9%, it comes to productivity. averaging increase of about half a percent. and if you think about wages, increasing at 2 1/2%. and before the crisis,
increasing at full employment, maybe 3 1/2% because productivity was 1 1/2%. if we want wages to go up on a sustainable basis and that's what we want, we need to have more productivity and that's not the things we have the tools for. but -- >> but is that true, mr. chair? it seems to many e that they are not unrelated to the degree that you keep your foot off the break and allow unemployment to continue to fall and i'm going to return to this issue and some things you have said on the record in the past about whether or not we should be looking at unemployment rate ors wage growth as a measure of full employment per se. to the degree that we keep our foot off the break and allow u-3 or u-6 to continue to drop and continue to create pressures in the economy. does that not in and of itself
incense vise businesses and employers to invest in saving devices? is it not possible that increases wages can help to lead to improved productivity and create a cycle with wage growth over time? >> yes. and that is exactly what we hope is happening right now so --. >>so you're committing to keep your foot off the break? when i was getting ready for this hearing i went back and read something you said on your first year of the committee the first meeting. one of the bank presidents mentioned title labor markets. you said you didn't see anything in the wage data to support that. it struck me as interesting. it got me into thinking about u3 and u 6 and my frus station and
it's been 2 1/2 years sins we hit and u-3 keeps dropping and the -- why don't we just use wage data to help define what full employment is? >> well, we use it as a factor to look at. i think it is important to see that for a long time there was slack in the labor market and that argued for continuing to support lower unemployment. we reached a point where the risks are two sided and we need to keep that into account. if we do get behind and the economy does over -- we don't see it now. if it does happen we'll have to raise the rates faster and that raises a chance of the recession and it tends to hit vulnerable populations the most sochlt that's why we are raising rates
and trying to ball lan the risk of getting inflation up to 2% with the risk of the economy over heating. >> fair enough, mr. chair. i would only observe that you tap the brakes at the expense of the people who have over a long period of time not receive add raise. >> time has expired. the chair recognizes the lady from new york. >> thank you mr. chairman and mr. powell. i appreciate your long time here and i think i'm the end of the line here for you today. i have a couple of questions to deal with in the weeds policy and would like to ask you about the markets committee and the interests o on excess reserves. back in 2006, congress passed, the regulatory relief act. and paying on reserves at reserves bank.
when the bill got amended, the federal reserve in terming the interest rates was left to the board of governors and not to the entire federal open markets committee t. is a valuable tool using the committee to determine monetary poll sichlt my question for you is would you support an initiative or legislation that would give the full role of determining what the excess reserve amount -- excess -- interest on excess to an entire expanded fomc and the federal reserve? >> i guess i would say this is less of a problem than it seems to be. the full fmoc decides the rate of the federal fund rate and it is set at the top of the range and it is really is the voting members of the fmoc who decide that. it would have been a reasonable
decision for congress to do that. i'm loathed to support changes, but as a practical matter, it is not a problem we need to solve because there's no difference between the two. >> so would you be of supportive or not supportive of legislation that would allow the district president to weigh in on that decision as well -- and if not why not? >> i don't think we are looking for legislation. >> in this case we are looking for more stake holders to be apart of the decision process. >> i think the decision that is made is the the one that bank presidents take part in. they make that decision with us under the law. this is just an implementing thing and if any thought it was unfair or a problem, i would support a change. i don't think it is a problem. it is less so than it would appear. >> it's been expressed by them
they would be interested. so i was wondering if you would support that. let me go to the next thing. that would be the federal open markets committee blackout period and how you feel and can we restore transparency to the period just sew we know we have an ability to find out what's going on during that period. that eight times a year where the committee is meeting and don't have an opportunity to the hear from the stakeholders. >> i want to look at what you're proposing. the whole idea is that we don't speak publicly to market participants or anybody about monetary policy during that period. and that gives us a chance to keep our mouths shut for a while and let us get into a room and do our thinking and we come out at the end and make an announcement and then there's a day or two and people can give speeches. >> do you think there would be anywhere in there on certain
parts of the policy that would be maybe better off with more transparency on certain issues? there's some that you would like to keep in the ne goigotiating process. >> i think i would be happy to discuss this with you offline. let's commit to do that? >> i have a bill legislation that would offer more transparency. not to eliminate the blackout period but some issues -- >> concern that when we're thinking about what to do at the next meet that we kind of take a step away from our public conversations, and that's seen as generally, been seen by us as a healthy thing. >> one other quick question on another topic. "the wall street journal" reported that two monetary specials will serve as your
senior a-- provides for each federal serve board governor to have access to two. would you be willing to allow two senior advisers to help a more diverse set of perspectives to your committee monetary -- >> i do remember that. but you know, the board has changed sins the time i've been there. we are back to where every governor has one or two advisers and we don't need legislation on that. >> so that is something you would support? >> time of the general lady has expired. chair now recognizes mr. david son from ohio. >> before i get into my prepared questions, i have two followups to previous questions. one, chairman barr asked you about intervention in terms of selling assets in a particular
scenario where the yield curve may become inverted. whether monetary policy might be appropriate up to and including selling assets to prevent a yield curve inversion and for clarity, if yield curve inversions are seen as bad. why wouldn't intervention to prevent a yield curve prevention seen as good? >> so in terms of veeld curve inversions, the history is what it is. and a history of when the fed gotten behind and had to raise rates fast. that's not where we are. most observers of this environment don't see that problem. so if you look at projections of the likelihood of a recession in the next year or so, they are low as normal are. so i don't look at the current-year-old curve as a
problem needing solution. but selling assets, i like our current plan of allowing these nbs and treasury securities to roll off passively. the market accepted it. -- four years is not a long time. we'll be back to a new normal within four years. i think my strong prior is let the -- and let it run its course. >> thank you. also chairman asked you about the payments and i think your answer was that they are constrained by commercial rates. so things that are available in the marketplace. i would note, an interest rate consists of generally of two parts, one times value of money and the other default ris and can ioer don't have a default risk so i'm not sure that's the
right metric. >> so i think the law says we shouldn't pay interest on reserves that is greater than the general level of short-term interest rates. >> but those short-term interest rates -- i guess i see a need for clarification on the law. those short-term interest rates contain time value of money risk and default risk. the real alternative for a financial institution in the market isn't a one for one rate, if they make loans out in the marketplace, they have default risk that the ioer does not have. >> again, we're trying to manage, we're trying to use that tool to set short-term interest rates for the public. so and those -- a lot of those will have a credit risk component. those short-term interest rates don't have a big one. especially repo.
>> thank you which i remember, i do have a question about the two roles of the fed. as a regulator and monetary policy entity. would that be consistent with how you see the structure of the fed. >> yes. >> okay. and so to understand the internal operations. do you actually track the budget between the two activities separately. are there people involved in regulatory activity and then another body of people envofl in monetary policy? >> each division has different budgets and we look at it from a functional basis. it is intertwined. we call upon what we learn in the supervisory and regulatory space and we get input. i think our knowledge of the transmission mechanism informs supervision. so a lot of intertwining there, not a clean separation. >> internally, there's a level
of separate budget for the activities involving regulators. and i guess, my particular curiosity involves a bill that we've put together called hr 4755 and this would put the regulatory component of the reserve on appropriations which would be a come promiezed position because we can propose putting the entire reserve on appropriations. the purpose is to focus on the regulatory side so all of the standard strings attach to an executive agency engaged in rule making applied to the regulatory side of the federal reserve in the same way others do. and sir, i hope that we can enact that later in the year. my time expired. >> time of the gentleman has expired and recognizing a gentleman from indiana.
a vote is currently pending on the floor. >> i appreciate you being here and heard great things about the testify you have given so far. i look forward to the opportunity to work with you. i want to ask you questions about district. as we continue to see unemployment take lower and lower one of the questions i get is why aren't we seeing more wage growth across the country and what is constraining some of the wage growth happening as we tend to push down on unemployment? whether it reflects on the philip curve is incorrect kinged or non-linear curve, what are your views? >> for wages to go up, you need higher productivity. wed low productivity sins the crisis and averaging about 4.5% per year. but maybe more relevant, as you get this close to full
employment, you would think that there will be some tightness in the labor market and wages getting up, we're going to be looking at that as one of many ind cay tors of where it is. i would expect to see more increases in wages and i do expect to see more increases in wages in the next year or so. >> i know one thing is a shadow labor market. a great number of people not current lit participating in the labor market that might be tempted to come back in. do you think that is the case? higher wages or just more employment opportunities leading to people get sboos the workforce or is there a decay in the skill set. if they are unemployed for a period of time. they might need help getting back into it? >> we've seen the labor force participation rate go sideways
for four straight years. that's a big gain due to a downward trend due to aging. we have seen some of that. people not leaving or coming back as it has gotten tighter. how much more of that can there be? i hope there's a lot more? >> there's still statistics about working age population for individuals -- less likely to look for employment than they were 20 or 30 years ago. the demographic argument i think you made it before. holding onto current labor force participation is a gain once you look at the demographic falling out. it seems like working age population are challenged to get back into the workforce. have you seen some of that or some anecdotal or leading to the cause? >> labor force participation by prime age workers is still more than a full percentage point --
>> two things you are get ago -- but there may be more slack and prime age labor force participation. many others -- so you know, it may be that there are people who some portion can come back in and it may be structural. the only way to know is to find out. so i think with relatively low unemployment, we're close to full employment and we should find out whether we can get them back in the labor force. >> does that imply and i've read other comments you made, don't let me misconstrue. there might be a tolerance to see more tide into the labor or market and getting people back into the workforce. is that fair or? >> i think we are in engaged in
a process of discovering the natural rate. i think the median participate saying it is in the mid fours, that's sounds rite to me. in terms of inflation, we haven't said we are seeking inflation above target. what we say is we look at persistent deviation below and above target aspect undesirable and we'll conduct policy to move policy -- to move inflation back to target. >> when you think about -- the economy today do you think about monetary policy today and maybe the future as well. what keeps you up at night and most worried about in regards to the economy. productivity and monetary policy? >> i think right now, the economy is in the best shape it has been in a while. and that's true for the globe. we are having a moment of global growth. so we have problems associated with strong growth and that's a great relief and my hope is that
we can sustain that for so as long as possible. >> with that i yield back, mr. chairman. >> time of the gentleman have expired. no further members in the queue, i'd like to thank the witness for his testimony. five legislative days to submit written additional questions for the witness to the chair. chairman powell, i would ask that you respond to this as soon as you are able. this hearing is now stands adjourned.
you can see this hearing with federal reserve chair jerome powell before the committee tonight c-span will show the feds policy report at 10:00 p.m. eastern. this afternoon we'll bring you live coverage as former chair yellen's discussing her career and economy and the brookings institution here in washington, starting at 2:00 p.m. eastern. live on c-span 3.
in another hearing this morning, admiral michael rogers u.s. cyber commander went before the committee to discuss the president's 2019 cyber command budget request asked about tracking russian interference in u.s. elections. >> i have a series of questions and yes or no answers that the mission of national mission teams under doc cyber strategy, quote, significant consequences is that accurate? >> yes. >> the -- >> i would phrase it as it is an accurate mission for cyber committee -- >> as on going campaign stealing confidential information from our parties and misinformation, social media to break and steal election networks of significant consequence through our national
security? >> certainly, if successful. >> do you agree that they will conduct cyber operation to achieve objectives unless they face clear repercussions. >> yes, sir. >> -- >> yes, i believe they are attempting to undermine our institutions. >> aside from the intelligence agencies, are there any other organizations other than the cyber command and cyber mission force that is have the authority and capability to disrupt russian election hacking operations where they originate? does the fbidhs or the states have capability? >> you can argue that there's a legal aspect that i'm not the most qualified. probably argue some combination of d okay d or doj had the standing authority in that regard.
>> but the mission teams particularly at the origin of the attacks have the authority to do so? >> iffen granted the authority. if granted the authority. >> so you would need to be directed by the president through secretary of defense. >> yes, i mention that in my statement. >> have you been directed to do so given the strategic threat and significant consequences you recognized already? >> no. i will say something in an open unclassified, classified based on the authority i have i have directed the national mission force to begin some specific work i would rather not publicly go into that using the authorities i contain. >> it is inherent ability of a commander to prepare, plan and structure -- >> yes, sir. >> but you need direct authority of the president through secretary of defense -- tonchts do some specific things. there are some things i have the
authority and i'm act in that authority now. >> essentially, we have not taken on the russians yet. we're watching them intrude in our elections, spread misinformation and become more sophisticated to try to achieve -- that you have recognized and we are sitting back and waiting. >> i don't know if i would characterize it as we're sitting back and waiting. i apologize, again, i don't want to get into classified here. it's probably fair to say that we have not opted to engage in some of the same behaviors that we are seeing, if i can keep it -- >> now -- sort of analogies -- we have in the past seen threats building but at some point particularly when they manifest themselves, we take action and not don't watch. >> we are doing something. >> admiral michael rogers went
in front of of the committee to discuss the budget request and many took the opportunity to ask about a number of other issues. you can see it tonight 9 eastern on c-span 2. >> the c-span bus traveling across the country on the 50 capital tour. we stopped in jackson mississippi. >> i worked along with women and pushing an economic security agenda to bring women's voices to the state capital so laws and policies can be made in the best interest of them. so the legislative session introducing with the partners, legislation around equal pay, child care, raising the wages for women. because we know that women in this state are majority of the
breadwinners in mississippi. so we want to be able to close the gap so that low income working women can make ends meet with their family. >> i think congress should step in with the health care program. i think they would be help to get it back on their feet. >> state representative house district 41, i think the most important issue that we have in the state of mississippi as we deal with criminal justice reform. as of today we have over 19 thou people in our state penitentiary and 34 thou people on parole, almost 9,000 in private. and there's almost 500,000 individuals that can't find
employment. so as we progress in this capital. i hope we can get legislation passed to deal with the criminal justice reforms that are needed in this state. >> i think right now, education, funding and how that looks and the quality and the funding measure that our legislature chooses to enact and the infrastructure and ensuring that we are able to bring businesses and allow people to travel throughout our state in an infrastructure that is not crumbling and able to do so safely. for everyone involved. >> voices from the states, on c-span. >> while we wait for live coverage of former federal reserve janet yellen and ben, we are going to show awe portion from this morning's hearing from jerome powell, his first appearance of giving the monetary policy report. we begin with financial services
committee chair. >> committee will come to order without objection and the chair authorized -- and to submit materials to the chair for inclusion in the record. this hearing is for the purpose of the testimony of the chair of board of governors of the federal reserve system on monetary policy and the state of the economy. i now recognize myself for three and a half minutes to give an opening statement. now the monetary fiscal stimulus in the nation's history, the economy limped along eight years averaging 1.6% gdp growth. remains stagnant and savings failed to recover from the 2008 financial crisis. a new phrase coined, in an attempt to racialize the