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25 June 2024
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Senator Elizabeth Warren Urges Fed Chair Jerome Powell To Cut Interest Rates

In a recent letter to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren, Jacky Rosen, and John Hickenlooper have urged a reduction in the Fed interest rate. The Fed interest rates currently stand at a two-decade high of 5.5 percent. The senators argue that the high interest rates are exacerbating the economic burden on working Americans.

Senator Elizabeth Warren Cites EU Rate Cut

The pressure on Americans comes particularly in terms of housing and auto insurance costs. Moreover, this plea of a Fed rate cut comes amid a global trend of central banks cutting rates. Notably, the European Central Bank recently decreased its rates from 4% to 3.75%, further widening the rate gap between Europe and the U.S.

Hence, the senators suggest a similar move in the U.S. “The Fed’s decision to keep interest rates high continues to widen the rate gap between Europe and the U.S.,” wrote the senators. They added, “The lower interest rates could push the dollar higher, tightening financial conditions.”

Warren along with other senators contended that the the current Fed policy is counterproductive. Furthermore, they asserted that it drives up the costs of housing and auto insurance, which are major contributors to inflation.

Since March 2022, the Federal Reserve has raised interest rates by a staggering eleven times. Thus, the nation witnessed the highest Fed interest levels in over 20 years.

Despite growing calls for rate cuts from economists and legislators, the Fed has maintained its stance, sparking fears of further economic strain. In their letter, the senators highlight the adverse effects of high interest rates on the housing market.

They argue that the country’s severe housing shortage is being worsened by the Fed’s policies, which are keeping mortgage rates elevated. They added, “Lower mortgage rates would encourage more people to sell their homes, which would in turn increase housing supply, decrease prices, ease the costs of renting, and ultimately increase homeownership.”

Current Monetary Policy Is Not Effective In Curbing Inflation

On the issue of soaring auto insurance rates, the senators note that several factors are contributing to the increase. These include a shortage of mechanics, more severe and frequent car accidents, climate change impacts, and more complex vehicles that are costlier to repair. “None of these factors are mitigated by high interest rates,” they emphasized.

Furthermore, the letter reflects a broader concern among some lawmakers that the Fed monetary policy is not effectively curbing inflation. They believe that it is, in fact, contributing to economic instability. The U.S. senators argue that high interest rates are threatening the economy and risking a recession that could result in significant job losses.

“Indeed, it is driving up housing and auto insurance costs—two of the key drivers of inflation—threatening the health of the economy and risking a recession that could push thousands of American workers out of their jobs. You have kept interest rates too high for too long: it is time to cut rates,” the senators concluded.

Senator Elizabeth Warren has been particularly vocal about the negative impacts of the Fed’s interest rate hikes. In March 2024, she and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse expressed concerns that the rate hikes had halted the deployment of clean energy technologies and undermined the Inflation Reduction Act’s climate and consumer benefits.

Earlier this year, Senators Warren, Hickenlooper, Rosen, and Whitehouse jointly called on the Fed to reverse its interest rate hikes, citing the detrimental effects on affordable housing. In addition, Senator Warren has consistently challenged Fed Chair Powell on the Fed’s monetary policy.

She has highlighted the disproportionate impact on marginalized communities and warned of the broader economic risks. For instance, in a July 2023 letter, she raised concerns about rising unemployment rates among Black workers, attributing this trend to the Fed’s policies.

The post Senator Elizabeth Warren Urges Fed Chair Jerome Powell To Cut Interest Rates appeared first on CoinGape.

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