With fate of economy in his hands, Powell plays it low-key - 1310 NEWS
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With fate of economy in his hands, Powell plays it low-key

Last Updated Mar 22, 2018 at 12:40 am EDT

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks following the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington, Wednesday, March 21, 2018. The Federal Reserve is raising its benchmark interest rate to reflect a solid U.S. economy and signaling that it's sticking with a gradual approach to rate hikes for 2018 under its new chairman, Jerome Powell. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

In his first news conference as head of the world’s leading central bank, Jerome Powell avoided any professorial lectures.

His replies were briefer than his predecessors’. He said nothing of himself personally. He projected the air of an experienced technocrat, more steeped in finance than the complexities of economic theory.

If anyone was wondering how the new chairman of the Federal Reserve would differ from his two immediate predecessors, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, Wednesday’s exchange with reporters offered some clues. Powell, unlike the longtime scholars Yellen and Bernanke, is not an economist. He hasn’t spent years delving into why economic growth leaves behind some segments of society.

The chairman instead came across as a consensus builder and only one member of a large committee of policymakers.

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