February 07, 2014

Yellen, as Fed chair, testifies this week on policy

Feb. 10, 2014 – Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet Yellen will give her first testimony on the Fed's monetary policy tomorrow before the House Financial Services Committee, and then again before the Senate Banking Committee on Feb. 13.

Following tomorrow's testimony by the Fed chair, the House panel will hear from representatives from Stanford University's Economics department, the Cato Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Brookings Institute.

In a statement, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, said, "It is important for the Federal Reserve to operate in the most transparent and predictable manner it possibly can to best serve the American people … as the Financial Services Committee embarks upon its most vigorous and sustained oversight of the Federal Reserve ever, I look forward to working with Chairman Yellen to accomplish these goals."

Hensarling also expressed concern about the country's debt and the Fed's purchasing of U.S. Treasury securities – "swelling its balance sheets to an unheard of $4 trillion."

After a two-day policy meeting last month, the Federal Open Market Committee announced the Fed will taper its asset-purchase program by another $10 billion beginning in February, to a pace of $65 billion a month, but is leaving its federal funds rate target unchanged for now. This follows the Fed's decision to begin tapering asset purchases by $10 billion in January, to a pace of $75 billion a month.