The hearing was largely free of surprises. As it neared its close, Powell offered his thoughts about the blockchain and digital currencies (one day they could impact the Fed's policies, but right now they're too small to matter), and the mysterious roots of low inflation (the Fed is still struggling to determine if it's due to transitory factors, or some kind of fundamental shift.
Here's Stone & McCarthy:
In his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Powell fielded questions mainly on the topics of raising interest rates, shrinking the balance sheet, and his views on "tailoring" regulation.
Powell maintained the view that it is appropriate to gradually increase short-term rates against a backdrop of healthy, consistent growth with a strong labor market. He did not address inflation issues.
He said GDP growth should be about 2.5% in 2017, and looking forward to "something pretty close to that" next year.