Michael Held: The Federal Reserve's pandemic response

Remarks (via videoconference) by Mr Michael Held, Executive Vice President of the Legal Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, at Union of Arab Banks Webinar " Global Banking in Light of COVID-19 and Geopolitical Development", 25 June 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
25 June 2020

Thank you. It's an honor to join you. And, as a central banker, it is a special privilege to speak alongside the Governors of theCentral Bank of Egypt and the Central Bank of Tunisia. My topics today are the Federal Reserve's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges that lie ahead. As always, the views I express are my own, not necessarily those of the Federal  Reserve Bank of New York or the Federal Reserve System.

Pandemic Work of the Federal Reserve

The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic are daunting. On a personal level, we fear for the health and livelihoods of ourselves and our loved ones. On a professional level, our organizations face existential challenges largely beyond our creation or control. On a societal level, we see how injustice and inequality have reduced confidence in public institutions and increased polarization- right when we most need to come together.

To do its part, the Federal Reserve has committed to "us[e] its full range of tools to support households, businesses, and the U.S. economy overall in this challenging time."

The Federal Open Market Committee lowered the target range for the federal funds rate to 0 to ¼ percent and increased purchases of Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities.