1. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman:
"People should know that the Fed has a very strong culture around non-political activity and we are committed to achieving the goals that the law gives us. And we're committed to doing so in a completely nonpolitical way based on the best thinking. Based on a diversity of perspectives. And we're always going to do that. It's very much in the DNA of anyone who spent any time at the Fed so I would want the public to be assured that we have a strong culture. It's not a fragile one. It's not subject to being disrupted. We will always do things that way. And I would even want people to have confidence in that."
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman:
Moderator Moderator Neil Irwin: "There's also been discussion of a face to face meeting between you and the president. If invited would you accept that kind of invitation if it were made?"
Powell: "So again I have no news on that. Nothing has been scheduled. I would say that meetings between Presidents and Fed chairs do happen and they've happened I think and I can't think of any Fed Chairs who didn't eventually meet with the president. But again, nothing has been scheduled and I don't really have anything report on that.""
Moderator: "If the president asked you to resign would you do it."
++SOUNDBITES SEPARATED BY WHITE FRAMES++
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman:
"I think the markets are pricing in downside risks is what I think they're doing. And I think they're they're obviously well ahead of the data particularly if you look at this morning's labor market data and the other data that I cited. So, markets are expressing concerns again about about global growth in particular. I think that's becoming the main focus and trade negotiations which are related to that. And I'll just say that we're listening carefully to that. We're listening with sensitivity to the message that that markets are sending and we're going to be taking those downside risks into account as we make policy going forward."
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman:
"There is no pre-set path for policy. And particularly with the muted inflation readings that we've seen coming in we will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves. But we're always prepared to shift the stance of policy and to shift it significantly if necessary in order to promote our statutory goals of maximum employment and stable prices."
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman:
"We had 312,000 payroll jobs added a very strong number. We have unemployment remaining below four percent for nine months now the longest period since the mid 1960s. We have labor force participation picking up again and surprising to the upside which is very very welcome. And finally we have wages which are continuing to gradually move up average hourly earnings moved up and that's that's quite welcome. And also for me at this time doesn't does not raise concerns about two high inflation."
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman:
"We will be prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly and to use all of our tools to support the economy should that be appropriate to keep the expansion on track. To keep the labor market strong and to keep to keep inflation near two percent."
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday that he will not resign if asked to do so by President Donald Trump, a message that heartened investors who had been concerned by Trump's repeated attacks on his hand-picked choice to lead the nation's central bank.
Appearing on a panel in Atlanta with his two predecessors — Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke — Powell said the central bank intends to be flexible going forward in determining when to hike its key policy rate. He also said that the Fed could alter its approach to trimming its huge balance sheet if it determines such a change is needed.
The pace of Fed rate hikes and the lowering of the balance sheet, which tends to put upward pressure on interest rates, had both been concerns of investors in recent months. The stock market has seen stomach-churning declines since October, a development that Trump has blamed on the Fed's continued rate hikes, although the president's trade dispute with China as well as concerns about global economic growth also played a part in the market volatility.
Trump's attacks had become so intense that they had raised concerns that he might be considering firing Powell, a development which could send the market into a further tailspin.
Asked if he would resign if Trump asked him to do so, Powell responded with a short "no."
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added about 200 points during Powell's appearance and was up about 600 points around 11:20 a.m. A strong U.S. jobs report and hopes that upcoming talks between the U.S. and China could pave the way for an end to the trade dispute also buoyed investors.
While Trump has sent out a number of tweets criticizing Powell and calling the Fed his biggest threat, Powell said that he had not received any direct pressure from the White House. Asked if he had had any face-to-face meetings with Trump, Powell said he had not although he said previous Fed leaders have had discussions from time to time with previous presidents.
Asked if any future meeting with Trump was scheduled, Powell said, "I have no news on that. Nothing is scheduled."
Powell's remarks came on a day when the government reported that the economy created a sizzling 312,000 jobs in December despite all the problems last month in terms of a falling stock market, rising trade tensions with China and at the end of the month a partial government shutdown.
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Donald Trump , Jerome Powell , Ben Bernanke , Janet Yellen