Fed’s Kashkari says big banks safer now than pre-crisis

FILE PHOTO:  California Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Kashkari speaks on stage during party convention in Burlingame
FILE PHOTO: California Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Neel Kashkari speaks on stage during the California Republican Party Spring Convention in Burlingame, California March 16, 2014 REUTERS/Stephen Lam

January 17, 2019

(Reuters) – Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and a critic of big banks, on Wednesday said the biggest U.S. banks are “unquestionably” safer than they were before the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

The Fed’s ability to use monetary policy to safeguard the financial system is about even with the pre-crisis era, he also said, because although low interest rates mean the Fed has less room to cut to offset a downturn, the Fed now has plenty of experience with non-traditional tools like quantitative easing that it can use as well.

Kashkari made the comments in a public debate held by Intelligence Squared U.S. in New York City, in which he and Harvard University professor Jason Furman were defending the notion that the financial system is safer than it was 10 years ago.

(Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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