Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell says negative interest rates aren’t coming but everything else looks pretty bad.

  • Power spoke today in dreary prepared remarks that caused the stock market to decline by more than 500 points.
  • Unemployment is particularly dire. “Almost 40% of households earning less than $40,000 a year as of February lost their jobs in March.”
  • This recession is “significantly worse than any recession since World War II. The scope and speed of this downturn are without modern precedent.”
  • The Fed says no to subzero interest rates. “The Federal Open Market Committee’s view on negative rates has not changed. That’s not something we’re looking at.”
  • The road to recovery will be difficult. “It will be particularly painful because recently hired and lower-paid workers are the ones bearing the brunt of the pain.”
  • Unemployment rate still has a little bit to go. “The unemployment rate will probably peak “over the course of the next month or so.”