And that you would have another downturn. There's a great need for those people. PELLEY: Does the national debt threaten the overall economy? And that's very healthy, I think. PELLEY: One more follow-up. So we got together and we thought about things to do. You know, I would say that our system is vastly more resilient and strong than it was before the financial crisis. PELLEY: You had dinner with the president recently. And it won't take that long to get there. And we're watching that very carefully. Did you feel like you needed a witness? So it's a good system and I think it's served us well, served the public well. PELLEY: What gives you hope in this dark time? The recovery will be slower. And what we have instead is a resolution mechanism so that if a large financial institution does fail, it can be addressed in what amounts to a bankruptcy kind of a format. POWELL: State and local governments are seeing much lower tax revenue and fee revenue. There's absolutely no need to do that. How often are there dissenting views? And also very, very quick. POWELL: Patient means that we don't feel any hurry to change our interest rate policy. So you want to avoid that. So when we said that and we started to build it -- and what happened is the markets began to heal. PELLEY: We have seen big swings in the stock markets in the United States. We have dinner. Many of them get fees from things like transit fees, which have to do with airports and mass transit and things like that. And so my question is: is that when the recovery gathers steam, is a year or 18 months away? The outlook for the U.S. economy is favorable. And I think we've made tremendous progress toward it. We were the first country in the world to have gender-blind secondary education. And very difficult to answer because it really does depend, to a large degree, on what happens with the coronavirus. And those tools just involve keeping people solvent, keeping them in their homes, keeping them paying their bills just for maybe a few more months. POWELL: Yeah, there're letters. We will never, ever take political considerations into effect. And I think for me to get into responding to any elected official would be a distraction from that job. So we have identified eight banking institutions in the United States as systemically important. So a lot of that money is just starting to flow through the economy. Globalization's also a factor. The thing is, state and local governments have to balance their budget, states do. You could say the same thing about businesses. And what we mean by symmetric is that if inflation is below target or above target, we look at it symmetrically in the sense that we'll always be trying to get back to 2%. So that's who's really bearing the brunt of this. That was a big problem in 2008. POWELL: Well, the risk would be that you would have to reintroduce, the government would have to reintroduce, the social distancing measures. These people can contribute to our shared prosperity, and they can also benefit from doing so. And in our system of government, our accountability runs through the elected representatives and the oversight committees in Congress. So that's a risk we really want to avoid. It enables us to better serve the public. And the question is, will it be enough? PELLEY: No one seems to talk about the national debt anymore. And I think it would be good for the economy and good for the country. And it's hard to be precise. We all sit around this table. POWELL: In a sense, it's the biggest risk. So the whole body of outstanding auto loans is much larger than it was. Particularly the largest banks have double or more the amount of capital, which is to say resources to absorb losses. So, of course, Congress created us and could un-create us. You want unemployment to be relatively short and if people can go back to their same job, that's great. They have lots of liquidity. More opportunity. POWELL: Well, I think we're going to see what happens with that. PELLEY: So the banks would pay people to borrow money, essentially? Certainly that is the goal that we've been working for a decade now. POWELL: It's very important to avoid that. No, there's really no limit to what we can do with these lending programs that we have. And then would move at a quicker pace later on. It's not at all unusual to have a dissenting vote about monetary policy. But I will say that we're not out of ammunition by a long shot. And I think it's a reasonable expectation that there'll be growth in the second half of the year. There's a range of perspectives, but I would say that's most studies. PELLEY: How much do you expect the economy to shrink in the second quarter? POWELL: Well, I have a more optimistic view than that. But they will tell you that there's a lot of uncertainty about this. But individuals, families are going to decide whether they want to go shopping again, and if so, when and where. POWELL: When the financial crisis hit, the Fed cut our interest rates to near zero, effectively as low as we could. And it'll make it easier for them to last through this period when business is going to be low. And we think that's an appropriate place for an economy that has the lowest unemployment in 50 years, that has inflation right about at our 2% objective, that has returned significantly to good health. It's often a lack of liquidity that causes a financial institution to fail. But in a sense, those are a byproduct. PELLEY: But there are minimums? POWELL: Well, Chinese growth is important for world growth. That's got to be hard to hear for a guy who used to work in private equity and is now chairman of the Fed. We still have the strongest economy in the world. And that comes from a number of different channels. But overall, there's no question in my mind that the financial system is much stronger and better able to perform its critical function in good times and bad. We're hearing -- my colleagues and I have been talking to a wide range of leaders around the country in the last few weeks. And companies tend to roll over their debt and borrow as a perfectly routine matter in today's capital markets and economy. PELLEY: 25% is the estimated height of unemployment during the Great Depression. It's still out there. And what I mean by that is that the debt is growing faster than the economy. So we look at a very broad range of financial conditions. POWELL: In a long-run sense, U.S. debt is on an unsustainable path. It is, central banking and the Fed, are important things in our society. And just about that time, you also see median incomes, middle class incomes flattening out. The president sounded off on that. PELLEY: Finally, what metrics are you looking at here hour by hour, day to day, to divine what the future is going to be? And it's one where the playbook is still being developed in real time. POWELL: Not at all. In addition, the last thing I'll say is that the government response in the '30s, the central banks were trying to raise interest rates to keep us on the gold standard all around the world. People are getting sick. And they'll tell you that that's highly uncertain.