Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Fed chair Jerome Powell made clear the U.S. central bank had no plans to raise interest rates anytime soon and expects the economy to need monetary assistance for some time.

  • In his Wednesday remarks, Powell expressed concern about "considerable risks" to the economic outlook over the "medium term," which he defined as at least over the next year.

Why it matters: Powell and the Fed have been out in front of the global policy response to the coronavirus pandemic from day one, taking an abundance of precautionary action long before the impact of the virus was clear to most others.

Between the lines: The Fed's statement opened by saying the central bank "is committed to using its full range of tools," one of few notable changes from its policy statement last month, but one that set a clear tone.

  • "We are going to be very patient," Powell said during the press conference. "That means we are not going to be in any hurry to move rates up."

What it means: "The message appears to be that officials are planning on making the forward guidance more dovish, and with more specificity, before too long," analysts at TD Securities said in a note to clients.

  • That could potentially include: some inflation targeting, a plan to hold rates at zero until unemployment reaches a certain level, or yield curve control policies focused on holding U.S. interest rates near the zero lower bound, they added.
  • "We are keen to see the minutes in three weeks time."

The bottom line: "The Fed is committed to doing 'whatever it takes,' and more, just to make sure," BlackRock CIO of global fixed income Rick Rieder said in a note to clients, quoting former ECB president Mario Draghi's famous pledge during the eurozone debt crisis.

  • "The FOMC has at this meeting taken the opportunity to begin laying out the transition from emergency support of market functioning to a longer-term Large-Scale Asset Purchases regime."

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Betting on inflation is paying off big for investors

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The specter of rising inflation is helping power assets like gold, silver and Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) to strong returns with record demand this year.

The big picture: Investors continue to pack in even as inflation metrics like the consumer price index (CPI) and personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index have remained anchored.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

Trump admin: Jimmy Lai's arrest marks Beijing's "latest violation" on Hong Kong

Media tycoon Jimmy Lai at the Next Digital offices in Hong Kong in June. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said in a statement Monday night the Trump administration is "deeply troubled" by the arrest of Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Jimmy Lai on suspicion of "collusion with foreign powers."

Why it matters: The arrest Monday of the most prominent person under the new national security law that gives Beijing more powers over the former British colony comes amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and China.

A big hiring pledge from New York CEOs

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Leaders of more than two dozen of the New York City area's largest employers — including JPMorgan Chase, Ernst & Young, IBM, McKinsey & Company and Accenture — aim to hire 100,000 low-income residents and people of color by 2030 and will help prep them for tech jobs.

Why it matters: As the city's economy has boomed, many New Yorkers have been left behind — particularly during the pandemic. The hiring initiative marks an unusual pact among firms, some of them competitors, to address systemic unemployment.