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Reproduced from Deutsche Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Fed Chair Jerome Powell has made FOMC statements shorter and spoken more often, but he hasn't actually spoken more plainly — at least not when compared to predecessors Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan.

Be smart: A 2014 report from the St. Louis Fed found that what increased the complexity of the reports was the Fed's quantitative easing program.

  • "During Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan’s tenure ... FOMC statements averaged 210 words with a reading grade level of 14. The statements continued on this track with Chair Bernanke from March 2006 until the end of 2008, when they started to change dramatically with the onset of the financial crisis and the beginning of so-called unconventional monetary policy.
  • "By January 2009, the statements were over 400 words with reading grade levels around 16.
  • "Under Chair Yellen, the FOMC issued five statements from March to September 2014. All five exceeded 800 words and had reading grade levels of 18 or 19, suggesting that readers would require an education level of about three years beyond a four-year college degree to understand them."

About the Flesch-Kincaid index: St. Louis Fed researchers explain, it "combines two measures of text complexity — average word length and average sentence length — to generate a reading level that corresponds to a U.S. grade level or the number of years of education generally required to understand the text."

Go deeper: The Fed's newly unified voice

Go deeper

Trump introduces Amy Coney Barrett as nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg

President Trump announced he's nominating federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court.

Why it matters: She could give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court, and her nomination sets in motion a scramble among Senate Republicans to confirm her with 38 days before the election. Leader Mitch McConnell appears to have the votes to confirm Barrett with the current majority.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m. ET: 32,673,978 — Total deaths: 990,738 — Total recoveries: 22,535,056Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m. ET: 7,065,019 — Total deaths: 204,249 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,488,275Map.
  3. States: New York daily cases top 1,000 for first time since June — U.S. reports over 55,000 new coronavirus cases.
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemicFewer than 10% of Americans have coronavirus antibodies.
  5. Business: Millions start new businesses in time of coronavirus.
  6. Education: Summer college enrollment offers a glimpse of COVID-19's effect.

Confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee set to start Oct. 12

Sen. Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sept. 24. Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee are tentatively scheduled to begin Oct. 12, two Senate sources familiar with the plans told Axios.

Why it matters: The committee's current schedule could allow Senate Republicans to confirm the nominee weeks before November's election. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell currently has enough votes to confirm Circuit Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is expected as the president's pick.