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Data: Axios-Ipsos survey; Chart: Axios Visuals

Trust in the Federal Reserve was unmoved from its late January level, as overall positive momentum for the central bank's trust among Americans looks to have stalled out just below 40%, according to the latest Axios/Ipsos poll.

Why it matters: Fed chair Jerome Powell will head into his testimony with Congress over the next two days to make his case that the Fed's current take on monetary policy is helping Americans.

  • Given the high rate of joblessness and rising price levels around the country, the Fed could become a lightning rod for criticism.
  • Republicans already tried to significantly roll back the Fed's powers as part of the relief bill that was signed in January and succeeded in putting some restrictions on the central bank's powers.

Flashback: The Fed's trust among Americans had risen significantly in the December Axios/Ipsos poll, with 42% of respondents saying they had at least a fair amount of trust in the Fed.

  • That was the second straight month trust in the Fed had risen and the highest level since questions about the central bank were added to the survey in May.
  • However, that progress appears to be fading.

By the numbers: 39% of respondents said they had some or a great deal of trust in the Fed (34% saying a fair amount and 5% saying a great deal) while 60% said they had not very much trust or none at all (39% had not very much trust, while 21% had no trust at all).

The big picture: Trust in the Fed remains negative and well below where it was in May when 47% of those polled said they had at least a fair amount of trust and 51% said they had not very much or no trust at all.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Feb 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

U.S. growth expectations are going through the roof

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Expectations for U.S. growth in the first quarter, for the year and even for 2022 are roaring higher as economists race to price in the impact of big government spending, vaccinations and higher inflation.

Why it matters: These bullish expectations are unusual — not only are they historically high, even given the large contraction the country suffered in 2020, but also because they seem to completely disregard any fears of the weak U.S. labor market or rising prices to get in the way.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Feb 22, 2021 - Economy & Business

The cost of money has been rising significantly

Expand chart
Data: St. Louis Fed/Tradeweb; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. real yields are rising, meaning the cost of borrowing money is again turning positive — at least for longer maturities.

Why it matters: Borrowing money has essentially been free for quite some time, benefiting big companies (and governments) by allowing them to accumulate huge sums of debt that have little real cost.

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden adviser Cedric Richmond sees first-term progress on reparations

Illustration: "Axios on HBO"

White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond told "Axios on HBO" that it's "doable" for President Biden to make first-term progress on breaking down barriers for people of color, while Congress studies reparations for slavery.

Why it matters: Biden said on the campaign trail that he supports creation of a commission to study and develop proposals for reparations — direct payments for African-Americans.

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