Powell Makes Unexpected Admissions During Prank Call With Fake Zelensky

During an unexpected phone conversation with individuals pretending to be Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell shared some unconventional and surprising remarks.

The discussions covered various subjects such as inflation, the Russian central bank, and even included light-hearted banter about the notion of a ‘printing press’ in the basement and the hypothetical establishment of a federal reserve bank in Kiev.

Of particular intrigue was Powell’s unintentional revelation, under the impression that he was conversing with Zelensky, regarding the Federal Reserve’s intention to raise interest rates twice more, Zero Hedge reported.

This revelation, reportedly occurring in January, is noteworthy considering Powell’s typically cautious approach when addressing this topic, even during his testimonies before Congress.

Approximately two minutes into the following clip, Powell expressed, “The market has already factored in two additional quarter percentage point rate hikes. Once we complete those, we will assess whether further adjustments are necessary. The subsequent consideration will be the duration for which we maintain rates at this level, and my belief is that we will maintain them there for a significant period.”

During the conversation, Powell also shared his views on the growth of the US economy, stating that it would progress at a restrained pace, and he acknowledged the possibility of a recession, stating it was “almost as likely as very slow growth.” He attributed this situation to the Federal Reserve’s decision to raise rates considerably, which he defended as necessary to tackle inflation.

Powell emphasized the need for a period of decelerated growth, allowing the economy, labor market, and wages to cool off. He explained that this cooling-off period is essential for bringing down inflation, even though it may entail some hardship. He stated, “That’s how inflation comes down. That’s the only way we know to bring inflation down. And it can be painful, but we don’t know of any painless way for inflation to come down.”

A spokesperson from the Federal Reserve commented on the incident, confirming that Powell engaged in a conversation in January with an individual who misrepresented himself as the Ukrainian president. The spokesperson clarified that the conversation was amicable and occurred within the context of the Federal Reserve’s support for the Ukrainian people during challenging times. They further stated that no sensitive or confidential information was discussed.

Bloomberg highlights that the pranksters, Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov, known as Vovan and Lexus, have successfully tricked foreign politicians into engaging with them, despite their occasionally crude impersonations, over the course of several years.

Written by staff