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The Weekly Fix: Don’t Put Powell in a Corner; Junk Frenzy

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a virtual news conference in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. 

Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a virtual news conference in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. 

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Welcome to The Weekly Fix, the newsletter that isn’t written on cocktail napkins or toilet paper. I’m cross-asset reporter Katherine Greifeld, filling in for Emily Barrett.

Chairman Jerome Powell refused to be boxed in during the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting of 2020. The statement had a similar tone to those over the past few months: the economy is improving, but the next few months will be challenging. The majority of Fed officials see rates near zero at least through 2023. Inflation remains well below target.