In spite of numerous criticisms from President Donald Trump, the Federal Reserve has stayed away from the negative interest rates that have characterized many other central bank approaches to monetary policy, and Powell indicated this wouldn't change anytime soon, explaining that low interest rates could become a self-fulfilling cycle from which economies can struggle to emerge. "We're determined to avoid it here in the United States," he said.

"It's become very clear that inflation is the problem that central banks can solve," Battifarano said, but he pointed to Japan's prolonged economic slump as a cautionary tale of how negative interest rates can play out long-term. "Not only does it not work, it's damaging to banks' traditional spread-lending mode," he said.

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