Powell plays down fears about record levels of corporate debt

Jerome Powell gives testimony
Jerome Powell: important differences in today’s corporate debt market
Federal Reserve

The record level of corporate debt could amplify a downturn in the economy, but does not currently pose a major threat to the overall stability of the financial system, the Federal Reserve chairman said on May 20.

“Business debt has clearly reached a level that should give businesses and investors reason to pause and reflect,” Jerome Powell said. “If financial and economic conditions were to deteriorate, overly indebted firms could well face severe strains.”

But while vulnerabilities do not

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