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Mnuchin’s Partnership With Fed Over Virus Blurs Agency Lines

April 15, 2020, 8:00 AM

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has forged a crisis partnership with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, giving the central bank a bigger role in U.S. fiscal policy and blurring the lines between the agencies as they unleash $4.5 trillion in stimulus to combat the coronavirus.

Mnuchin and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell work together on the coronavirus rescue “round the clock,” according to the Treasury secretary. Already, the 106-year-old central bank is lending directly to main street businesses for the first time since the Great Depression.

Jerome Powell and Steven Mnuchin
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Some analysts and former government officials see an erosion of the Fed’s traditional independence ...