Powell says Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency raises ‘serious concerns’ such as money laundering


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leaves the Elysee Palace after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Aurelien Meunier | French Select | Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Facebook’s new cryptocurrency project raises a number of red flags, including money laundering.  

“Libra raises serious concerns,” Powell said. “These are concerns that should be thoroughly and publicly addressed.” 

The Fed chair fielded questions from members of the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday as part of a semiannual report to Congress. Powell said in prepared remarks ahead of his testimony that the U.S. inflation outlook looks muted and that the central bank will act “as appropriate” to sustain economic expansion.

“It appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook,” he said. “There is a risk that weak inflation will be even more persistent than we currently anticipate. We are carefully monitoring these developments, and we will continue to assess their implications for the U.S economic outlook and inflation.”

The central bank leader also noted that business investments across the U.S. have decelerated of late as worries over the economic outlook dog executives across the country. 

— This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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