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FED: New York Fed President John Williams in a moderated discussion with Stony
Brook University. Highlights:
* On negative rates. Says "we have other tools," including forward guidance and
the balance sheet. "Those are powerful tools." "I don't think negative rates
make sense in the situation we are in."
* On inflation, Williams says he expects inflation to continue to run below
levels seen the last year or two.
* On fiscal policy, he says policymakers need to make sure local governments,
which have balanced-budget rules, are not a drag on growth. Says the Fed's
Municipal Lending Program, which is not yet operational, will help local
governments avoid layoffs.
* Williams says at the moment he doesn't see any problems to the level of
deficits in this crisis, but long-term the U.S. will have to improve debt
* He says housing shouldn't suffer long-term damage from the virus.