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Jerome Powell says cyberattacks are the biggest threat to the global financial system

The assessment made by one of the world’s leading bank officials underscores how the threat of hacking has become a major problem in the highest reach of the government.
In an interview aired on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday, Powell said the world has changed significantly since the days of the Great Recession.
“I would say the risk we are keeping an eye on the most right now is cyber risk,”
; Powell told CBS. “So you would worry about a cyber event. It’s something that many, many public agencies, including the Fed and all large private companies and especially all large private financial companies, are monitoring very closely, investing a lot in. And this is really where the risk lies. is I want to say is now rather than something resembling the global financial crisis. “
Powell tells '60 minutes' that the US economy is at a 'bend point'

A nightmare scenario, Powell said, would be if hackers managed to shut down a major payment processor – obstructing the flow of money from one financial institution to another. It could close sectors or even broad stretches of the financial system, he said.

Governments and private companies are increasingly on guard for these types of threats, Powell said. “We spend so much time and energy and money on protecting against these things. There are cyber attacks every day on all major institutions now. And the government is working hard on that. The same goes for all companies in the private sector. There is a great effort “It is a big part of the threat picture in today’s world.”

Digital dollars?

Asked whether the United States plans to launch a digital US currency in response to movements from China to do the same, Powell objected. Officials are considering the issue, he said, and investigations are underway across the country. But no decision has been made, he said, because it is not clear whether digital dollars would help serve Americans.

“Really, the fundamental question for us is, if we add this new digital currency to reliable money that we are expected to provide to the public, will it help the public?” Powell said. “Will the public feel better? And will there also be negatives? Will it perhaps have unexpected effects in other parts of the financial system that we need to consider to weigh the costs and benefits of this? We are the world’s reserve currency. The dollar is so important “We need to get it right. We do not have to be the first to do this. We want to get it right. And that’s what we need to do.”

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