Fed’s Waller says he is skeptical a central bank digital currency would improve U.S. payments

Fed’s Waller says he is skeptical a central bank digital currency would improve U.S. payments

Fed's Waller says he is skeptical a central bank digital currency would improve U.S. payments

By Jonnelle Marte

(Reuters) – U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said on Thursday that many of the financial challenges that could be tackled by a central bank digital currency are already being addressed by other policies and he is skeptical the approach would improve the U.S. payments system.

In a detailed speech that rebutted many of the reasons provided by supporters of a central bank digital currency, or a CBDC, Waller pointed to private sector innovation and other policies that he said might do a better job when it comes to speeding up payments or lowering banking costs.

“I remain skeptical that a Federal Reserve CBDC would solve any major problem confronting the U.S. payment system,” Waller said in remarks prepared for a virtual event organized by the American Enterprise Institute.

Waller also said he thought the government should not intervene in the economy unless there is a clear “market failure” that needs to be addressed, adding that a CBDC could disintermediate commercial banks and disrupt a financial system that works well.

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