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    Climate Protesters Get in Fed’s Face as Policy Clash Grows Louder

    Jerome H. Powell, the central bank’s chair, has been interrupted recently by a climate group that thinks disruption will win the day.A video of security officers wrestling a protester to the floor in the lobby of the Jackson Lake Lodge in Wyoming, outside the Federal Reserve’s most closely watched annual conference, clocked more than a million views.A protest that disrupted a speech by Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, at the Economic Club of New York this fall generated extensive coverage. And when the activists showed up again at Mr. Powell’s speech at the International Monetary Fund in early November, they seemed to get under his skin: The central bank’s usually staid leader was caught on a hot mic using a profanity as he told someone to close the door.All three upheavals were caused by the same group, Climate Defiance, which a now-30-year-old activist named Michael Greenberg founded in the spring. Mr. Greenberg had long worked in traditional climate advocacy, but he decided that something louder was needed to spur change at institutions like the Fed.“I realized there was a big need for disruptive direct action,” he explained in an interview. “It just gets so, so, so, so, so much more attention.”The small but noisy band of protesters dogging the Fed chair is also spotlighting a problem that the central bank has long grappled with: precisely what role it should play in the world’s transition to green energy.Climate-focused groups often argue that as a regulator of the nation’s largest banks, the Fed should play a major role in preparing the financial system for the damaging effects of climate change. Some want it to more overtly discourage bank lending to fossil fuel companies. Mr. Greenberg, for instance, said he would like the Fed to use regulation to make lending to oil and gas companies essentially cost-prohibitive.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber?  More

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    The Fed’s Preferred Inflation Measure Eased in October

    The Personal Consumption Expenditures price index continued to cool and consumer spending was moderate, good news for the Federal Reserve.A closely watched measure of inflation showed continued signs of fading in October, encouraging news for the Federal Reserve as officials try to gauge whether they need to take further action in order to fully stamp out rapid price increases.The Personal Consumption Expenditures inflation measure, which the Fed cites when it says it aims for 2 percent inflation on average over time, climbed by 3 percent in the year through October. That was down from 3.4 percent the previous month, and was in line with economist forecasts. Compared with the previous month, prices were flat.After volatile food and fuel prices were stripped out for a clearer look at underlying price pressures, inflation climbed 3.5 percent over the year. That was down from 3.7 percent previously.The latest evidence that price increases are slowing came alongside other positive news for Fed officials: Consumers are spending less robustly. A measure of personal consumption climbed 0.2 percent from September, a slight slowdown from the previous month.The report could offer important insights to Fed officials as they prepare for their final meeting of 2023, which takes place Dec. 12-13. While investors widely expect policymakers to leave borrowing costs unchanged at the meeting, central bankers will release a fresh set of economic projections that could hint at their plans for future policy. Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, will also deliver a news conference.“They’re going to want to still stay cautious about declaring ‘Mission Accomplished’ too soon,” said Omair Sharif, founder of Inflation Insights. Still, “we’ve had a string of really good readings.”Policymakers have been closely watching how both inflation and consumer spending shape up as they assess how to proceed. They have already raised interest rates to a range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent, the highest level in more than two decades. Given that, many officials have signaled that it may be time to stop and watch how policy plays out.John C. Williams, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, hinted in a speech on Thursday that he expected inflation to moderate enough for the Fed to be done raising interest rates now, though officials could raise interest rates more if the data surprised them.“If price pressures and imbalances persist more than I expect, additional policy firming may be needed,” Mr. Williams said. He reiterated his assessment that the Fed is “at, or near, the peak level of the target range of the federal funds rate.”The economy has been more resilient to those higher borrowing costs than many expected, which is one reason that the Fed has maintained a wary stance. If strong demand gives companies the ability to keep raising prices without losing customers, it could be harder to fully vanquish inflation.That said, recent signs that consumers and companies are finally turning more cautious have been welcome at the Fed.“I am encouraged by the early signs of moderating economic activity in the fourth quarter based on the data in hand,” Christopher Waller, one Fed governor, said this week. He added that “inflation is still too high, and it is too early to say whether the slowing we are seeing will be sustained.”Mr. Sharif noted that the talk on Wall Street had coalesced around when the first interest rate decrease might come, and the Fed’s coming economic projections should offer insight. Some of Mr. Waller’s remarks this week fueled speculation that cuts could come on the early side next year.But “you don’t want to get too far ahead of your skis, for now,” Mr. Sharif said, noting that the data has gotten better in the past before worsening again. He doesn’t think that the Fed will want to start to talk about rate cuts too forcefully until it has data for late 2023 and early 2024 in hand.“I just think they’re going to want to stay a little bit cautious right now,” he said. More

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    Fed Officials Thought Rates Could Rise More if Inflation Stayed Stubborn

    Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s early November meeting suggested another rate increase remained possible, but officials were in no hurry.Federal Reserve officials are contemplating whether they will need to raise interest rates again to cool the economy and ensure that rapid inflation will fully fade, and minutes from their meeting earlier this month laid out the contours of that debate.“Participants noted that further tightening of monetary policy would be appropriate if incoming information indicated that progress toward the committee’s inflation objective was insufficient,” according to minutes from the central bank’s Oct. 31-Nov. 1 meeting, which were released Tuesday.Fed officials thought that the “data arriving in coming months would help clarify the extent to which the disinflation process was continuing.”Central bankers voted to leave interest rates unchanged in a range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent at their gathering early this month, allowing themselves more time to assess whether their substantial rate moves so far are weighing on demand.Wall Street is keenly focused on what officials will do next. Fed policymakers had predicted one more 2023 rate move as of their September economic projections, but investors think that there is little chance they will raise rates at their final meeting of the year on Dec. 12-13. Tuesday’s minutes may serve to bolster that expectation of an extended pause, because they suggested that officials planned to watch how the economy shaped up over the course of “months.”Fed watchers are now trying to figure out whether officials are conclusively done raising interest rates and, if so, when they are likely to begin cutting them. Policymakers will publish a fresh set of quarterly economic forecasts at the conclusion of their December meeting. Those, together with remarks from Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell, could provide important clues about the future.As of September, policymakers expected to lower rates before the end of 2024. If that forecast stands and Mr. Powell hints that policymakers are not eager to raise rates again, investors may turn their full attention to just how soon rate cuts are coming. As of now, market pricing suggests that Wall Street expects policymakers to begin lowering interest rates at some point in the first half of 2024.But if Fed officials use the December economic projections to predict that rates could remain higher for longer — or if Mr. Powell suggests that a rate increase next year remains firmly on the table — it could keep the possibility of more action at least dimly alive. Several central bankers have been clear in recent weeks that they aren’t sure they are done raising interest rates.“I wouldn’t take additional firming off the table,” Susan Collins, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, said in an interview on CNBC last week.The minutes from the Fed’s November gathering fleshed out how policymakers are thinking about the outlook. While officials wanted to make sure that they were cooling the economy enough to ensure that inflation would come back to their 2 percent goal in a timely way, they also wanted to avoid overdoing it by raising rates too much and risking a painful recession.Fed officials thought that “with the stance of monetary policy in restrictive territory, risks to the achievement of the committee’s goals had become more two-sided,” the minutes said, though “most participants continued to see upside risks to inflation.”Consumer Price Index inflation fell to 3.2 percent in October, down from a peak above 9 percent in summer 2022. Even so, officials are worried that it could prove difficult to wrestle inflation the rest of the way back to normal.Fed officials define their inflation target using a separate but related measure, the Personal Consumption Expenditures index, which comes out at more of a delay. The October P.C.E. figures are set for release on Nov. 30.Fed officials have been carefully watching strength in the job market and the economy as they try to figure out whether inflation is likely to come fully under control. If the economy retains too much vim — with consumers spending freely and businesses snapping up workers — companies may continue to raise prices at a faster clip than usual.Since their last meeting, the Fed has gotten some positive news on that front. While employers continued to hire in October, they did so at a much slower pace: They hired just 150,000 workers, and earlier hiring figures were revised lower.The minutes suggested that policymakers are watching for signs that “labor markets were reaching a better balance between demand and supply.” More

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    Fed Chair Recalls Inflation ‘Head Fakes’ and Pledges to Do More if Needed

    Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, said officials would proceed carefully. But if more policy action is needed, he pledged to take it.Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, on Thursday expressed little urgency to make another interest rate increase imminently — but he reiterated that officials would adjust policy further if doing so proved necessary to cool the economy and fully restrain inflation.Mr. Powell and his Fed colleagues left interest rates unchanged in a range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent this month, up from near zero as recently as March 2022. The Fed has raised borrowing costs over the past year and a half to wrangle rapid inflation by slowing demand across the economy.Because inflation has faded notably from its peak in the summer of 2022, and because the Fed has already adjusted policy so much, officials are debating whether they might be done. Once they think rates are at a sufficiently elevated level, they plan to leave them there for a time, essentially putting steady pressure on the economy.Mr. Powell, speaking at a research conference in Washington hosted by the International Monetary Fund, reiterated on Thursday that policymakers wanted to make sure that rates were sufficiently restrictive. He said Fed officials were “not confident that we have achieved such a stance” yet.“We’re trying to make a judgment, at this point, about whether we need to do more,” Mr. Powell said in response to a question at the event. “We don’t want to go too far, but at the same time, we know that the biggest mistake we could make would be, really, to fail to get inflation under control.”He made clear that the Fed did not want to take a continued steady slowdown in inflation for granted. While the Fed’s preferred inflation measure has cooled to 3.4 percent from above 7 percent last year, squeezing price increases back to the central bank’s 2 percent goal could still prove to be a bumpy process. Much of the added inflation that remains is coming from stubborn service prices.“We know that ongoing progress toward our 2 percent goal is not assured: Inflation has given us a few head fakes,” Mr. Powell said. “If it becomes appropriate to tighten policy further, we will not hesitate to do so.”But the Fed does not want to raise interest rates blindly. It takes time for monetary policy changes to have their full effect on the economy, so the Fed could crimp the economy more painfully than it wants to if it raises rates quickly and without trying to calibrate the moves.While central bankers want to cool the economy to bring down inflation, they would like to avoid causing a recession in the process.“We will continue to move carefully,” Mr. Powell said. He said that would allow officials “to address both the risk of being misled by a few good months of data and the risk of over-tightening.”The risk of overdoing it is why central bankers are contemplating whether they need to make another move, or whether inflation is on a steady path back to normal.As of their September economic projections, officials thought that one final rate increase might be necessary, investors doubt that they will raise rates again in the coming months. In fact, market pricing suggests that the Fed could start cutting interest rates as soon as the middle of next year.Markets are betting there is only a sliver of a chance that the Fed will adjust policy at its final meeting of 2023, which will conclude on Dec. 13, and Mr. Powell did little to signal that a rate increase is imminent.Still, his remarks pushed back on the growing conviction among investors that the central bank is decisively finished.“We still believe the Fed is done hiking for this cycle, but today’s speech should serve as notice that their rhetoric must stay hawkish until they’ve seen further improvement in inflation,” Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at J.P. Morgan, wrote in a research note.Some economists have been anticipating that a recent jump in longer-term interest rates might persuade the Fed to hold off on raising borrowing costs again. While the Fed sets shorter-term interest rates, longer-term ones are based on market movements and can take time to adjust — but when they do, mortgages, business loans and other types of borrowing become more expensive.Fed officials are watching market moves, including whether they last and what is causing them, Mr. Powell acknowledged. He said officials would watch how the moves shaped up.“We’re moving carefully now, we’ve moved very fast, and rates are now restrictive,” Mr. Powell said. “It’s not something we’re trying to make a decision on right now.”He also used his speech to discuss some longer-term issues in monetary policy, including whether interest rates, which had lingered near rock-bottom levels for much of the decade preceding the pandemic, will eventually return to a much lower setting.Some economists have speculated that borrowing costs might remain permanently higher than they were in the years after the deep 2007-9 recession. But Mr. Powell said that it was too early to know, and that Fed researchers would ponder the question as part of their next long-run policy review.“We will begin our next five-year review in the latter half of 2024 and announce the results about a year later,” Mr. Powell explained.The last review concluded in 2020 and was focused on how to set policy in a low-interest rate world, a backdrop that quickly changed with the advent of rapid inflation in 2021. More

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    Fed Holds Interest Rates Steady and Pledges to Proceed Carefully

    The Federal Reserve left interest rates at 5.25 to 5.5 percent, but its chair, Jerome Powell, said policymakers could still raise rates again.The Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday while keeping alive the possibility of a future increase, striking a cautious stance as rapid inflation retreats but is not yet vanquished.Rates have been on hold in a range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent since July, up from near-zero as recently as March 2022. Policymakers think that borrowing costs are high enough to achieve their goal of curbing economic growth if they are kept at this level over time.By cooling demand, the Fed is hoping to prod companies to raise prices less quickly. While the economy has held up so far — growth was unusually strong over the summer — inflation has come down since 2022. Overall price increases decelerated to 3.4 percent as of September, from more than 7 percent at their peak.Fed policymakers are now trying to wrestle inflation the rest of the way back to 2 percent. The combination of economic resilience and moderating inflation has given officials hope that they might be able to slow growth gradually and relatively painlessly in a rare “soft landing.” At the same time, the economy’s surprising endurance is forcing the Fed to question whether it has done enough to tamp down demand and price increases.The major question facing Fed officials is whether they will need to make one final rate increase in the coming months, a possibility they left open on Wednesday.“The full effects of our tightening have yet to be felt,” Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said at a news conference after the decision. “Given how far we have come, along with the uncertainties and risks we face, the committee is proceeding carefully.”Jerome H. Powell, the Fed chair, said Wednesday that policymakers had not determined whether further interest rate increases would be needed to get inflation down to 2 percent.Haiyun Jiang for The New York TimesMr. Powell said officials would base decisions about the possibility and extent of additional policy firming — and how long rates will need to stay high — on economic data and how various risks to the outlook shaped up.Stock prices in the S&P 500 index rose as Mr. Powell spoke, and odds of further rate increases declined, suggesting that investors took his comments as a sign that interest rates were probably at their peak. But Diane Swonk, chief economist at KPMG, said she thought markets were getting ahead of themselves.“They are not declaring victory,” she said, explaining that while she did not expect the Fed to move rates in December, an early-2024 move seemed possible. “They are hesitant to say, ‘We’re done.’”Other analysts suggested that by not pushing back on the market’s expectation that the Fed was done raising interest rates, Mr. Powell was essentially endorsing that view, barring an unexpected surprise.At the Fed’s previous meeting, in September, policymakers had forecast that one more quarter-point increase in rates would probably be appropriate before the end of 2023. But officials did not release updated economic projections on Wednesday — they are scheduled to do so after the Fed’s Dec. 12-13 meeting — and conditions have changed since their last assessment.That is because longer-term interest rates in markets have jumped higher. While the Fed sets short-term borrowing costs, longer-term rates adjust at more of a delay and for a variety of reasons.The recent rise has made everything from mortgages to business loans more expensive, which might help cool the economy. The change may make it less necessary for Fed officials to raise rates further.“Tighter financial and credit conditions for households and businesses are likely to weigh on economic activity, hiring and inflation,” the Fed said in its statement Wednesday, newly pointing to financial conditions as a restraint on growth.“It’s their way of saying that higher interest rates matter,” Gennadiy Goldberg, a rates strategist at TD Securities, said of the line. “Interest rates are doing some of the Fed’s work for them.”Mr. Powell made it clear that the Fed was closely watching higher market interest rates — particularly to see whether the jump was sustained, and to what extent it squeezed consumers and businesses.But Mr. Powell said the Fed’s staff economists were not predicting an imminent recession, which suggests that they do not see the higher borrowing costs hurting the economy too severely.And he said policymakers were still focused on whether interest rates were high enough to ensure that inflation would cool fully, given recent evidence of continued economic strength.“We are not confident yet that we have achieved such a stance,” Mr. Powell said.While the Fed’s moves have held back some parts of the economy, including sales of existing homes, the labor market continues to chug along. Hiring is still quicker than before the pandemic. Wage gains have cooled, but are also faster than pre-2020.As Americans win jobs and raises, they have continued to open their wallets. Spending climbed faster than economists expected in September, and growth overall has been much faster than what most forecasters would have expected a year and half into the Fed’s campaign to cool it.That strength could become a problem for central bankers, should it persist. If consumers remain ravenous for goods and services, companies may continue raising prices, making it more difficult to eliminate what is left of rapid inflation.At the same time, Fed officials do not want to brake too hard, which could unnecessarily cause a recession. Policy changes often act with a lag, and it can take months for the cumulative effects of interest rate increases to fully bite.“Everyone has been very gratified to see that we’ve been able to achieve pretty significant progress on inflation without seeing the kind of increase in unemployment that is very typical” with interest rate increases, Mr. Powell said. “The same is true of growth.”But he also made it clear that the Fed still thought a slowdown in the job market and overall growth were likely to prove necessary. Healing supply chains and a fresh supply of workers have helped to bring the economy into balance so far, but those forces may not be enough to bring inflation fully back to normal, he said.“What we do with demand is still going to be important,” he said, later adding that “slowing down is giving us, I think, a better sense of how much more we need to do, if we need to do more.” More

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    Powell Says Strong Economic Data ‘Could Warrant’ Higher Rates

    The Federal Reserve may need to do more if growth remains hot or if the labor market stops cooling, Jerome H. Powell said in a speech.Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, reiterated the central bank’s commitment to moving forward “carefully” with further rate moves in a speech on Thursday. But he also said that the central bank might need to raise interest rates more if economic data continued to come in hot.Mr. Powell tried to paint a balanced picture of the challenge facing the Fed in remarks before the Economic Club of New York. He emphasized that the Fed is trying to weigh two goals against one another: It wants to wrestle inflation fully under control, but it also wants to avoid doing too much and unnecessarily hurting the economy.Yet this is a complicated moment for the central bank as the economy behaves in surprising ways. Officials have rapidly raised interest rates to a range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent over the past 19 months. Policymakers are now debating whether they need to raise rates one more time in 2023.The higher borrowing costs are supposed to weigh down economic activity — slowing home buying, business expansions and demand of all sorts — in order to cool inflation. But so far, growth has been unexpectedly resilient. Consumers are spending. Companies are hiring. And while wage gains are moderating, overall growth has been robust enough to make some economists question whether the economy is slowing sufficiently to drive inflation back to the Fed’s 2 percent goal.“We are attentive to recent data showing the resilience of economic growth and demand for labor,” Mr. Powell acknowledged on Thursday. “Additional evidence of persistently above-trend growth, or that tightness in the labor market is no longer easing, could put further progress on inflation at risk and could warrant further tightening of monetary policy.”Mr. Powell called recent growth data a “surprise,” and said that it had come as consumer demand held up much more strongly than had been expected.“It may just be that rates haven’t been high enough for long enough,” he said, later adding that “the evidence is not that policy is too tight right now.”Economists interpreted his remarks to mean that while the Fed is unlikely to raise interest rates at its upcoming meeting, which concludes on Nov. 1, it was leaving the door open to a potential rate increase after that. The Fed’s final meeting of the year concludes on Dec. 13.“It didn’t sound like he was anxious to raise rates again in November,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist at J.P. Morgan, explaining that he thinks the Fed will depend on data as it decides what to do in December.“He definitely didn’t close the door to further rate hikes,” Mr. Feroli said. “But he didn’t signal anything was imminent, either.”Kathy Bostjancic, chief economist for Nationwide Mutual, said the comments were “balanced, because there is so much uncertainty.”The Fed chair had reasons to keep his options open. While growth has been strong in recent data, the economy could be poised for a more marked slowdown.The Fed has already raised short-term interest rates a lot, and those moves “may” still be trickling out to slow down the economy, Mr. Powell noted. And importantly, long-term interest rates in markets have jumped higher over the past two months, making it much more expensive to borrow to buy a house or a car.Those tougher financial conditions could affect growth, Mr. Powell said.“Financial conditions have tightened significantly in recent months, and longer-term bond yields have been an important driving factor in this tightening,” he said.Mr. Powell pointed to several possible reasons behind the recent increase in long-term rates: Higher growth, high deficits, the Fed’s decision to shrink its own security holdings and technical market factors could all be contributing factors.“There are many candidate ideas, and many people feeling their priors have been confirmed,” Mr. Powell said.He later added that the “bottom line” was the rise in market rates was “something that we’ll be looking at,” and “at the margin, it could” reduce the impetus for the Fed to raise interest rates further.The war between Israel and Gaza — and the accompanying geopolitical tensions — also adds to uncertainty about the global outlook. It remains too early to know how it will affect the economy, though it could undermine confidence among businesses and consumers.“Geopolitical tensions are highly elevated and pose important risks to global economic activity,” Mr. Powell said.Stocks were choppy as Mr. Powell was speaking, suggesting that investors were struggling to understand what his remarks meant for the immediate outlook on interest rates. Higher interest rates tend to be bad news for stock values.The S&P 500 ended almost 1 percent lower for the day. The move came alongside a further rise in crucial market interest rates, with the 10-year Treasury yield rising within a whisker of 5 percent, a threshold it hasn’t broken through since 2007.The Fed chair reiterated the Fed’s commitment to bringing inflation under control even at a complicated moment. Consumer price increases have come down substantially since the summer of 2022, when they peaked around 9 percent. But they remained at 3.7 percent as of last month, still well above the roughly 2 percent that prevailed before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.“A range of uncertainties, both old ones and new ones, complicate our task of balancing the risk of tightening monetary policy too much against the risk of tightening too little,” Mr. Powell said. “Given the uncertainties and risks, and given how far we have come, the committee is proceeding carefully.”Joe Rennison contributed reporting. More

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    Crypto’s Wild D.C. Ride: From FTX at the Fed to a Scramble for Access

    FTX’s demise and its leader’s upcoming trial haven’t stopped a major lobbying push by the industry this week, but the events have changed its tone.Cryptocurrency lobbyists were riding so high in early 2022 that an FTX executive felt comfortable directly emailing Jerome H. Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, to ask him to meet with Sam Bankman-Fried, the soon-to-be-disgraced founder of the cryptocurrency exchange.It worked.“The day that would work for me is February 1,” Mr. Powell replied to a Jan. 11 email from Mark Wetjen, an FTX policy official and former commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.Mr. Powell’s public calendar shows that he and Mr. Bankman-Fried met as planned. And Mr. Wetjen went on to send the Fed chair two policy papers that FTX had recently published, according to emails obtained through a public records request. “Hope you’re finding these useful!” Mr. Wetjen wrote. “Great to have people like you serving our country.”Mr. Powell has long been cautious about the digital currency industry, but, like many in Washington, he was trying to learn more. FTX was eager to do the teaching. According to newly released records, Mr. Wetjen managed to gain access to a range of federal officials. The records show that Mr. Bankman-Fried secured a virtual meeting in October 2021 with another top Fed official, Lael Brainard, who is now the director of the White House National Economic Council. And public calendars show that Mr. Bankman-Fried went on to meet with another top financial regulator, Martin Gruenberg, head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.The crypto industry faces a more difficult landscape in Washington after last fall’s collapse of FTX. Mr. Bankman-Fried was arrested on fraud charges in December, and his trial is set to start on Tuesday. The industry has also faced a wide-ranging government crackdown that has sent some crypto entrepreneurs abroad in search of friendlier governments.The companies that have survived crypto’s downturn are still pouring millions of dollars into lobbying, but they are having a harder time gaining access to the halls of power. Some congressional offices have become reluctant to meet with industry representatives. Crypto lobbyists appear less frequently on the public calendars of key officials at the regulatory agencies, and companies have had to shift strategy, straining to distinguish themselves from FTX.“There are a bunch of people who’ve had trouble having meetings,” said Sheila Warren, who runs the Crypto Council for Innovation, an advocacy group. “I have heard from some offices that they will not meet with certain people anymore.”With Mr. Bankman-Fried’s trial approaching, the crypto industry is scrambling to change the subject from FTX.Stand With Crypto, a nonprofit backed by the giant digital currency exchange Coinbase, is planning to hold a “fly-in” on Wednesday, bringing in industry players from around the country to talk with lawmakers.“It has been quieter — and more circumspect, in some respects — but the push from the industry hasn’t abated,” said Mark Hays, who tracks cryptocurrency regulation at Americans for Financial Reform. “The crypto industry knows that its star has been tarnished on Capitol Hill, to some extent.”The mood in Congress was friendlier to the industry in early 2022, when FTX was at its zenith: Mr. Bankman-Fried had been positioned as a sort of wunderkind, eccentric and brilliant. But since its collapse, many lawmakers have argued that the industry should be overseen more strictly.“The tone has certainly changed among Democrats — they’re much more skeptical,” said Bart Naylor at Public Citizen, a government watchdog that has been tracking cryptocurrency lobbying.Regulators were more hesitant to embrace crypto firms even in 2022. It was unusual that FTX directly landed a meeting with the Fed chair.Read the emailsA selection of correspondence between FTX and the Federal Reserve, pulled from a series of Freedom of Information Requests submitted by The New York Times.Read DocumentMr. Powell’s only other listed private-sector meetings in February 2022 were with Jane Fraser, the chief executive of Citigroup; David Solomon from Goldman Sachs; Suzanne Clark from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; James Gorman, the chief executive, and Tom Wipf, a vice chair, from Morgan Stanley; Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase; the Business Council, a group of chief executives; and the head of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.Mr. Powell has met with other financial technology companies — he talked with a representative from the payment processor Stripe in March 2022, for example. But he has not listed similar meetings in 2023, based on his calendars released to date.At the meeting with Mr. Bankman-Fried, Mr. Powell and the FTX officials discussed stablecoins as well as central bank digital currencies, a form of electronic cash backed by the government, a person familiar with the matter said.Mr. Powell has met with other financial technology companies in the past. But he has not listed similar meetings in 2023, based on his calendars released to date.Kevin Dietsch/Getty ImagesMr. Wetjen knew many of the agency officials with whom he was setting up meetings from his previous policy role in Washington. He and Mr. Powell had worked on regulatory issues together while Mr. Powell was a Fed governor, for instance.Dennis Kelleher, the head of the regulatory watchdog Better Markets, said FTX had exercised an extensive web of influence in broader regulatory circles, partly through Mr. Wetjen’s connections.“This is the problem: These relationships, which are not visible to the public, pay dividends year after year after year once these guys swing through the revolving door,” Mr. Kelleher said. FTX also flooded Washington with money, which helped it gain a foothold in congressional offices and at think tanks, he and several lobbyists said.The Fed did not provide a comment for this article, nor did Mr. Wetjen. The White House had no comment on Ms. Brainard’s meeting with Mr. Bankman-Fried. An F.D.I.C. spokesman noted that chairs of the agency often held courtesy visits with financial firm leaders.Back in 2022, FTX was trying to shape how the Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulated it, as Mr. Wetjen made clear to Mr. Powell in one email from that May.“We have an application before the C.F.T.C. that lays out for the agency how to do so,” Mr. Wetjen wrote of regulating FTX. “All the C.F.T.C. has to do is approve it.”The Fed had little control over such matters, but Mr. Powell does sit on the Financial Stability Oversight Council, an interagency regulatory body that includes the director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.Mr. Wetjen continued: “To the extent the crypto industry comes up in discussions” at the Financial Stability Oversight Council, “we wanted you to have this context and our views at FTX.”The company clearly failed to make much headway with the Fed chair. Mr. Powell supported an October decision by the Financial Stability Oversight Council to further study the kind of setup that FTX and other trading platforms wanted for crypto asset exchanges, rather than greenlighting it.Now, FTX’s demise has only bolstered the arguments of regulators who wanted to approach crypto firms carefully. This year, the Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Coinbase and Binance, FTX’s two largest competitors, amid a broader government crackdown. With Mr. Bankman-Fried out of the picture, other financial technology companies are spending millions to make sure that the future of regulatory oversight favors them.Mr. Hays of Americans for Financial Reform said the industry was hardly being shunned in Washington, because “money talks.”“I still think they’re getting doors opened.” More