Fed’s Powell warns unemployment could reach Depression-level 25 percent

He said the economy stands a good chance of bouncing back more quickly than in the 1930s.

“When the Depression, well, when the crash happened and all that, the financial system really failed,” Powell said. “Here, our financial system is strong.”

But he took the opportunity to again warn that Congress will need to spend more to prevent long-lasting damage, even after U.S. lawmakers have shelled out trillions of dollars for American businesses and consumers.

The most important policy objectives should be to “keep workers in their homes, keep them paying their bills,” he said. “Keep families solvent so that when this comes, we come out the other end of this, we’re in a position to have a strong recovery.”