Biden to keep Powell as U.S. Fed chair, Brainard gets vice chair

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U.S. President Joe Biden said Monday he is nominating Jerome Powell for a second four-year term as Federal Reserve chair, endorsing his stewardship of the economy through a brutal pandemic recession in which the Fed's ultra-low rate policies helped bolster confidence and revitalize the job market.

Biden also said he would nominate as vice chair Lael Brainard, the lone Democrat on the Fed's Board of Governors and the preferred alternative to Powell among many progressives.

Next year, the Fed is widely expected to begin raising its benchmark interest rate, with financial markets pricing in at least two increases. If it moves too slowly to raise rates, inflation may accelerate further and force the central bank to take more draconian steps later to rein it in, potentially causing a recession. Yet if the Fed hikes rates too quickly, it could choke off hiring and the recovery.

And two other senators expressed opposition to Powell last week because they said he was insufficiently committed to using the Fed's regulatory tools to combat global warming. Biden still has the opportunity to fill three more positions on the Fed's Board of Governors, including the vice chair for supervision, a top bank regulatory post. Those positions will be filled in early December, Biden said.

Powell said "we know that high inflation takes a toll on families, especially those less able to meet the higher costs of essentials, like food, housing and transportation." He pledged to use the Fed's tools -- principally raising interest rates -- "to prevent higher inflation from becoming entrenched."

The 68-year-old lawyer was nominated for the Fed's Board of Governors in 2011 by President Barack Obama after a lucrative career in private equity and having served in a number of federal government roles.

Source: News Formal (newsformal.com)

 

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