Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell confirmed by Senate for a second term

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference after a Federal Open Market Committee meeting on May 4, 2022 in Washington, DC. Powell announced that the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates by half a percentage point to combat record high inflation.

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As he and his colleagues engage in a blood-curdling inflation war, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell found out on Thursday that he will serve another term.

The Senate voted 80 to 19 to give Powell a second four-year term at the helm of the central bank. end a long-delayed vote that has been raging since President Joe Biden nominated the 69-year-old former investment banker in November.

There were delays as senators deliberated on other nominees Biden had made for the central bank. Sarah Bloom Raskin withdrew her name after controversy over her nomination, while Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson were only recently confirmed as governors.

“Chairman Powell’s leadership has helped fuel economic growth while preserving the best-capitalized banking system in U.S. history,” Senator Patrick Toomey, the most senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said in a statement.

In choosing Powell, Biden picks a policymaker first put in the position by President Donald Trump, who went on to mock the chairman and his fellow policymakers as “bruises” when they raised interest rates.

Powell was then in the midst of one of the country’s worst crises as Covid-19 escalated into a global pandemic in March 2020.

He orchestrated a series of maneuvers aimed at lifting the nation out of the deepest downturn in history, using a mix of lending and market-stimulating programs coupled with cutting interest rates close to zero and setting up a program to buying bonds that would explode the Fed. owns up to $9 trillion.

More recently, Powell and the Fed have faced another crisis — the worst inflation surge since the early 1980s, with price rising more than 8% a year for the past two months. Powell has faced some criticism for acting too slowly to counter the threat, although the Fed hiked benchmark rates by half a percentage point last week, its most aggressive move in 22 years.

In a rare digression last week, Powell addressed the public directly, saying the Fed is committed to cutting prices and will use whatever resources it has to do so.

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