Biden Makes Highly Anticipated Picks to Lead the Fed

President nominates Powell to continue as chair, wants to elevate Democrat Brainard to No. 2
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 22, 2021 8:40 AM CST
Biden Sticks With Powell at Fed, Defying Critics on Left
President Biden has nominated Federal Reserve Board Governor Lael Brainard to be the Fed's vice chair.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

President Biden has settled on a decision that's been awaited by economic markets around the world—he wants Jerome Powell to remain as chair of the Federal Reserve. Powell is a Republican, and while Democrats had been chafing for a switch at the central bank, the president opted for stability in turbulent times, reports the Wall Street Journal. However, Biden made a second nomination that might please Democrats: He wants to elevate Lael Brainard, the lone Democrat on the Fed's seven-member board of governors, to the No. 2 post of vice chair. Both nominations are expected to be approved by the Senate, though Bloomberg notes that Brainard may run into friction from Republicans. Powell is 68 and Brainard 59, and the terms are four years.

“If we want to continue to build on the economic success of this year we need stability and independence at the Federal Reserve—and I have full confidence after their trial by fire over the last 20 months that Chair Powell and Dr. Brainard will provide the strong leadership our country needs,” Biden said in a statement Monday. Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren wanted Biden to replace Powell—who was first put on the board by Barack Obama, then elevated to the top post by Donald Trump—with somebody more aggressive on issues such as regulation and climate change. The Washington Post notes that Biden will be able to further put his stamp on the central bank with upcoming board vacancies. The Dow rose about 120 points at the open upon the news, per CNBC. (More Federal Reserve stories.)

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