Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell confirmed by the Senate for a second term

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

Win Mcnamee | Getty pictures

While he and his colleagues are engaging in a blue-collar inflation battle, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell announced on Thursday that he will serve a new term.

The Senate voted 80-1[ads1]9 to give Powell a new four-year term at the helm of the central bank. ended a long-delayed vote that has been going on since President Joe Biden nominated the 69-year-old former investment banker in November.

Delays had occurred when senators discussed other nominees Biden had made for the central bank. Sarah Bloom Raskin withdrew her name after controversy surrounding her appointment, while Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson were only recently confirmed as governors.

By electing Powell, Biden elects a politician who was first put in the position by President Donald Trump, who continued to mock the chairman and his fellow politicians as “boneheads” as they raised interest rates.

Powell was then in the middle of one of the nation’s most serious crises when Covid-19 crashed into a global pandemic in March 2020.

He orchestrated a series of maneuvers aimed at pulling the nation out of its steepest downturn in history, using a mix of lending and market-boosting programs combined with cutting interest rates to almost zero and launching a bond-buying program that would explode the Fed’s stake to 9 trillion dollars.

Recently, Powell and the Fed have faced another crisis – the worst rise in inflation since the early 1980s, with price increases of more than 8% annually over the past two months. Powell has faced some criticism for going too slow to meet the threat, even though the Fed last week raised reference rates by half a percentage point, the most aggressive move in 22 years.

In a rare digression last week, Powell addressed the public directly, saying that the Fed is deeply committed to bringing prices down and will use all the tools at its disposal to do so.

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