Thursday 12 May 2022 – 21:21
The US Senate confirms that Powell will take over the presidency of the Federal Reserve
The 69-year-old former investment banker received 80 votes to 19
ROME, May 12 (Askanews) – In the midst of a tough fight against inflation, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has been confirmed for a second term. The US Senate voted 80 to 19 to grant Powell a second four-year term at the head of the central bank, in a vote long postponed amid heated debate after President Joe Biden appointed the 69-year-old former investment banker in November.
Delays have accumulated in the appointments of other central bankers Biden nominated to the Federal Reserve Board. Sarah Blum Raskin withdrew her name after controversy over her appointment, while Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson were only recently confirmed among governors.
“President Powell’s leadership has helped spur economic growth by maintaining the best-capitalized banking system in American history,” Senator Patrick Tomei, a Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said in a statement.
By picking Powell, Biden asserted to lead the Fed, a central banker appointed by his predecessor, Donald Trump, who mocked and criticized central bankers’ stance and policies.
Then Powell found himself in the midst of one of the most serious crises in American history with the global pandemic of Covid-19, as he orchestrated a series of maneuvers to pull the United States out of the worst recession in its history, using a combination of credit and market support combined with a near-zero interest rate cut. And the establishment of a bond-buying program that exploded the central bank’s portfolio to $9 trillion.
Recently, Powell and the Fed faced another crisis: the strongest rise in inflation since the early 1980s, with rate increases of more than 8% annually over the past two months. Powell has been criticized for moving too slowly against inflation, even as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by half a percentage point last week, the most aggressive move in 22 years.
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