Politics

USA: Senate confirms reappointment of Jerome Powell as Fed Chairman for a second term

The US Senate confirmed on Thursday May 12 the reappointment as chairman of the central bank (Fed) of Jerome Powell, chosen by Joe Biden for a second term, in the midst of a series of rate hikes in the face of high inflation.

The Senate plenary voted, as expected, in favor of ” Jay ” Powell, by 80 votes to 19. The Senate has already confirmed Lael Brainard as vice-president, as well as Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson as governors, and must now vote on the appointment of Michael Barr to the post of vice president for banking regulation, after Sarah Bloom Raskin, initially chosen, had given up, for lack of sufficient support.

The Senate has already confirmed Lael Brainard as vice president (52 votes to 43), as well as, as governors, Philip Jefferson (91-7) and Lisa Cook (51-50), who became the first black woman to occupy this function, despite the opposition of the Republicans. The equality of votes between the two camps had even required the vote of the vice-president of the United States, Kamala Harris, to achieve a majority.

Elected officials have yet to decide on the appointment of Michael Barr to the post of vice-president for banking regulation, after Sarah Bloom Raskin, initially chosen, had given up, for lack of sufficient support. Their priority will be to fight against inflation while preserving the good health of the economy, a balancing act.

Increases in key rates

The Fed's monetary committee, after having long considered inflation as having to be temporary, had to carry out two key rate hikes since March and warned that several others were to be expected to curb record inflation. The decision to offer Jerome Powell a second four-year term was announced in November by Joe Biden. The appointment of the chairman of the Fed is, in terms of the economy, one of the most important decisions of the mandate of the president of the United States.

The Fed, which is the most powerful central bank in the world, decides the country's monetary policy. It monitors and regulates the financial sector. Its decisions can boost or slow down American economic activity by fixing the cost of credit, influencing the dollar, and thereby all financial markets.

SEE ALSO – In the United States, the Fed carries out the largest rate hike since 2000 to counter inflation.

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