Powell sworn in for second four-year term as US Fed chief

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FILE PHOTO – U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies during the Senate Banking Committee hearing titled ‘The Semi-Annual Report on Monetary Policy to Congress’, in Washington, U.S. March 3, 2022 Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS

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May 23 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was officially sworn in on Monday to begin his second four-year term as head of the U.S. central bank, which aims to tame the highest inflation in four decades without tipping the economy into recession.

Lael Brainard was also sworn in as the new Fed Vice Chairman on Monday, and the two new members of the Fed’s Board of Governors, Philip Jefferson and Lisa Cook, who are both black economists, the Fed said in a statement.

Powell was nominated for his first term as Fed chief by former President Donald Trump, then chosen by President Joe Biden last November to serve another four years. The former private equity lawyer survived harsh criticism from Trump during his first term as head of the central bank.

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The U.S. Senate voted May 12 to confirm Powell for the post with bipartisan support. Powell has served on the Fed’s Board of Governors since 2012.

Cook is the first black woman to serve on the Fed’s board. It’s also the first time the Fed will have more than one black policymaker at the same time.

The swearing in means six of the Fed’s seven board seats are filled just weeks before the central bank’s June 14-15 policy meeting, when it is expected to raise its overnight rate. day by half a percentage point as it battles inflation.

Jefferson was most recently dean of faculty at Davidson College and has written extensively on poverty. Cook was a professor of economics at Michigan State University, where his research focused on the economic impact of gender and racial inequality.

Neither is expected to have any immediate impact on the course of Fed monetary policy, decided in regular meetings throughout the year by the Fed Board and the presidents of the 12 regional banks in the Fed.

Powell vowed to keep pushing rate hikes until there is clear and convincing evidence that inflation is falling.

Traders of Fed key rate futures are betting that means the overnight lending rate between banks – currently in the 0.75% to 1% range – will hit 2.75% at 3 % by the end of the year, high enough to start putting a brake on economic growth.

Biden’s pick to fill the Fed’s seventh seat, former top Treasury Department official Michael Barr, is expected to win Senate confirmation as the central bank’s vice chairman for oversight, Reuters told Monday. Republican U.S. Senator Pat Toomey. The post would see Barr take on a large portfolio overseeing the nation’s largest banks. Read more

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Reporting by Ann Saphir; Editing by Will Dunham Editing by Paul Simao and Will Dunham

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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