Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s future as head of the central bank remains in doubt this week, with Senate Banking Committee Chair Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, noting Powell may or may not be re-nominated when President Biden unveils his Fed nominees in the coming days.
Powell, whose term expires in February, has faced widespread criticism over his handling of Fed policy, as well as his leadership of the central bank, amid ongoing ethics concerns involving top officials. When asked about his view on Biden’s plans, Brown told Bloomberg News he expected the president to announce a "slate" of nominees for the Federal Reserve board of governors.
"I think when the president looks for making up to four nominations – maybe including Powell, maybe not – there will be a much greater emphasis on workers," Brown said.
The Ohio senator said he is in regular contact with both Biden and Powell regarding Fed policy. Brown added he felt the current Fed leadership had "too much Wall Street," though he declined to speculate on whether Powell deserved to be re-nominated as chair.
"The president’s going to make the decision. I think Powell’s done a reasonably good job on monitoring policy," Brown said. "He’s fallen short, done some things that I think are too supportive of Wall Street when it comes to deregulation, and he’s not engaged enough on climate."
Aside from Powell’s expiring term as chair, Biden is expected to fill at least one and as many as three seats on the Fed board. The White House has yet to indicate when Biden will announce his nominees.
Earlier this month, White House deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden "does have confidence in Powell at this time."
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., another member of the Senate banking committee, is among those who have said Powell should not be re-nominated as Fed chair. Warren has referred to Powell as a "dangerous man" and argued earlier this month that he had "failed as a leader" amid allegations that some Fed officials engaged in improper personal financial transactions.