May 19, 2022

Jerome Powell Confirmed for a Second Term as Fed Chair

“If you had perfect hindsight, you’d go back and it probably would have been better for us to have raised rates a little sooner,” Mr. Powell said in his interview with Marketplace. “I’m not sure how much difference it would have made, but we have to make decisions in real time, based on what we know then, and we did the best we could.”

With Mr. Powell’s confirmation, Mr. Biden has now appointed four of the Fed’s seven governors in Washington, putting his imprimatur on the central bank at a crucial moment.

The Senate last month confirmed Lael Brainard, formerly a Fed governor, as Mr. Biden’s choice for the Fed’s vice chair, an influential position within the central bank.

This week, the Senate confirmed two other new Fed governors — Lisa D. Cook and Philip N. Jefferson. Mr. Biden has also nominated Michael S. Barr as the new vice chair for supervision, and his confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee is scheduled for next week.

Ms. Brainard and Mr. Powell have long been aligned on policy, and the Fed’s newest governors — Ms. Cook and Mr. Jefferson — indicated during their confirmation hearings that they, too, are focused on fighting inflation. Fed officials view stable prices as a crucial building block for sustainable economic growth.

“High inflation is a grave threat to a long, sustained expansion, which we know raises the standard of living for all Americans and leads to broad-based, shared prosperity,” Ms. Cook said during her confirmation hearing. “That is why I am committed to keeping inflation expectations well anchored.”

In addition to the new faces at the seven-person Board of Governors in Washington, several of the Fed’s 12 regional reserve banks are also experiencing personnel changes. Susan M. Collins has been selected as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and just this week it was announced that Lorie K. Logan would lead the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Both will start this summer.

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