US President Joe Biden has officially renominated Jerome Powell as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, with competitor Dr. Lael Brainard as Vice President. That would put Powell in office for another 4 years, pending Senate confirmation, allowing his agenda for addressing inflation to be put to the test.
Four More Years for Jerome Powell
Biden unveiled his nominations in a white house statement earlier today. Justifying his decision, he credits the US economy’s falling unemployment and relatively fast recovery to Powell’s “decisive action”.
“Chair Powell has provided steady leadership during an unprecedently challenging period, including the biggest economic downturn in modern history and attacks on the independence of the Federal Reserve,” reads the statement.
The president also showed appreciation for Powell and Brainard’s “shared belief” that climate change’s economic impact ought to be addressed. While the Fed’s traditional mandates are to maintain low unemployment and low inflation, he said the two have “refocused” its objectives.
Powell assumed the position of Fed chairman in February 2018. Brainard became a member of the board in 2014, after serving as undersecretary for the US Department of the Treasury.
In the wake of the pandemic and worldwide lockdowns, Powell’s response has invoked unprecedented government stimulus to cushion the US economy. As such, 40% of US dollars currently in circulation were printed in the last 12 months, under his leadership. Many speculate that this has largely contributed to rising inflation in the country, which reached a 30-year high last month.
Powell has since announced plans to taper its $120 billion monthly bond purchase program to deal with the rising prices.
Powell on Bitcoin
Last month, Powell confirmed that he has no intention to ban cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. However, he shared SEC chairman Gary Gensler’s belief that stablecoins need regulation.
Earlier this year, the chairman recognized Bitcoin as a potential substitute for gold, but not the US dollar. He calls it “speculative” and a “failed currency” due to its alleged inability to serve as a store of value or medium of exchange.
Bitcoiners disagree, however. In fact, Senator Cynthia Lummis recently suggested using Bitcoin to ‘stabilize’ the otherwise unstable US dollar, which she says has been in a ‘tailspin’ under Powell’s leadership. Meanwhile, Anthony Pompliano – a Bitcoin Youtuber that regularly covers inflation – told his followers to “buckle up” following Powell’s renomination.
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