USA

‘A dangerous man’: Warren opposes reappointment of Fed’s Powell

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday said she opposes a second term for Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, calling him a “dangerous man” because of the financial regulations that have been loosened during his tenure.

“Your record gives me grave concern,” the Massachusetts Democrat told Powell while he was testifying before the Senate Banking Committee. “Over and over, you have acted to make our banking system less safe, and that makes you a dangerous man to head up the Fed. And it’s why I will oppose your renomination.”

Warren's statement makes her one of only a few Democratic lawmakers to publicly call for the replacement of Powell — a Republican and a Trump appointee — when his term ends early next year. Last month, a group of House progressives including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said they want to see someone at the helm of the central bank who is more aggressive on financial regulation and climate change.

The choice of who will lead the central bank is one of the most crucial personnel decisions that President Joe Biden will make in his presidency, with the Fed playing a pivotal role in helping the economy emerge from the pandemic as job growth falters and supply chain disruptions threaten the recovery.

The prospect of Powell’s reappointment has split opinion among liberal advocates and lawmakers, with multiple lawmakers like Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) saying he deserves a second term. Powell first joined the Fed’s board in 2012 as an appointee of former President Barack Obama and then was promoted to chair by former President Donald Trump in 2018.

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