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Fed Chair Powell Visits White House As Speculation Grows Around His Job

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was seen visiting the White House Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Powell’s term leading the Fed is set to expire in February, and speculation has grown around whether President Joe Biden will appoint him for another term, the WSJ reported.

“We’ll be making those announcements fairly quickly,” Biden said when asked about Powell’s future during a press conference at the United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

“I also would indicate that I think we’re gonna have plenty of time to make sure all the major nominees are able to be cleared in time where their terms would expire,” Biden added. Presidents typically announce the Fed chair nominees in October or early November to give the Senate enough time to go through the confirmation process, according to the WSJ.

“I’ve given a lot of thought to it and I’ve been meeting with my economic advisors on what the best choices are and we got a lot of good choices, but I’m not going to speculate,” Biden said during the press conference.

Treasury Secretary and Former Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen told CNBC she discussed Powell’s fate with Biden recently and advised the president to pick someone who is “experienced and credible,” saying she believes Powell has done a good job.

“I think Powell has acquired that reputation, but there are other candidates too, who I think would be similarly perceived,” Yellen said in an interview with Reuters.

Powell has been tasked with guiding the economy through the COVID-19 pandemic, including managing record unemployment, inflation and supply chain disruptions.

Powell announced Wednesday that the Fed would begin scaling back its monthly bond purchases starting in November, marking the first step towards ending its pandemic stimulus as inflation surges. The Fed will reduce its purchases by $15 billion each month from the current $120 billion figure.

Additionally, Fed officials voted against raising interest rates from their current near-zero level stressing that the scale back in asset purchases is not a sign that the committee will eventually hike rates.

Powell has recently come under criticism following reports that he and other Fed officials traded securities that the central bank purchased during the pandemic, CNBC reported.

Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, recently criticized Powell on his job overseeing the central bank.

“Over and over, you have acted to make our banking system less safe,” Warren told Powell during a hearing in September. “That makes you a dangerous man to head up the Fed, and that’s why I’ll oppose your re-nomination.”

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