November 9, 2021

Joe Biden makes no final decision on Jerome Powell's resignation

 The problem of the next Fed head is still significant. This issue is crucial as it will determine the vector of US monetary policy for at least 4 years. The Fed Chairman does not definitely make his decisions alone. However, his influence on the monetary committee members and the policy itself is decisive. Notably, the Fed is currently run by Republican Jerome Powell with the Democrat-controlled government. Moreover, Democrats control both houses of Congress. Besides, the president is also a Democrat. Consequently, now Powell fulfills the role of an outsider. Despite the fact that many congressmen believe Powell performs his duties quite well, Joe Biden may appoint his follower to this position to make it easier to manage the central bank, which is independent and beyond the control of the US government by law. Therefore, the rumours about Lael Brainard's appointment to the post of the Fed Chair are being widely circulated in the media. According to the Wall Street Journal, the meeting between Joe Biden, Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard was held at the White House last week. Biden is expected to choose between Powell and Brainard and announce his decision in the near future.

Besides, there is another less dramatic and more available option. Jerome Powell remains the Fed chief for successive 4 years. However, Lael Brainard becomes Powell's deputy for banking supervision. Notably, Powell did not just run the Fed for 4 years, he managed it during the coronavirus pandemic, the crisis and economic recovery after these events. Therefore, only Powell is fully aware of the impact of these two factors on the economy. Besides, a change in the Fed top positions may contribute to proposing a new monetary policy by a new chief. However, in practice it is unlikely. In any case, Joe Biden is still considering this issue for a very long time as Powell's term ends in February 2022. Moreover, the nominee has to be approved by both houses of the US Congress. That is, there should be at least two votes. However, the US officials tend to make key decisions at the last minute. Notably, currently Democrats and Republicans are leading desperate fights in the US Congress. Besides, no one supports the opposing party. Problems can also arise with Lael Brainard's nomination to the post of the Fed head. Republicans may not back it.