US economy

Biden to name 'slate' to Fed that may include Powell, Senator Brown says

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies during a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the CARES Act, at the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, U.S., September 28, 2021. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden will probably advance a “whole slate” of nominees to the Federal Reserve Board, which may or may not include Jerome Powell, Senator Sherrod Brown said on Tuesday in remarks that appeared to signal his openness to the renomination of Powell as Fed chair.

In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Brown said he had spoken with Biden “just the other day” about “the whole package,” and that the president “understands that you want to put workers at the center of our economic policy; that includes making the Fed look more like America but think more like America too.”

Brown leads the Senate banking committee, which oversees the Fed and which must sign off on Fed nominees before they can be considered for approval by the Senate as a whole.

Powell’s term as Fed chair expires in February; the seven-member Fed Board also has one vacant seat and one or two other seats that will open up in coming months.

“When the president looks for making up to four nominations – maybe including Powell, maybe not — there will be a much great emphasis on workers,” Brown said.

Some progressives favor current Fed Governor Lael Brainard to take over as Fed chair.

Others who support keeping Powell in his current role say she could make her mark on both climate and regulation if she takes over as the Fed’s regulation czar, a slot that opened up earlier this month after Randal Quarles’ term expired.

“That position is really really really important,” Brown said of the vice chair for supervision role, adding that he’s spoken with Biden about “a couple” people he would support for the job.

Brown said that though Powell has “done some things that I think are too supportive of Wall Street when it comes to deregulation, and he is not engaged enough on climate,” he has done a “reasonably good job on monetary policy.”

Brown’s remarks contrasted sharply with those of Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is also on the banking committee and has said she will oppose Powell’s renomination, citing what she sees as his weak record on regulation.

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