Jerome Powell to succeed Janet Yellen as next chairman of Federal Reserve

The US senate overwhelmingly confirmed Jerome H Powell, 64, as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve yesterday.

 
Jerome H Powell  

Powell, president Trump's nominee, will become the 16th chairman of the Federal Reserve with a vote of (84-13).

A current Fed governor and former financial-firm executive, he will replace Fed chair Janet L Yellen, whose term comes to an end in February.

Powell was first appointed to the Fed board in 2012 by president Barack Obama, and is expected to largely continue Janet Yellen's policies in contrast to other candidates, who had criticised the Fed under Yellen for its focus on low interest rates and economic stimulus.

The former Carlyle Group executive also worked in President George H W Bush's treasury department, and at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank.

According to senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, David Wessel, Powell worked closely with Yellen and her predecessor.

''Much of what he knows comes from them,'' Wessel said, The Washington Post reported. ''If you wanted to be a central banker and wanted good teachers, that's a pretty great faculty. I think we'll benefit from what he learned.''

According to commentators, as the Fed chair, Powell would be tasked with two major balancing acts. The bank would need to minimise unemployment while managing inflation. Also the Fed will try to stimulate the economy, creating jobs and fighting unemployment, by lowering interest rates.

Powell, a moderate Republican, emphasised during his confirmation hearing that he was not planning to push for sharp changes in monetary or regulatory policy.

According to commentators, Powell will take the helm of the central bank during a period of relative economic tranquillity, in the ninth year of one of the longest uninterrupted expansions in American history.

Powell has said he plans to continue the Fed's gradual retreat from its post-crisis stimulus campaign and is expected to continue its slow but steady pace in raising interest rates.