Yellen backs reappointing Powell as Fed chair – Bloomberg

(Reuters) -U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has told senior White House advisers she backs reappointing Jerome Powell as U.S. Federal Reserve Chair, whose term expires in February, a Bloomberg News reporter wrote on Twitter here.

FILE PHOTO: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell adjusts his tie as he arrives to testify before a Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on “The Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress” on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

President Joe Biden has not made a decision and will likely weigh in around Labor Day in early September, the reporter added in the tweet.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Treasury Department declined to comment. No comment was immediately available from the White House.

Powell was elevated to Fed chair by President Donald Trump in 2018, replacing then Fed chair Yellen.

Republican Senator Steve Daines, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, urged Biden in a letter last week to keep Powell at the helm of the Federal Reserve for another four years to build confidence in an improving economy.

Renominating Powell “would send a strong signal to households, businesses, and consumers that the head of the Federal Reserve continues to enjoy broad bipartisan support, and will act as necessary to achieve its dual mandate of price stability and maximum employment,” he wrote.

After the coronavirus pandemic prompted widespread shutdowns last year, the Powell-led Fed slashed its benchmark overnight interest rate to near zero and began a massive bond-buying effort. That support is credited with heading off a financial crisis and paving the way for a rapid economic rebound.

A White House official last month said Biden would soon be engaging his senior economic team in “a careful and thoughtful process” about Fed appointments.

Powell has his share of critics, including members of the climate activist group 350.org, who are calling on Biden to nominate a “climate leader” to replace Powell and who plan to protest against Powell’s leadership during the Fed’s annual central banking conference next week in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

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