WASHINGTON, D.C.—Dennis Kelleher, Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, made the following statement in connection the release of a new Report entitled “Should Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell Be Reappointed”:
As President Biden considers who should lead the Fed for the next four years after Chair Jay Powell’s term ends, it is imperative that his administration conduct a robust, thorough, and comprehensive assessment of any candidate, including Chair Powell. The Fed is the Supreme Court of economic and financial policymaking and the Chair of the Fed is very similar if not more powerful and influential than the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. This position should receive the same scrutiny.
Far too many Fed commentators take the non-substantive and short-sighted view that continuity, certainty, a big bipartisan Senate confirmation vote, or maintaining market “happiness” by embracing the status quo should be driving factors in this important decision. In addition, too many often equate any change with politicizing the Fed. That thinking is wrong, and a gross disserve to the American people, who deserve a rigorous process focused on getting the best economic and financial policymaking possible from the Fed, which must prioritize the best interests of all Americans, not just financial firms, financiers or Wall Street.
“Any candidate under consideration to chair the Fed must be evaluated on the full scope of their actions and views. It cannot be limited to monetary policy and the dual mandate, but also include financial regulation and supervision, the climate change crisis, racial justice issues, bank merger and acquisition approvals, transparency and accountability. For Chair Powell, it must also include the Fed’s response to the pandemic-caused 2020 financial and economic crash. As detailed in the Report we are releasing today, Chair Powell’s record on these key issues is mixed.
“A searching, thoughtful process is all the more important because at least four of the seven seats on the Federal Reserve Board will open up within the next six months. Those personnel decisions will affect not just Fed policies for years to come, but also every American who needs or wants credit, buys or sells a home or car, starts or expands a business, or engages in virtually any activity that involves financing or capital. President Biden has a rare opportunity to put his imprint on the Fed, the economy, and the banking system for years to come and the selection process should reflect the gravity of those facts.
“The Report released today makes clear for the American people—from Main Street to Wall Street— what is at stake, what should be considered in the process, and the record of Chair Powell.”
Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.