The United States Senate on Wednesday confirmed Jerome H Powell as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, a powerful post having an influence on global economy.
Powell (64) will replace Janett Yellen, whose term ends in February. He was confirmed by the US Senate by an overwhelming vote of 84-12.
Currently a Fed governor and former financial-firm executive, Powell is expected to mostly continue with Yellen’s policies.
The Wall Street Journal said Powell inherits an economy on the upswing fuelled by a booming labour market and strong global growth.
“His task will be to sustain the economy’s expansion without letting it pick up so much momentum that the Fed would be forced to cool it off with sharp rate increases, risking a downturn,” it reported.
According to The Washington Post, Powell will oversee an economy in which unemployment is at 4.1 per cent, job growth steady but unspectacular and inflation at or below the Fed’s targets.
“The economy, however, faces persistent and growing inequality, and workers have seen only limited wage gains during the long, slow recovery from the Great Recession,” it said.
Several lawmakers, however, expressed concern over Powell taking over as the next Fed chairman.
“I’m deeply concerned that as soon as Governor Powell unpacks his boxes in the Chairman’s office, he will begin weakening the new rules Congress and the Fed put in place after the 2008 financial crisis,” Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren said on the Senate Floor.
“We need someone who believes in tougher rules for banks — not weaker ones. That person is not Governor Powell,” she said.