Nov 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden letting Fed chair pick drag out

Days between Fed Chair nomination and start of term
Reproduced from The Atlantic Council's GeoEconomics Center; Note: This graphic assumes Powell or Brainard would be nominated this Sunday, Nov 20; Chart: Axios Visuals

President Biden is late in announcing his decision for the next chairman of the Federal Reserve, according to data and analysis by the Atlantic Council.

Why it matters: Presidents typically give markets — and the Senate — much more time to digest such monumental financial news, especially during a time of economic turmoil.

  • Senators also have the important job of confirming the nominee.

By the numbers: With the international economy still reeling from the global financial crisis in the summer of 2009, President Obama announced a second term for Ben Bernanke some 162 days before his term expired.

  • Twelve years later — with the world now battling COVID-19 and struggling with supply chain disruptions — Biden is poised to give markets fewer than 80 days to process a potential Powell reappointment.
  • If Biden decides against renominating Jerome Powell and opt for another potential choice, Lael Brainard, her nomination would be much later than the previous three nominees.
  • Brainard, however, would be in some good company: Markets only got a 69-day warning from President Ronald Reagan before he named Alan Greenspan to the first of his five terms.
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