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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Jerome Powell is a new kind of Fed chairman for a new time in American history. As President Trump has bulldozed norms of presidential behavior, Powell has gone about changing the nature of the Fed's relationship with Wall Street, Congress and Main Street.

What it means: Powell has clearly set his sights on changing the public's perception of the Fed from a faceless private bank that upholds the interests of corporate America to a source of economic growth that supports job creation.

His strategy is threefold:

What they’re saying:

  • "Powell has figured out that it's in the long-term interest of the Federal Reserve to be better understood by ... the American electorate," Steven Skancke, chief economic adviser at investment firm Keel Point and a former White House and Treasury Department official, tells Axios.
  • "Is that political? Yeah, that's political. Is he being partisan? I don't think so. But it's a political point of view when he says, 'We need to be sensitive to how we are viewed by the constituencies of America,'" he added.

The intrigue: Powell is also facing unprecedented pressure from the president, who looks to have lined the Fed up to take the blame if the economy turns south, as he did when the stock market sold off in December.

Investors, too, were leery of the new Fed chief when he was raising rates last year and looked poised to hike the U.S. into a recession, as many market participants believe has been the central bank's wont in the past. But as he's backed off of plans for further hikes, and paring down the central bank's now-less-than $4 trillion balance sheet, a consensus has grown on trading desks that the chairman has done the right thing.

  • Powell "made a mistake in December. And we see what happened," Skancke said. "Why would we otherwise expect the chairman of the Federal Reserve on '60 Minutes' trying to explain himself?"

Go deeper: Powell on the unequal nature of the economic recovery

Go deeper

Axios-Ipsos poll: People of color face more environmental threats

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: ±2.5% margin of error; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Americans of color are much less likely than white Americans to experience good air quality or tap water or enough trees or green space in their communities, and they're more likely to face noise pollution and litter, a new Axios-Ipsos poll finds.

The big picture: Our national survey shows Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely than their white counterparts to live near major highways or industrial or manufacturing plants — and to have dealt in the past year with water-boil notices or power outages lasting more than 24 hours.

17 hours ago - Health

FDA advisory panel recommends Pfizer boosters for those 65 and older

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at the Key Biscayne Community Center on Aug. 24, 2021. Photo: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday overwhelmingly voted against recommending Pfizer vaccine booster shots for younger Americans, but unanimously recommended approving the third shots for individuals 65 and older, as well as those at high-risk of severe COVID-19.

Why it matters: While the votes are non-binding, and the FDA must still make a final decision, Friday's move pours cold water on the Biden administration's plan to begin administering boosters to most individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine later this month.

17 hours ago - World

France recalls ambassadors from U.S. and Australia over submarine deal

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L), French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (C), and French ambassador to the U.S. Philippe Etienne. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

France has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassadors to the U.S. and Australia after both countries blindsided their French allies with a new military pact and submarine contract, the French Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

The backstory: While sealing an agreement with the U.S. and U.K. to acquire nuclear submarines, Australia ripped up an existing $90 billion submarine deal with France. That led senior French officials to accuse the U.S. of a "stab in the back."

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