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With Choice of Powell, Biden Puts Financial Stability, Climate on Back Burner

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden today announced his intent to re-nominate Jerome Powell to chair the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors and elevate Governor Lael Brainard to Vice Chair.

In response to today’s announcement, David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen’s Climate Program, issued the following statement:

“President Biden’s re-nomination of Chair Powell doubles down on reckless Wall Street deregulation and dangerous dawdling on climate-related threats to the financial system, flouting Biden’s own whole-of-government approach to stemming climate threats. As the 2008 financial crisis showed, fecklessness by financial regulators doesn’t appear terribly dangerous until catastrophe suddenly materializes. That is the path Powell has put us on.

“The silver lining is Biden’s elevation of Lael Brainard to Vice Chair. Brainard has shown significantly more leadership across the Fed’s missions and has influenced Powell for the better.

The President has three more seats to fill. He should quickly nominate individuals like Sarah Bloom Raskin and Lisa Cook who will improve the Board’s diversity and work to fulfill its full mission. Powell should defer to the leadership of Brainard and others on financial regulation and climate. If he refuses, they should use their majority votes to steer the Fed toward responsible action.”

Bartlett Naylor, a financial policy advocate with Public Citizen, issued the following statement:

“The Fed will face major challenges. Powell must understand that Main Street comes before Wall Street. Vice Chair Brainard will undoubtedly help highlighting the true compass.”

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