Powell, Jerome Hayden

Powell, Jerome Hayden, 1953–, U.S. investment banker and government official, b. Washington, D.C., A.B. Princeton, 1975, J.D. Georgetown Univ., 1979. He worked with New York law firms and in investment banking before serving as assistant secretary and undersecretary in the Treasury Dept. (1990–93) under President George H. W. Bush. He subsequently returned to the financial sector, and was a partner at private equity firms and founded a private investment firm. He also was a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center (2010–12). In 2012, having been nominated by President Obama, he became a member of the Federal Reserve Board, filling an unexpired term; he was reappointed in 2014. Regarded as a pragmatic centrist, he generally supported Janet Yellen on monetary policy, including the gradual raising of interest rates and the shrinking of the Federal Reserve's holdings of Treasury notes and bonds. In 2017 he was named by President Donald Trump to replace Yellen as chairman. Under him the Federal Reserve has generally continued the policies it pursued under Yellen, and was attacked by President Trump for not significantly decreasing interest rates. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he led the Federal Reserve in aggressively pursuing a wide range of measures to mitigate the economic effects of state-enforced business closures (undertaken to slow spread of the virus).

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