By Barry Eitel
SAN FRANCISCO (AA) - President Donald Trump appointee, Jerome Powell, was sworn in Monday as chair of the Federal Reserve to take the reins of the central bank on a day American financial markets suffered heavy losses.
Powell has served on the bank’s board of governors since 2012. During his tenure and since being nominated by Trump in November to be lead the Fed, Powell has hewn close to former chief Janet Yellen’s policies. In the past few years, for example, Powell has voted for Yellen’s gradual interest rate increases.
In a short video statement posted to the Fed’s website, Powell praised the health of the economy.
“Today, unemployment is low, the economy is growing, and inflation is low,” he said. “Through our decisions on monetary policy, we will support continued economic growth, a healthy job market, and price stability. I am also pleased to report that our financial system is now far stronger and more resilient than it was before the financial crisis that began about a decade ago. We intend to keep it that way.”
A Republican, Powell has argued for some reduction in financial regulations for smaller banks and hinted at it during his address.
“We will also work hard to make sure that our regulation and supervision are efficient as well as effective,” he continued.
In interviews Sunday, Yellen, the first woman to lead the Fed, voiced disappointment with not being nominated for a second term – the first Fed chair in decades not to be nominated for a second term.
On Monday, though, Yellen began a position at the Brookings Institution think tank where she will continue to study the economy.
“I look forward to continuing to study the economy, especially issues related to the labor market, and contributing to public policy debates on a range of economic issues,” Yellen said in a statement about her new position.