Senator Elizabeth Warren confronted Fed chair Jerome Powell Tuesday, calling him a “dangerous man” who is putting the country at risk of another financial crisis and announcing that she will oppose his renomination.
Powell was on Capitol Hill testifying to the Senate Banking Committee alongside Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a hearing on pandemic economic relief.
“Renominating you means gambling that for the next five years a Republican majority on the Federal Reserve with a Republican chair who has regularly voted to deregulate Wall Street won’t drive this economy over a financial cliff again,” Senator Warren (D-MA) said. “With so many qualified candidates for the job, I just don’t think that’s a risk worth taking.”
Warren said that Powell had been “lucky” that a major financial crisis had not emerged during his term to test what she described as his deregulation of Wall Street. The seeds of the last financial crisis were planted by similar deregulation, Warren said.
“Over and over you have acted to make our banking system less safe and that makes you a dangerous man to head up the Fed,” Warren Said. “And it is why I will oppose your renomination.”
Warren has been critical of Powell in the past and has reportedly been pushing the Biden administration to consider other candidates to replace Powell when his term expires in February. People familiar with the discussions said Warren favors the selection of Fed governor Lael Brainard, who is seen as favoring more stringent bank regulations.
.@FederalReserve Chair Powell has taken too many actions to weaken the Fed's oversight of our largest banks & deregulate Wall Street. I told Chair Powell today that renominating him for another term is not a risk worth taking and that’s why I’ll oppose his renomination. pic.twitter.com/XwQtUaEZfO
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) September 28, 2021
Powell was appointed to the Fed’s board of governors by President Barack Obama in 2011. He was elevated to the chairmanship of the Fed by President Donald Trump in 2018. Warren was the only senator on the banking committee to oppose Powell’s nomination at the time. Trump was a frequent critic of Powell, arguing that the Fed was hiking interest rates too quickly and holding back economic growth.