The following points are taken from Revolving Door Project’s extensive research document on Jerome Powell’s private-sector record, which includes work at union-busting and fossil fuel-investing firms. The full document can be read here.
Powell and union-busting
- For eight years (1997 – 2005) Powell was a partner at the Carlyle Group, an international private equity firm with a record of “fat” executive bonuses and union-busting layoffs.
- In 2001, Carlyle bought Vought Aircraft Industries, and fired 20 percent of its IAM-unionized workers one year later.
- In 2009, when Vought workers went on strike, Carlyle brought in out-of-state non-union workers and hired guards to intimidate the union.
- In 2003, Carlyle bought pipeline company Magellan Midstream Partners, which was being sued at that time for eliminating benefits for unionized workers.
- In 2005, Carlyle bought Hawaiian Telecom and promised “continued employment opportunities” for IBEW members. Carlyle then broke that promise through multiple rounds of layoffs.
- Carlyle loaded Hawaiian Telecom up with $1.2 billion of debt while Carlyle partners got massive bonuses every year. Eventually, Hawaiian Telecom declared bankruptcy.
- In 2005, Carlyle bought vehicle parts manufacturer Axletech. Two years later, the UAW accused Axletech of refusing to bargain in good faith and imposing unilateral changes on their contract.
- Later that year, UAW again accused Axletech of coercion, illegal changes to work conditions, failure to provide information during bargaining, and more.
Powell and fossil fuel
- While Powell was a partner at Carlyle, it invested in oil and gas exploration, drilling, and pipeline development.
- In 2003, Carlyle bought and invested in at least six different exploration, drilling, and pipeline projects.
- In 2004, Carlyle bought and invested in at least 11 different exploration, drilling, and pipeline projects.
- From 2008 – 2010, Powell worked for the private equity firm Global Environment Fund, which invested in natural gas and forest harvesting companies.
- In 2020, as Federal Reserve Chairman, Powell had between $6 million and $25 million invested in BlackRock assets.
- Powell gave BlackRock a no-bid contract to manage hundreds of billions of dollars in CARES Act funds. BlackRock spent the money on its own investment products.
PHOTO CREDIT: “Brookings Fellow Douglas J. Elliott and Jerome H. Powell, governor on the Federal Reserve Board, discuss world finance” by BrookingsInst is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0