Despite years of our best advice, and indeed the better judgments of Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other progressives in Congress, government watchdogs like Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) and others, nearly one year ago President Joe Biden disappointed his responsibility to the public and to his own economic agenda by renominating Donald Trump’s hand picked head of the Fed: Jerome Powell. Biden bafflingly stuck by Powell despite his years of betraying labor unions, environmental groups and frontline communities, and the middle class. As a result, broad coalitions of folks concerned about the climate crisis, about the long term safety and stability of our financial system, about attacks on labor and the working class, about housing insecurity and the long term impacts of the pandemic, mobilized against Powell’s renomination because his storied track record of, well, making each of these things (and more!) worse.
Even so, Powell was ultimately renominated and reconfirmed.
Now, as we watch Powell bend over backwards to ensure funds implicitly backed by the public are delivered readily to his friends and former colleagues in the financial industry, we cannot help but remember that SVB’s dramatic dissolution was the only logical, and indeed the perfectly predictable, result of Powell’s own wanton deregulation coupled with bankers’ self-sanctified refusal to be responsible for their own brazenly bad bets.
In truth, SVB’s collapse is the perfect example as to why Powell’s detractors were entirely right about him then and continue to be right about him now.
Although this is the latest poisonous fruit borne of Powell’s equally poisonous tree, let’s not forget that the SVB debacle is far from the first affirmation of Powell’s inadequacy for the country’s most significant monetary policy official.
A short summary of Powell’s entirely predictable record of disappointing the public interest is as follows:
THE WHOLE PICTURE
- Our entire case against renominating Jay Powell – in which we have been proven right time and time again – and the consequences of his renomination. From ethics failings to selling out labor to letting Wall Street remain utterly unaccountable to its inequities to Powell’s simple failure to use the Fed’s tools in the actual public interest, here is a one-stop shop for all of our Powell criticism.
- Powell held no meetings with labor representatives, but met plenty with Wall Street execs, during the first ten months of Biden’s presidency.
- Jerome Powell’s years at secretive private equity firm the Carlyle Group saw a long history of rampant union busting.
- As he was jockeying for renomination, Jerome Powell managed to delay or avoid steps to acknowledge or meaningfully address the lethal threat of climate change.
- Jerome Powell’s years at secretive private equity firm the Carlyle Group saw a long track record of fossil fuel investment.
- http://therevolvingdoorproject.org/feds-powell-must-place-embattled-bank-presidents-on-leave-ethics-watchdogs-write-in-letter/ //
- Jerome Powell’s tenure at the Fed has seen a massive ethics scandal as reports have slowly emerged regarding top policy makers’ (including Powell’s own) inappropriate personal trading activities during the heights of the pandemic. These scandals have and triggered significant questions regarding how the Fed manages their unique access to sensitive financial information by virtue of their positions.
- http://therevolvingdoorproject.org/powells-carlyle-past-meets-the-feds-ethics-scandal-present/ //
- This ethics scandal, while absolutely disturbing, and disappointing, is also utterly unsurprising given Powell’s private equity past.
- Oh look! More on the Fed’s egregious ethics failings.
- Jerome Powell misled the public regarding his finances relationally to the Fed’s ongoing ethics crisis.
- Jerome Powell oversaw mass deregulation of banking policy that fostered a massive payday for Wall Street at the cost of everyone else.
- Jerome’s Powell Fed has hurt the general public, while providing pay day after pay day for corporate oligarchs.
- A brief summary of why Jerome Powell was never the right pick for Biden’s Fed.
The public deserves more from our public institutions and from our public officials. Even preceding Jerome Powell, the Fed has long been in dire need of actual and effective oversight measures. Particularly in the Powell era, that need has never been more clear. From establishing an actually independent Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to subjecting the Fed’s regional banks to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, there are basic ethics and accountability reforms that Congress must prioritize and should pass soon.