President Joe Biden’s announcement on who will lead the Federal Reserve is “imminent,” according to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown.
“I hear it’s imminent,” Brown (D., Ohio) said to Bloomberg. “I’m not going to speculate who I think it might be now. I assume the decision’s been made and they haven’t announced it, but I don’t even know that.”
Brown, who chairs the committee responsible for initially vetting the nomination, said White House officials had alerted him to expect the announcement, without being more specific.
Biden is widely expected to make the choice before Thanksgiving, even though current Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s term expires in February. Concerns over rising inflation likely have hastened Biden’s timeline to pick leadership for the Fed.
“We’ll see,” said press secretary Jen Psaki in a daily briefing when asked about whether Biden would announce his pick this week. “I have nothing to preview for you quite yet. I understand the interest.”
Powell’s four-year term expires in February, shortening Biden’s window for selecting a nominee and having them undergo the vetting and confirmation process.
“It probably raises the likelihood that either Powell gets reconfirmed or we have a candidate that’s been through the confirmation process before, such as Lael Brainard,” said Raymond James analyst Ed Mills. “The chances of a wildcard pick should be low.”
While Powell is the frontrunner for the nomination—he has wide bipartisan support—Brainard, a current Fed governor, has emerged as a possible candidate after meeting with Biden last week. Either nominee would imply a general continuation of current Fed policy, Mills said.
“We continue to expect that Chair Powell will be reappointed,” wrote Citigroup analysts in a note. “Governor Brainard is the most likely alternative choice in our view (and was reportedly the only other official interviewed by Biden) and would be more dovish.”
Political betting markets largely echo the prediction, with online betting site PredictIt forecasting a 67% chance that Powell wins the nomination and 34% that Brainard is nominated.
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