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The Wall Street Journal: Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s chances for second term may be scuttled by progressive Democrats

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Members of President Joe Biden’s economic team generally support nominating Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to a second term, but growing resistance from prominent Democrats including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., could lead to his replacement, according to people familiar with the matter.

Powell, who was appointed to his first term by former Republican President Donald Trump, has received high marks from some Democrats for steering the central bank toward a paradigm shift that has placed greater attention on reducing unemployment. That coincided last year with a forceful response to the coronavirus pandemic.

But some progressives are unhappy with his bent toward easing financial regulations that were put in place after the 2008 crisis and think the central bank should have someone more in sync with Democratic politics in charge.

If Powell isn’t given a new four-year term next February, when his current term expires, the leading contender for the job is Fed governor Lael Brainard, an economist appointed to the board in 2014 by former President Barack Obama.

Critics of Powell, including former Senate Democratic policy aides, have reached out to Warren, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and other influential advocates in recent weeks to press the case that the White House should seek new Fed leadership.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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