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Explainer-What are investors focused on for the next Fed chair? -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Fed Governor Lael Mindard pose for photographs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in Chicago (IL), U.S.A, June 4, 2019. REUTERS/Ann Saphir

NEW YORK (Reuters] – Investors face uncertainty at a critical time as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden selects the Federal Reserve chair. The central bank is preparing to cut its asset purchases, and raise rates.

Investors have been hoping that Fed Chair Jerome Powell (nominated by President Donald Trump for this role in 2017) would be renominated to the position for an additional four years.

However, the deal is far from a done deal. An administration official stated Wednesday that Biden is still considering whether Powell should remain as the chair of Fed Governor Lael Mindard or if he will appoint him to this post.

Below are some possible questions for investors:

Who is who, what’s the answer?

PredictIt was able to give Powell a chance of being confirmed in the U.S Senate. The odds that Brainard would win were 26%.

A selection should be made based on historical announcements. The announcements of prior appointments were earlier. Trump announced Powell’s nomination on Nov. 2, 2017. Janet Yellen was appointed U.S. Treasury secretary by Obama on October 9, 2013. Ben Bernanke was also nominated in 2005 by George W. Bush and renominated August 25, 2009.

The Senate Banking Committee will verify the nomination of Biden before it is put to the full Senate for a vote.

Powell is a Republican and has worked harder than other Fed chairs to build relationships on Capitol Hill. He meets regularly with both the Republican and Democratic parties. Jon Tester, a Montana Democratic senator, has endorsed Powell, and Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat has stated that she will oppose him. Most observers believe Powell will win the support of all the Republicans, even some.

What is the importance of it for markets?

Although the U.S. central banking leadership is important for markets in general, Biden’s decision has a greater significance because the Fed announced plans to reduce its monthly bond purchases of $120 billion. The Fed also monitors a historical surge in inflation, as supply chain disruptions continue to be caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Some investors stated that they want to maintain the status quo in order to preserve predictability.

Moreover, Powell’s current term, due to run out in February 2022, has proven positive for risk assets, with the S&P gaining 74.5% since his appointment on Feb. 5, 2018 and hitting a series of new records in part helped by emergency measures the Fed launched in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

How will this affect monetary policy?

Brainard, who was elected to the Fed board by Obama’s former president in 2014 is seen as more conservative or inclined to looser money policy than Powell. Part of this is because Powell wants super-easy monetary policy to continue until recovery is complete.

While dovisher policies might be more beneficial for stock and riskier assets, some investors are cautious about changing horses in this race to overcome the pandemic. Some believe that any change in the Fed’s leadership could lead to misinterpretation and increase volatility.

Was there anything else you could do?

Wall Street regulations on many issues, including bank capital and fair lending, climate change risks and cryptocurrency regulation would be affected by a shift at the top. Brainard has fought many of the de-regulation changes made by Randal Quarles, Vice Chair for Supervision and supported by Powell over the last four years. Many Wall Streeters expect her to be tougher on this industry if she is appointed.

Analysts at Societe Generale wrote that “replacing one dove with another would not necessarily alter the outlook for macroeconomic policy, but it would put greater emphasis on aspects such as bank regulation and climate changes,” (OTC).