US Senate confirms Jerome Powell as next Fed chair

The Senate has approved President Donald Trump's selection of Jerome Powell to be the next Chairman of the Fed beginning next month.

Prior to his appointment to the Board, Mr. Powell was a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he focused on federal and state fiscal issues.

The choice of Powell as new Fed Chair is a departure in a long tradition of reappointing Fed chairs to a second term since G. William Miller was the Fed Chair in 1979 under President Jimmy Carter. But Trump had said in an interview in October 2017 that he wanted to make his own mark on the central bank. "He will play a key role in rightsizing federal regulations and alleviating unnecessary burdens". Many expect him to follow Ms. Yellen's cautious approach to interest rates, he is seen as a centrist, and enjoyed support from Republicans and Democrats. He was a partner at the Washington-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group and he will be the first Fed chair in 40 years without an advanced degree in economics. "I think we are looking at an economy that is going to go under 4 percent unemployment", he said. "That person is not Governor Powell".

Among the no votes were four Republicans, including Marco Rubio from Florida and Texas's Ted Cruz, as well as Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, an Independent from Vermont.

Powell will be the first head of the Federal Reserve since the 1970s who is not a professional economist.

During a Senate hearing on his nomination in November, Mr Powell said he would "respond decisively", if necessary, to future problems. Powell has never dissented on a monetary policy decision during his almost six years at the Fed. The Fed is projecting three rate hikes in 2018 and two in 2019.

Mr. Powell, 64 anni, has served for 5.5 years on the Fed's board.

The Senate confirmation vote was originally 85-12, but Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein changed her vote to a "no".