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The Federal Reserve chair decision looms: What’s at stake

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Reuters

Growth, jobs and inflation clash in Biden Fed choice

U.S. President Joe Biden’s nominee as the next chair of the Federal Reserve, expected as soon as this week, will inherit an economy headed for the fastest annual growth in a generation with wage increases flowing to the lowest-paid workers, strong hiring, and household bank accounts flush with cash. They’ll also inherit a situation where homes, cars, food, and clothing are becoming steadily more expensive, and whether it’s current chair Jerome Powell for a second four-year term or a promotion for current Fed Governor Lael Brainard, dealing with that inflation shock carries risks for both the president, the economy and the Fed. Rising prices have already begun to sour the public mood, pushing Biden’s approval numbers to the lowest point of his presidency, cited in polls as a concern that crosses party lines and income brackets and which is shared even among those for whom higher prices have been offset by ongoing government payments.

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