WHEN NOMINATING the chairman of the Federal Reserve, America’s president picks the person who wields the greatest immediate power over the global economy. Fed leadership brings with it control over American interest rates, responsibility for an $8.3trn balance-sheet and the obligation to regulate the world’s most important banks. A mistake in the Eccles building can throw millions out of work, roil global markets or unleash inflation. The Fed even props up offshore financial markets by offering foreign central banks a ready supply of dollars.
Listen on the go
Get The Economist app and play articles, wherever you are
The fate of Jerome Powell, the incumbent chairman whose term expires in February, lies in President Joe Biden’s hands. It is unclear how history will view Mr Powell’s first term. Before the pandemic, his loose…