For Immediate Release: November 22, 2021

Media Contact: Asya Pikovsky,, 207-522-2442

Action Center on Race and the Economy Blasts Biden for Renominating Jerome Powell as Fed Chair

NEW YORK — In response to President Joe Biden’s announcement that he would nominate Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell to a second term, the Action Center on Race and the Economy (ACRE), a national organization fighting for racial justice and Wall Street accountability, released the following statement from Co-Executive Director Saqib Bhatti. Earlier this year, ACRE published a white paper outlining Powell’s failures to address racial equity during his term as Chair.

“The appointment of a new Federal Reserve Chair was a chance for President Biden to prove that he would fulfill his campaign promises and champion racial justice. By reappointing Powell, he completely missed the moment. Jerome Powell has repeatedly shown that he is unwilling to stand up to Wall Street or to fight for working families. He has failed to use any of the tools at his disposal to tackle racial inequity or to address climate change – even though the Federal Reserve has an ample toolbox for doing both. 

Under Powell, the Fed has continued to serve those already in power, primarily wealthy white men, rather than fighting for those who need its support most. Allegations that Powell was engaged in insider trading while in office should have been the final nail in the coffin for the White House, showing once and for all who Powell’s Fed truly works for. 

We do applaud the selection of Dr. Lael Brainard for Vice-Chair. As a renowned economist and a working mother, Brainard will help ensure the Fed is centering the needs of all workers, especially working women who have been forgotten in the COVID crisis.

President Biden still has the opportunity to balance Powell’s nomination with appointments to open seats who will prioritize working families of color and address climate change. ACRE urges the President to immediately appoint Sarah Bloom-Raskin, former Federal Reserve Governor, for the Fed’s Vice-Chair for Supervision, and Dr. Lisa Cook, a Michigan State University professor and economist, to the Board of Governors. Both women would be transformative additions to a board that has consistently failed to reflect the diversity of the country.

As we look to recover from a crisis that has shown just how vulnerable working-class communities of color can be to economic shocks, it’s critical that President Biden use his executive power to ensure the Federal Reserve works on behalf of working people. This is the time for bold moves – not for business as usual.