What to Expect From the New Fed Chief

By and large, Jerome Powell will move along the path set by his predecessor.

When President Trump nominated Jerome Powell to become the next chair of the Federal Reserve, the president broke from a decades-long precedent of reappointing the sitting chair for a second term. But Powell won’t shake up the central bank when he takes the helm from Janet Yellen in early February. He has largely supported Yellen’s views and has indicated that he’ll continue the path of gradually lifting short-term interest rates and trimming the $4.5 trillion securities portfolio amassed in the wake of the financial crisis.

Unlike his recent predecessors, Powell, with a background in law and investment banking, doesn’t hold a degree in economics. That means he’s likely to lean on the expertise of those around him “rather than having such a strong, definite opinion himself on how monetary policy should be conducted in a broad way,” says David Kelly, chief global strategist for J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The Fed chair’s role as a consensus builder and communicator is paramount, and Powell has demonstrated ability in both areas, says Brian Rehling, co-head of global fixed income strategy for Wells Fargo Investment Institute.

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Lisa Gerstner
Editor, Kiplinger Personal Finance magazine

Lisa has been the editor of Kiplinger Personal Finance since June 2023. Previously, she spent more than a decade reporting and writing for the magazine on a variety of topics, including credit, banking and retirement. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.