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Powell’s shaky hold on his Fed chair rattles markets, but a Fed facelift is unavoidable

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By the time U.S. markets closed on Friday, a government shutdown had been averted at the last minute while a debt ceiling suspension had yet to be passed by Congress, and Democrats continued their heated intramural debate over a spending bill, but investors were left with a new concern this week thanks to a growing sense that Jerome Powell might not be a shoo-in to keep his job as chairman of the Federal Reserve when his term ends in February.

Powell’s reign at the Fed has been criticized for accommodating Wall Street, and the central bank’s response to COVID-19 has increased its commitment to low-interest rates and bond purchases. But while those policies might have helped keep markets and the economy aloft during a pandemic, it has drawn the ire of some Washington Beltway power players on the left flank of President Joe Biden who is set to renominate Powell for a second four-year term in February.

On Tuesday,…

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