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Warren: Powell ‘took a flamethrower’ to bank regulations

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
Greg Nash
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell about his semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took aim at Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Sunday, saying he “took a flamethrower” to bank regulations during the Trump administration.

“Donald Trump ran for president saying he would lighten the regulations on these banks,” Warren said during an interview on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “And then Jerome Powell just literally took a flamethrower to these regulations, in order to make them less and less effective.”

Powell and the Fed have come under harsh criticism following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank earlier this month, which has sent shock waves through the banking industry. Many liberals have pointed to Powell’s time at the head of the central bank as a period of swift deregulation.

Powell was appointed to head the Fed by former President Trump in 2018. Under his leadership, the central bank has peeled back some core regulatory measures, including stripping some of the tools in the landmark Dodd-Frank banking reform package that was passed following the 2008 economic crisis. With help from Congress, the Fed reduced the number of banks that were subject to stronger federal oversight. 

Powell was then reappointed by President Biden early last year, with some progressive Democrats, including Warren, pushing back against the decision to give Powell another term at the helm of the Fed.

“Jerome Powell has said that all he wants to do is lighten regulations on the banks,” Warren said on CBS. “I opposed him as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank precisely for that reason.”

And as federal officials continue to navigate the fall of Silicon Valley Bank and its reverberating effects, Warren called for accountability for both regulators and bank executives.

“We need accountability for our regulators who clearly fell down on the job, and that starts with Jerome Powell,” Warren said. “And we need accountability for the executives of these large financial institutions.”

Tags Biden Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Elizabeth Warren federal reserve Jerome Powell Jerome Powell Silicon Valley Bank

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