- Net Worth: $55 Million
- Birthday: February 4, 1953
Jerome Powell is the current chairman of the Federal Reserve. He was appointed by President Donald Trump and has been in the position since February 2018. He goes by the name “Jay.”
Powell is one of the wealthiest people to ever become Federal Reserve Chairman. His net worth is estimated to be as high as $55 million, according to a list of assets on his government financial disclosure form. He earned the bulk of his fortune as an investment banker.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. It’s Possible Powell’s Net Worth Could Be More Than $100 Million
Government officials are required to submit financial disclosure forms that list their assets and liabilities. But they are not required to share exact amounts. Instead, the form lists wide ranges.
For example, Powell owns shares in the Causeway International Value Fund. On his disclosure form, the value is estimated to be between $250,000 and $500,000. When calculating estimated net worth, analysts use the lower number.
Bloomberg News pointed out in 2017 that Powell’s net worth could actually be closer to $112 million. His previous financial disclosure form only stated that he had more than $1 million invested with Vanguard Total Stock Market. The 2018 form clarified that his investment was between $1 million and $5 million. (The 2018 form is embedded above).
Bloomberg estimated that this particular holding could double Powell’s net worth, based on how much income he receives annually from this investment.
2. Powell Earned His Wealth As a Partner at the Carlyle Group
The last three people to serve as Federal Reserve Chairman all had advanced degrees in economics: Janet Yellen, Ben Bernanke, and Alan Greenspan. Powell had a different start to his professional career. He earned a law degree from Georgetown University in 1979.
By 1984, Powell had decided to switch his focus to investment banking. He first went to work for Dillon, Read and Company. In 1990, Powell got his first experience working in government. He was the undersecretary for finance at the Treasury Department.
Powell became a partner at the Carlyle Group in 1997, a position he held until 2005. On its website, the firm boasts that it is “one of the world’s largest and most successful investment firms” with more than $212 billion in assets worldwide.
3. Powell Left the Carlyle Group & Took a Job Without a Salary Before Joining the Federal Reserve Board in 2012
Jerome Powell clearly earned a lot of money at the Carlyle Group. His next job was a clear indicator that he was no longer concerned about earning a paycheck.
Powell left the investment firm in 2005 and became a scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. As reported by the Washington Post, Powell did not accept a salary from the think tank but instead took home a symbolic $1 per year for his work on Capitol Hill.
In May 2012, President Obama appointed Powell to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board. According to Fortune, his salary as a member of the Board of Governors was $179,700. His salary as chairman was estimated to be $199,700.
4. Powell & His Wife Live in a Large Home in Chevy Chase, Maryland
Jerome Powell and his wife, Elissa Leonard, are residents of Chevy Chase, Maryland. According to Bethesda Magazine, Powell also grew up in the community.
Their home is currently valued at more than $4 million, according to a Zillow estimate. The Powell’s appear to have purchased the house for $3 million in 2006.
The house is 4,736 square feet and has 6.5 bathrooms. There is also a pool, a 1,500 square foot finished basement, and sits on 0.4 acres of land.
5. Analysts: Uncertainty Over the Future of Powell’s Job Contributed to an Already Shaky Stock Market in December 2018
Jerome Powell faced scrutiny from the president in December 2018 as the stock market dipped significantly. Wall Street saw its worst Christmas Eve ever, with the Dow dropping 653 points.
The drop came as President Trump reportedly considered firing Jerome Powell. The president has expressed displeasure with rising interest rates.
President Trump heightened that concern with a Christmas Eve tweet, in which he blasted the Federal Reserve. “The only problem our economy has is the Fed. They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch – he can’t putt!”
Financial analysts have said that the president’s tweets, and speculation that he was thinking about firing Powell, may have further damaged the market. But administration officials have tried to put that concern to rest. Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett told the Wall Street Journal on December 26: “Jay Powell’s job is 100% safe. The president has no intention of firing Jay Powell.”