Jerome Powell, the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, is responsible — along with other members of the Federal Reserve who are in charge of our nation’s central banks — for setting the benchmark interest rate. Interest rates have a profound effect on the nation’s economy. They drive the stock market, borrowing activity, the liquidity of funds and inflation.
In this way, you might say Powell controls the finances of the U.S. to a degree. Powell has been Fed chair since Feb. 5, 2018. You might be wondering what Powell’s own financial situation looks like or, more specifically, what is the net worth of Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell?
According to multiple sources, including CAKnowledge.com, Jerome Powell is worth roughly $55 million in 2023, making him one of the wealthiest individuals to hold the Fed chair position.
Jerome Powell Background: Law, Banking and Politics
Born Feb. 4, 1953 in Washington, D.C. to wealthy lawyer Jerome Powell and his wife Patricia Hayden, Powell has five siblings. He attended Jesuit Institute Georgetown Preparatory School and then was accepted into Princeton where he earned a B.A. in Politics by 1975.
He went on to Georgetown University Law Center to earn his J.D. degree in 1979. While there, he was chief editing officer for Georgetown Law Journal. He went on to a career in law from 1979 to 1984, and then left the field to embark upon what would become an on-again off-again career in investment banking.
Powell Enters Politics
Powell first entered politics in 1990, going on to serve many roles in Washington D.C. Some of the titles he held included assistant secretary of the treasury for finance and undersecretary of the treasury.
Back to Banking
In 1997, he went back to investment banking as a partner in The Carlyle Group. He left in 2005 to found Severn Capital Partners, a private investment firm. In 2008, he became a managing partner for the Global Environmental Fund for Private Investment and Venture Capital.
Powell’s early legal and investment jobs gave him plenty of experience to ultimately serve as Federal Reserve chair; Powell is often praised for his bipartisan attitudes and policies, although he is registered as a Republican. Powell was initially appointed as Fed Chair by 45th president, Donald Trump, replacing Democrat Janet Yellen, who was nominated by Democratic President Barack Obama.
From 2010 to 2012 Powell served as a visiting professor at the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington Think Tank. This position proved crucial to the country — and for his positive reputation — as he used his connections and knowledge to convince Republican congress members to raise the U.S. debt limit after the 2011 debt ceiling crisis. Powell accepted just a $1 stipend as his annual salary with the BPC.
He left his career on Wall Street to join the PBC and then was appointed to the Fed board during Obama’s presidency. In January 2014, Powell was nominated for a 14-year term in the Federal Reserve System, which expires on Jan. 31, 2028.
How Much Does Fed Chairman Get Paid?
In his current role as Fed Chair, Powell reportedly makes $190,000 per year, according to Fortune.com and other sources. However, according to the website for the Board of Governors for the Federal Reserve system, the Fed Chair salary in 2019 was set at $203,500, while other board members earned $183,100 that year.
In an interview reported by Fortune, Powell told investor David Rubenstein that he felt the amount is “fair,” adding, “”If we have family expenses that exceed my salary, then we have to sell an asset.”
By comparison, the median pay for the country’s top CEO’s was $20 million per year in 2021.
How Much Does Powell Make a Year?
In spite of Powell’s annual salary for doing such an important job being exponentially lower than what many CEOs receive, the Fed Chair is far from struggling. The prospect of him having to sell one of his 11 cars or over 25 luxury watches to pay for home repairs, for instance, is slim-to-none.
Powell reportedly has $9 million in cash assets, which would cover most emergencies. He also has a stock portfolio of $23 million, which is probably what he is referring to when he talks about selling assets. Income from those investments and other endeavors gives him an annual salary exceeding $4 million, according to some sources.
Plus, Powell received an inheritance of $16.5 million from his family’s estate, further solidifying his financial security.
When you have millions in savings plus investment income, you can afford to indulge in your passions. Powell reportedly owns more than 25 luxury watches, including a vintage Rolex Submariner, which he is seen sporting on several interviews. Submariners range in price from just over $9,000 up to $42,000. These watches may appreciate in value, which shows that Powell considers his own purchases — even those that some people may feel are extravagant — as carefully as he considers monetary policies in the U.S.
In addition to his watch collection, Powell owns as many as 11 cars, ranging from a Toyota Land Cruiser to an Audi A6. Without the years it is difficult to estimate the retail price of these vehicles, but it’s doubtful that any of them would sell for less than $50,000, even with depreciation.
Where Does Jerome Powell Reside?
Powell and his wife live in Chevy Chase, Maryland, according to multiple sources. He purchased the home in 2006 for $3 million, and it was assessed in 2020 for $3.7 million. Today, Zillow has the home estimated at $5.14 million. The home apparently boasts two swimming pools, a tennis court, bowling alley, and state-of-the-art security and safety systems, although it couldn’t be confirmed by searching Zillow’s photos of the property.
Celebrity Net Worth reports that Powell sometimes rides his bicycle to work, which is plausible. Chevy Chase Village where Powell makes his home is a mere six miles from Washington D.C. but takes 26 minutes or more to reach, according to Google Maps, if you’ve driving in traffic.
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- Fortune. 2023. "Jay Powell's salary is $190K, and he says that's fair."
- The Street. 2023. "How Are Federal Reserve Board Members Compensated?"
- Equilar. 2022. "Equilar 100: The Highest-Paid CEOs at the Largest U.S. Companies."