In nominating Jerome Powell for a second term as chair of the Federal Reserve, the Biden Administration has taken a step toward preserving the independence of the world’s most important central bank.
Powell will likely steer a steady course and not give in to the worst policy inclinations of progressives nor to the hard money instincts of the far right. He has learned a hard lesson about making sure that Fed officials and employees avoid conflicts of interest in personal investments. And the Fed can be expected to steer a middle road in regulating the financial services industry.
Moreover, the administration is preserving a longstanding position by having a Democratic president appoint a fed chair who is a Republican. There are difficult decisions ahead in terms of tapering bond buying and tamping down inflation and there are more appointments to be made.
Powell’s Fed has been given the ability to make decisions based on economic data and not today’s polling numbers. May their decisions be wise ones.
A WIN FOR ‘RIGHT TO REPAIR’
Kyle Wiens, a Central Coast entrepreneur and a major figure in the “right to repair” movement for personal tech devices, got a victory this month when Apple said it would begin selling its customers the gear and instructions they need to fix their own iPhones. It’s a victory shared by consumers around the world.
The victory is that complete and it may not open up Apple’s architecture in ways that right-to-repair advocates like Wiens and his company, iFixit, might fully embrace.
But it does come at a time when Apple is under pressure from activists, regulators and more recently shareholders to embrace self-repair as part of its sustainability program.
The new right to repair at Apple is limited. Initially, at least, third party repair shops will be able to sell Apple parts and recycle old ones. Manuals and instructions will become easier to obtain.
As a first step, especially if taken under pressure from shareholders, Apple’s opening the door to right to repair is a bit timid. But there is time for it to truly embrace an open market — and a fairer deal for customers.
NEW SANCTUARY DRAWS NEARER
The 140-mile-long Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary moved one step closer to designation this month when the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration set in motion the process for creating the preserve.
NOAA will hold public meetings on Dec. 8 and 12 and Jan. 6 to review public comments. For folks interested in making comments, registration is recommended, at sanctuaries.noaa.gov.
The proposed sanctuary is home to ocean habitats between the Monterey Bay and Channel Island sanctuaries. The area includes submerged sites of the Chumash peoples, important oceanographic features, and marine habitats.
Thanksgiving launches the start of the holiday season with many opportunities for philanthropy, for gathering with family and friends. To all of our subscribers, we wish you the best for the holidays.
We’ve come through a lot these past few years and we’re thankful to have emerged with an ecosystem for innovation that’s intact, thriving, diverse and with great prospects for the future.