Another upside of picking Powell is that it starts to rebuild the Fed’s perceived independence after President Donald Trump badgered Powell for years. Yellen reportedly stressed the importance of continuity and avoiding the politicization of the leadership role. It shows that the recent trading scandal to hit the central bank, which caused two regional Fed presidents to leave their posts, wasn’t a politically motivated push to get the Republican out of the top job.

Last—but perhaps most important—Powell is the less-risky pick when it comes to potential financial market volatility. It took time for traders to come to understand Powell and for him to learn how to best communicate to markets. At this point, he has fine-tuned his messaging enough that he’s unlikely to create a meltdown himself. By contrast, in October 2018, what appeared to be a throwaway line that “we're a long way from neutral, probably” ended up starting a stock-market skid. With someone new, there’s the risk that markets will be more skittish—something that Biden can ill afford with his popularity teetering.

Biden had two paths: One was the safe pick, the other was a big political gamble for a relatively modest reward. He wisely chose the former, even if it took an agonizingly long time to reach the decision. Powell’s reconfirmation process should go about as smoothly as anything the Biden administration has done in its first year.

Brian Chappatta is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering debt markets. He previously covered bonds for Bloomberg News. He is also a CFA charterholder.

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