Fed Chair Powell Is a Member of a Private Club with a History of Racism and Sexism

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Fed Chair Powell Is a Member of a Private Club with a History of Racism and Sexism
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 14, 2020 ~
Congresswoman Katie Porter opened a hornet’s nest on Tuesday during a House Financial Services Committee hearing where Fed Chair Jerome Powell answered questions. As we reported, Porter held up a photo of Powell in black tie attending a lavish party for billionaires and politicians at the Washington D.C. home of one of the richest men in the world, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. As it turns out, that wasn’t even the worst part of the story. The real jaw dropper is that the Bezos party was the after-party for a secretive private club’s annual dinner.  The so-called Alfalfa Club is a 107-year old, invitation-only club that bars the press from attendance and banned membership of blacks and women for the bulk of its existence. Fed Chair Powell is a member of that club. More on that shortly, but first some background.

US President Donald Trump hugs his daughter and senior advisor Ivanka Trump, who attended a party at billionaire Jeff Bezos’ home in January where Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was also present

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday had to fend off accusations he may be feeling undue influence from billionaire Jeff Bezos and Ivanka Trump.


“Thank you for your kind words, President Bloomberg. Mike, usually when I’m next to someone as rich as you, I propose. … Here I am — President John Kerry! I knew this day would come. Although given the Alfalfa average income, thank GOD I didn’t get Swift Yachted. … I’m proud to serve as your new club president. And don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you’re also getting John Edwards. … #SwiftYachted

new members:

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook
  • Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.)
  • Lazard chairman and CEO Ken Jacobs
  • Secretary of Defense James Mattis
  • James Murdoch, CEO of 21st Century Fox
  • Sen. Rob Portman (R- Ohio)
  • Jerome Powell, incoming Federal Reserve chair
  • Ginni Rometty, chairman, president and CEO of IBM
  • Anthony Welters, executive chairman, BlackIvy Group

POLITICO Playbook: Best lines from the Alfalfa Club dinner

ABOUT LAST NIGHT … HE’S GOT JOKES! — ALFALFA CLUB PRESIDENT JOHN KERRY gave his farewell address last night at the Capitol Hilton: “This is the only speech in Washington that hasn’t been canceled by Nancy Pelosi. I got to tell you, you all look incredibly dapper tonight in your ball gowns, your tuxedos, your bow ties, and your cummerbunds — or as we call it at our house, workout gear. Or as we call it at our other house, pajamas. Or as we call it at our other house, swimming costumes. But tonight it looks like I’ve done something Donald Trump can only dream of: finishing my term. …

“I’ve learned so much over the past year as your President: I learned that I’m at an awkward age, too old to run a marathon, too young to be in the House Democratic leadership. And I learned that at an average Alfalfa dinner, this crowd goes through 70 cases of beer, 300 bottles of wine and over 2,600 mixed drinks. Or as Brett Kavanaugh calls that — a quiet weekend. …

“Roger Stone isn’t here. He’s always been controversial. I remember when he got caught advertising for sex in bondage and swingers magazines. So, [Friday] morning probably wasn’t the first time he started his day in handcuffs.

Alfalfa Club: The ‘Other’ America for the Rich and Famous

I have no idea why four tweet threads concerning the Alfalfa Club were deemed “unavailable” by Twitter when we checked on Sunday. On Saturday, the club held its famous dinner in Washington, DC.
But those silenced tweets seem like a good metaphor for the ultimate insider event. The Alfalfa Club’s sole purpose is to hold one glitzy dinner once a year, to celebrate, so the story goes, the birthday of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
The club, founded in 1913, got around to admitting African Americans in 1974. It didn’t admit women until 1994. Legend has it that the club was named after the alfalfa plant because of the plant’s thirst. The name implies that its members, like alfalfa, will do “anything for a drink.”

Between February 15, 2020 and May 29, 2023 are 3 events dated January 30, 2021 and later. Click in the Event column for details on any event.

List of Alfalfa Club members



Emily Heil (29 January 2015). “What’s the deal with the Alfalfa Club?”. The Washington Post.



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