Trump Expected to Nominate Powell for Fed Chair

U.S. President is expected to nominate Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as the next chairman of the central bank, senior administration officials said Monday.

Powell is a Republican centrist who appears inclined to continue the Fed’s strategy of gradual interest rate hikes.

But officials say Trump hasn’t made up his mind and could change it.

Powell would represent a middle-ground pick for Trump, who is also considering current Democratic Fed Chair Janet Yellen as well as Stanford University economist John Taylor and former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh.

Powell could, however, relax some of the stricter financial rules that were enacted after the 2008 financial crisis. Trump has complained that those rules have been too restrictive.

The decision over the Fed’s next leader is overshadowing this week’s meeting of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.

Trump said Friday he has “someone very specific in mind” for the Fed. “It will be a person who, hopefully, will do a fantastic job,” Trump said in a short video message posted on Instagram and Twitter.

Many conservative members of Congress had been pushing Trump to select Taylor, rather than Powell, for Fed chairman. Taylor, one of the country’s leading academics in the area of Fed policy, would likely embrace a more “hawkish” approach — more inclined to raise rates to fight inflation than to keep rates low to support the job market. Taylor is the author of a widely cited policy rule that provides a mathematical formula for guiding rate decisions. By one version of that rule, rates would be at least double what they are now.

 

Yellen, who was selected as Fed chair by President Barack Obama, has been an outspoken advocate for the stricter financial regulations that took effect in 2010 to prevent another crisis.

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