Trump taps Yellen clone Powell to be next Fed chair
First noneconomist Fed chief in almost 40 years seen as likely to stay the course
Jerome “Jay” Powell has been officially announced by President Trump to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve, as had been widely expected.
The choice of Powell marks the first time in nearly four decades that a new President has not reappointed the acting Fed chair for another term, as the Wall Street Journal reports. It is also the first time in as many years that a noneconomist has been selected for the role.
In five years serving at the Fed, Powell has been supportive of Janet Yellen’s approach, never dissenting from a monetary or regulatory policy vote, and is expected to continue her cautious approach in reversing the Fed’s stimulus policies.
One area where Powell may stray from Yellen is regulatory policy, where many see the former Carlyle Group executive as open to loosening rules put in place in the wake of the financial crisis.
Powell, who will reportedly be the wealthiest Fed chair ever, left the world of high finance in 2010 to work for US$1 a year at a Washington DC-based think tank where he urged Republicans to raise the debt ceiling to avoid default.
The choice, which is expected to easily win Senate approval, is a natural one for Trump, former New York Fed official Krishna Guha explains to the Wall Street Journal:
To some extent he offers Trump the best of both worlds. You get broadly speaking continuity of Yellen’s careful and relatively dovish approach to monetary policy but with somebody who is a card-carrying Republican and who is significantly more inclined to revisit some of the postcrisis regulations.