Trump taps Jerome Powell to lead US Federal Reserve
WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
U.S. President Donald Trump on Nov. 2 nominated Federal Reserve Governor Jerome “Jay” Powell to lead the Fed, saying the former investment banker has the wisdom and intelligence to guide the world’s largest economy.
“He has proven to be a consensus builder.”
“Based on his record I am confident that Jay has the wisdom and leadership to guide our economy through any challenges that our great economy may face.”
The president’s decision to replace the sitting Fed chair is something no first-term U.S. president had done in 40 years.
He has made it clear he has no problem upsetting tradition, and specifically cited his desire to leave his mark on the Fed during the very public search process.
Powell is the latest in a string of former investment bankers Trump has tapped for high-profile posts. He will require Senate confirmation, but he already went through that process when he became a member of the Fed’s board of governors.
“As a result he understands what it takes for our economy to grow,” Trump said.
Powell has a declared personal fortune ranging between about $20 million and $55 million after nearly a decade at the Washington-based private equity firm Carlyle Group, where fellow Fed Governor Randal Quarles once worked as well.
Not a trained economist
But she warned he may have to defend the Fed’s independence “in a hostile political environment.”
In accepting the nomination, Powell said he would ensure the Fed “remains vigilant and prepared to respond to changes in markets and evolving risks,” but he also cited the independence of the Fed in setting monetary policy.
Trump and Powell offered extensive praise for Yellen, who they said demonstrated judicious economic stewardship during the current recovery.
Yellen congratulated Powell on his nomination and said she would work to ensure a “smooth transition” in February.
“I am confident in his deep commitment to carrying out the vital public mission of the Federal Reserve,” Yellen said in a statement.
Yellen has led the central bank since 2014 and will relinquish the leadership post just as the post-crisis U.S. economic recovery has begun to crest, with falling unemployment, robust growth and low inflation, conditions that have won her praise in many quarters.
The question now is whether she will follow tradition and resign as a member of the Fed’s board of governors, once her term as chair expires February 3. She could stay on through January 2024, and there are growing voices for her to do so to help guide monetary policy.