Trump Eyes Powell, Taylor and Yellen For Fed Chair

Updated on
  • Powell and Taylor ‘very talented people’ he tells Fox Business
  • On Chair Yellen, president says ‘I really like her a lot’

Sanders Says Trump to Make Fed Announcement 'Soon'

President Donald Trump said he’s considering Stanford University economist John Taylor and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell for the top job at the central bank, and indicated Fed Chair Janet Yellen remains in the running for renomination to a second four-year term.

“Most people are saying it’s down to two -- Mr. Taylor and Mr. Powell. I also met with Janet Yellen, who I like a lot, I really like her a lot,” Trump told Fox Business Network in an interview to be broadcast on Sunday and Monday. “So I have three people that I’m looking at, and there are a couple of others. I’d say I will make my decision very shortly.”

On the prospect of a Taylor nomination and a Powell promotion into the top two leadership roles, the president said, “it is in my thinking, and I have a couple of other things in my thinking but I like talent and they’re both very talented people.”

Jerome Powell

Photographer: T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg

It’s not clear which of the two men would be chairman and which would be vice chair, a position that Trump also needs to appoint after Stanley Fischer stepped down earlier this week. Both positions are subject to Senate confirmation.

“It’s a hard decision,” Trump said.

Trump’s closest advisers are steering him toward either Taylor or Powell for chairman, several people familiar with the process said on Thursday, after the president finished interviewing candidates for the job by meeting with Yellen.

John Taylor

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The White House has said he’ll make a decision before he leaves for a trip to Asia in November. Yellen’s first term ends in February. She returned to the White House on Friday for what one official described as a semi-regular meeting with Trump’s top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, whom Trump is also considering for the Fed post.

A fifth candidate, former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh, completes Trump’s shortlist.

Delivering a speech late Friday in Washington, Yellen defended the central bank’s use of unconventional and often unpopular monetary policy tools after the last recession, highlighting some of her achievements at the helm.

“The U.S. economy is much stronger today than it would have been without the unconventional monetary policy tools deployed by the Federal Reserve in response to the Great Recession,” she said.

— With assistance by Saleha Mohsin, and Jennifer Jacobs

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