Jerome Powell heads the polls as the future crown holder of the Fed
On one of our latest articles, we shared with you who were the top-5 candidates to hold the Fed’s throne after Janet Yellen’s term comes to an end in February. Following up on that news, a few sources close to the White House have said to CNN that Jerome Powell, a 64-year old lawyer and former investment banker, might be the chosen one.
Here’s what you need to know about him.
Mr. Powell has been a Fed Governor since 2012, and he has been running along with Mrs. Yellen in the not-so-easy task of maintaining a healthy and growing economy after the disastrous crisis of 2007. He has agreed with Yellen in past monetary policy decisions and this might come as a message for those who want to understand President Trump’s perspective on the matter.
Choosing Powell for the position is as close as Yellen as you can get, without her. Beacon Policy Advisors, a company that provides consulting services regarding public policy, has shared in a recent report that “If Trump believes Yellen’s approach is best for keeping market levels growing, he is going to seek a Fed chair who can carry on her mantle but under the Trump brand. The best non-Yellen Yellen is Powell.”
So, there are many good reasons to pick Powell. First, he’s the best candidate if Trump doesn’t want to back down from his campaign views on Yellen, which were fairly negative, but he does want to keep her approach on the economy. Secondly, he’s an ‘easy yes’ for Congress, according to experts such as John Silva, Chief Economist at Wells Fargo who has commented on the matter that “Powell has not offended people, and that’s a huge advantage in Washington. He’s the kind of guy who can get through Senate confirmation, and this administration has so many other problems to deal with”.
As the race is coming to an end on Thursday, the winds are blowing towards a steady continuance of current policies. But most eyes are actually looking far ahead from that, as Powell, or whoever gets the chair, will have the challenging task of downsizing the Fed’s massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Something that will indeed require a steady and knowledgeable hand.
Even though Powell is not an economist, his past experience as an investment banker working for Dillon Reed & Co. and the renowned Carlyle Group are sufficient credentials to get him the job.
Keep your eyes on the news on Thursday to see who this plays out.
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