Trump Announces Jerome Powell as New Fed Chairman
The nominee offered little hint of his thinking during brief remarks in the Rose Garden. He said the nation’s economy has made “substantial progress toward full recovery” since the financial crisis and that banks are in far better shape. “I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that the Federal Reserve remains vigilant and prepared to respond to changes in markets and evolving risks,” he said.
Mr. Powell is a Republican with strong roots in the party’s establishment and in the financial industry, a lawyer by training and investment banker by trade. As Fed chair, a position some consider the second most powerful post in government, he would be the voice of an institution that is charged with keeping the economy on track by adjusting interest rates that influence the decisions of millions of Americans.
In replacing Ms. Yellen, Mr. Trump is breaking with precedent. The previous three Fed chairs were reappointed, in each case by a president of the opposite political party.
Mr. Trump said that he respected Ms. Yellen and on Thursday called her “a wonderful woman who has done a terrific job.” In a statement, Ms. Yellen congratulated her chosen successor and said she was “confident in his deep commitment to carrying out the vital public mission of the Federal Reserve.”
The Fed under Ms. Yellen’s leadership has sharply reduced unemployment while maintaining control of inflation, coming as close to achieving its congressional mandate as at any time in its history.
Her prospects to be renominated momentarily lifted making when the president agreed to meet with her on Oct. 19 at the urging of Gary D. Cohn, Mr. Trump’s national economics adviser who himself was once a top candidate.
Mr. Trump came away genuinely impressed with Ms. Yellen, according to a person briefed on the process, but a speech she gave in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in favor of financial regulation damaged her chances given the White House agenda of cutting red tape and freeing up financial firms.