WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump will name the next chair of the Federal Reserve next week, the White House said Friday, a choice that could have far reaching implications for his economic agenda.
Asked about reports that Janet Yellen won’t likely be offered a second term as Fed chair and that Trump is instead leaning toward Jerome Powell, a member of the Fed’s board, spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “I can confirm that the president plans to make an announcement on that next week, but beyond that I don’t have any other details to add.”
Yellen’s term ends in February. Trump this week said his choice was down to “two and maybe three people.”
In the running are Powell and Yellen, who has kept benchmark interest rates low, fueling Trump’s much-vaunted stock-market surge.
But Stanford University economist John Taylor, who is known to favor higher interest rates, is also a possible pick.
That tighter monetary policy has supporters across the Republican party, which has traditionally been concerned about preventing inflation.
Another candidate, Kevin Warsh, is a former Fed governor, a proponent of higher interest rates and a son-in-law of Trump associate and World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder.
On Wednesday Trump offered praise for Yellen, calling her “terrific,” but also acknowledged his conflicting desire to make his own mark on the Fed.
Trump said in an interview with the Fox Business Network that when Yellen met with him last week, she was “very impressive. I like her a lot.”
But the president also conceded, “You like to make your own mark which is maybe one of the things she’s got a little bit against her, but I think she is terrific.”
Referring to the Fed chair, he said, “We’ve had a great talk and we are obviously doing great together. You look at the markets.”
On Monday, Trump said he was “very close” to deciding who should lead the Fed once Yellen’s term expires in February.