Trump expected to nominate Powell for Fed chair

By Heather Long and Damian Paletta

President Trump is expected to nominate Jerome H. Powell as the next chair of the Federal Reserve, according to two people familiar with the president’s decision who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The White House intends to announce the Fed chair selection on Thursday.

If confirmed by the Senate, Powell would begin serving as chair in February, replacing Janet L. Yellen, a Democrat whom Trump has at times praised but many Republicans wanted replaced.

Powell, a Republican, is widely viewed as a safe pick who is unlikely to make any dramatic changes to the Fed’s handling of the economy at a time when the stock market is soaring and unemployment is at a 16-year low. Unlike some of the other candidates Trump considered, Powell has been supportive of Yellen’s policy of slowly raising interest rates, which have been at historic lows for nearly a decade as the Fed looked to help the economy recover from a massive recession. Trump has expressed interest in keeping rates low as he aims to stimulate the economy and get more Americans higher-paying jobs.

Trump said Friday he has “someone very specific in mind” for the Fed. “It will be a person who, hopefully, will do a fantastic job,” Trump said in a short video message posted on Instagram and Twitter.

The Fed operates independently from the White House. Much as with Supreme Court nominees, once Powell is confirmed, Trump will not have any sway over him, making the choice a critical one because the Fed has the power to help stimulate the economy or slow it down if the central bank governors believe the economy is heating up too quickly.

“The chairman of the Federal Reserve has control of the most powerful lever to influence world prosperity,” says Gary …read more