President Trump said Friday he had “someone very specific in mind” to run the Fed and would be announcing his decision next week. According to the Wall Street Journal, that person is Jerome Powell, a former investment banker who has been a member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors since May, 2012.
A Republican educated at Princeton and Georgetown Law, Powell has the economic chops to make the types of changes Trump has been recommending since before he ran for President. Unlike every chair since 1979, Powell does not have a PhD in economics.
Jerome H. Powell took office as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System on May 25, 2012, to fill an unexpired term. He was reappointed and sworn in on June 16, 2014, for a term ending January 31, 2028. Prior to his appointment to the Board, Mr. Powell was a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C., where he focused on federal and state fiscal issues. From 1997 through 2005, Mr. Powell was a partner at The Carlyle Group.
Mr. Powell served as an Assistant Secretary and as Undersecretary of the Treasury under President George H.W. Bush, with responsibility for policy on financial institutions, the Treasury debt market, and related areas. Prior to joining the Administration, he worked as a lawyer and investment banker in New York City.
In addition to service on corporate boards, Mr. Powell has served on the boards of charitable and educational institutions, including the Bendheim Center for Finance at Princeton University and The Nature Conservancy of Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
The decision has not been made official and sources say the President could change his mind before announcing, but nobody denied that Powell was at the top of the President’s list.
On Wednesday, he told Lou Dobbs that “In one way, I’d have to say, you’d like to make your own mark” on the Fed, but that Yellen is “terrific, we had a great talk, and we’re obviously doing very well together if you look at the markets.”
“It will be a person who hopefully will do a fantastic job,” Mr. Trump said in a video posted to Instagram, adding, “I think everybody will be very impressed.”
The day of the announcement is still unclear, and next week is a busy one for Fed officials and the president.
A Fed spokeswoman declined to comment.
The Fed’s policy-setting committee, on which Mr. Powell sits, will hold a two-day meeting Tuesday and Wednesday, and Mr. Trump leaves for a trip to Asia first thing Friday morning, making a Thursday announcement possible.