Friday, 17 November, 2017

Trump and Yellen may not be an odd couple after all

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with business leaders in the State Department Library of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington Tuesday Trump May Renominate Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen For Another Term
Juana Turner | 15 April, 2017, 05:48

Trump called out Yellen multiple times during his campaign, saying the Fed's low interest rate policy was hurting the economy, in addition to accusing the central bank of colluding with former President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the Democratic Party.

Economists told Robb that Trump's ambitious goals for tax reform and infrastructure spending could provide a strong dose of fiscal stimulus.

Trump's prior positions on interest rates have vacillated.

Janet Yellen may not be done as the Federal Reserve chair just yet.

President Trump is "very close" to nominating a Federal Reserve vice chairman for supervision and another governor to fill a designated seat for an individual with community bank expertise, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was interviewed with Trump by the Wall Street Journal.

Trump replied with his most explicit comments about the Fed since taking office, saying that Yellen was "not toast", that he had "respect" for her, and that he would prefer the Fed to keep interests rates low.

"As soon as [rates] go up, your stock market is going to go way down, most likely", Trump said.

While understanding Mr. Trump's decision-making process is, to say the least, challenging, he may have figured out (or have been advised) that any successor to Ms. Yellen would have to prove his or her anti-inflation bona fides by raising short-term interest rates more. Yellen and other policymakers have emphasized that rates will rise only gradually in the months ahead, and that monetary policy would remain loose for perhaps years to come.

In a particularly biting moment previous year, in a campaign video advertisement, he labelled her as among the "global special interests" who had ruined life for middle America.

Some of Trump's advisers and some Republican lawmakers want a more conservative Fed in which the chair has less power and would see a Yellen reappointment as yet another step away from his promise to "drain the swamp" of the Washington establishment.

But if the choice is her consensus style or someone unproven in their ability to manage public and market expectations, "he'd be wise to reappoint her", said Joseph Gagnon, a former Fed staffer and Berkeley colleague of Yellen's now at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.


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