Trump Likely to Name Jerome Powell Next Fed Chairman -- 2nd Update

By Kate Davidson and Peter Nicholas Features Dow Jones Newswires

President Donald Trump is likely to announce Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell as his nominee to be the next chairman of the U.S. central bank next week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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The president hasn't made a formal decision and could still change his mind, several people familiar with the matter said, but at this point had settled on Mr. Powell.

Mr. Trump said in a video released Friday he had "somebody very specific in mind" for the post, and would announce his decision "sometime next week."

"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.

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.

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If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Powell would take the helm of the central bank in early February, when Chairwoman Janet Yellen's four-year term expires.

Mr. Trump had left open the possibility of renominating Ms. Yellen for another term, but said in an interview last week that as president, "you'd like to make your own mark." Stanford University economics professor John Taylor had also been under serious consideration.

Mr. Powell, a Republican who served as a Treasury Department official in the George H.W. Bush administration, joined the Fed board in 2012 and was confirmed for a full term in 2014.

The position of Fed vice chairman is also open. But U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on a trip through the Middle East Saturday that the administration doesn't plan to nominate both a Fed chairman and vice chairman at the same time.

He declined to offer any indication on who might be the front-runner.

Several people familiar with the matter have said Mr. Mnuchin strongly advocated for Mr. Powell's selection.

--Ian Talley contributed to this article.

Write to Kate Davidson at kate.davidson@wsj.com and Peter Nicholas at peter.nicholas@wsj.com

WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump is likely to announce Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell as his nominee to be the next chairman of the U.S. central bank next week, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The president hasn't made a formal decision and could still change his mind, several people familiar with the matter said.

Mr. Trump said in a video released Friday he had "somebody very specific in mind" for the post, and would announce his decision "sometime next week."

"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.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Powell would take the helm of the central bank in early February, when Chairwoman Janet Yellen's four-year term expires.

Mr. Trump had left open the possibility of renominating Ms. Yellen for another term, but said in an interview last week that as president, "you'd like to make your own mark." Stanford University economics professor John Taylor had also been under serious consideration.

Mr. Powell, a Republican who served as a Treasury Department official in the George H.W. Bush administration, joined the Fed board in 2012 and was confirmed for a full term in 2014.

The position of Fed vice chairman is also open. But U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on a trip through the Middle East Saturday that the administration doesn't plan to nominate both a Fed chairman and vice chairman at the same time.

He declined to offer any indication on who might be the front-runner.

Several people familiar with the matter have said Mr. Mnuchin strongly advocated for Mr. Powell's selection.

Mr. Powell, a lawyer, would be the first Fed chairman in three decades without a Ph.D. in economics. Before joining the Fed board, Mr. Powell worked as an investment banker for the Carlyle Group and as a scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

He would likely continue the Fed's current approach of very gradually reversing its crisis-era stimulus policies by slowly raising short-term interest rates and shrinking the central bank's large portfolio of bonds. Mr. Trump has said he favors low rates.

Mr. Powell has shown more openness than Ms. Yellen, however, to loosening some of the banking rules included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, a position that meshes with Mr. Trump's deregulatory agenda.

Mr. Trump has received conflicting advice about the Fed choice, with some lawmakers and White House officials favoring the more conservative candidate, Mr. Taylor. One White House official noted that two dozen Republicans voted against Mr. Powell in a past confirmation vote, suggesting the party might not be united behind the selection should the president tap him for the job.

--Ian Talley contributed to this article.

Write to Kate Davidson at kate.davidson@wsj.com and Peter Nicholas at peter.nicholas@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 28, 2017 12:52 ET (16:52 GMT)