Fed nominee Powell: Banks stronger, US close to full employment

President Trump nominated Jerome Powell as the next chairman of the Federal Reserve on Thursday to provide the U.S. economy with “sound monetary policy and prudent oversight” to the banking system.

“I am confident Powell has the wisdom to guide our economy through any challenges that our great economy may face,” the president told reporters from the Rose Garden at the White House.

Powell, who currently serves on the Fed’s board of governors, said he will do everything within his power to stabilize prices and maximize employment.

“In the year since the global financial crisis ended, our economy has made substantial progress to full recovery. By many measures, we’re close to full employment, and inflation has gradually moved up toward our target,” Powell said.

As head of the U.S. central bank, Powell said he will continue to work on ensuring the Fed remains vigilant and accurately responds to changes in the markets involving risks.

“Our banks have much higher capital and liquidity. They’re more aware of risks that they run, and they are better at managing those risks,” he said.

Trump interviewed five candidates for the role, including current Fed chair Janet Yellen, whose term finishes in February 2018.

“I am committed to making decisions with objectivity based on the best available evidence in the long standing tradition of monetary policy independence,” Powell said.