Trump ‘looking at a lot of people’ in search for next Fed chief: Mnuchin

By

Senior economics reporter

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said a decision on the next Fed chief was one of the most important decisions President Donald Trump would make.

President Donald Trump is casting a wide net in his search for the next Federal Reserve chairman, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday.

“We’re going through this process very carefully. He is looking at a lot of people,” Mnuchin said during a moderated question-and-answer session at a conference sponsored by the Institute for International Finance.

Mnuchin declined to give any more specifics about the process.

“It is one of the most important decisions he will make,” Mnuchin said.

On the surface, Mnuchin’s comments suggest that the race for Fed chairman may be more wide open than several news reports suggest. Politico reported that Mnuchin has a favorite candidate: Fed Gov. Jerome Powell. The news site said that former Fed governor Kevin Warsh was in second place, with Stanford University economist John Taylor as the dark horse.

Diane Swonk, founder of DS Economics, said she thought Warsh might get the post because he would represent “a pivot” for the Fed away from Yellen’s policies and Powell was more of the “continuity” candidate.

Outgoing Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Friday that Trump should reappoint Yellen to a second four-year term once her first term ends in early February.

Swonk said that it did not appear likely that Yellen would be reappointed.

“I just haven’t seen her spend a lot of time at the White House,” Swonk said.

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