Jerome “Jay” Powell Appointing a new head of the Federal Reserve is “arguably the most important personnel decision” President Donald Trump has faced, said The New York Times. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he seemed to treat it a bit like the TV dating show The Bachelor – “dangling tantalising hints” before eventually “handing the rose” to Jerome “Jay” Powell. It was the smart choice. “Mr Ordinary”, as The Wall Street Journal has dubbed him, was the “continuity candidate”. As a member of the Fed board, he has consistently supported the policy decisions of the current chair, Janet Yellen. The other main candidate, Stanford economist John Taylor, is “openly hawkish” and would probably have pushed up interest rates far faster than Powell will. The biggest question mark over Powell, 64, is that he is “not a trained economist”. A Washington native, married to a film-maker, he studied politics at Princeton and trained as a lawyer before joining the investment bank Dillon, Read & Co. A stint with the private equity firm Carlyle Group helped secure a fortune estimated as high as $55m. A “self-effacing” consensus builder, Powell is the richest Fed chair in decades and brings oodles of Wall Street experience to the job, said Irwin Stelzer in The Sunday Times. It may not matter that he didn’t imbibe monetary theory with his “mother’s milk”. But there are always those “events, dear boy, events that so worried Harold Macmillan”. If the economy lurches downwards, we’ll soon find out “whether experience in the real world of finance tops advanced training in economic theory”.