City pro­files

The Week - - City -

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”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.