Trump says he's held four meet­ings for Fed chair

Boston Herald - - OPINION -

WASH­ING­TON — Pres­i­dent Trump said yes­ter­day that he has held four meet­ings to dis­cuss who should lead the Fed­eral Re­serve start­ing early next year and ex­pects to de­cide within two or three weeks.

Trump made the dis­clo­sure in com­ments to re­porters on the White House lawn. He did not name the can­di­dates he has met with.

But a White House of­fi­cial said the pres­i­dent and Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Steven Mnuchin had met Thurs­day with Kevin Warsh, a for­mer Fed board mem­ber.

An­other re­port said Trump had also met with Jerome Pow­ell, the only Repub­li­can on the Fed board.

The White House of­fi­cial who dis­cussed Trump’s meet­ing with Warsh spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity to talk about a pri­vate White House meet­ing. The Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported yes­ter­day that Trump and Mnuchin have also met with Pow­ell.

Trump has said pre­vi­ously that he is con­sid­er­ing re-nom­i­nat­ing Chair Janet Yellen when her term ends in Fe­bru­ary. But he has said he is also look­ing at other can­di­dates in­clud­ing Gary Cohn, the head of Trump’s Na­tional Eco­nomic Coun­cil.

Warsh, who served on the board from 2006 to 2011, was a key ad­viser to for­mer Fed Chair­man Ben Ber­nanke dur­ing the 2008 fi­nan­cial cri­sis. He is mar­ried to Jane Lauder, grand­daugh­ter of cos­met­ics gi­ant Es­tee Lauder. Her fa­ther, Ron­ald Lauder, is a long­time

Trump friend.

Warsh was 35 when he was nom­i­nated by Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush to serve on the board in Jan­uary 2006. He is now a dis­tin­guished vis­it­ing fel­low at Stan­ford Univer­sity’s Hoover In­sti­tute and a lec­turer at the Stan­ford Grad­u­ate School of Busi­ness.

Trump told re­porters ear­lier this month that he liked and re­spected Yellen but had not yet de­cided on the Fed job. Trump had been crit­i­cal dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of Yellen’s per­for­mance but has made only fa­vor­able com­ments about her since the elec­tion.

It is pos­si­ble that Trump’s four meet­ings were with Yellen, Cohn, Warsh and Pow­ell, though Trump did not pro­vide names.

There are three va­can­cies on the Fed board, and there will soon be a fourth. Vice Chair­man Stan­ley Fischer plans to step down in Oc­to­ber. So far, Trump has moved to fill only one of the va­can­cies, nom­i­nat­ing Ran­dal Quar­les to the board to be vice chair­man for bank su­per­vi­sion. His nom­i­na­tion is pend­ing be­fore the Se­nate.


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