Economy

Investors await Trump's Federal Reserve chair pick

Investors await Trump's Federal Reserve chair pick”

The U.S. dollar climbed against most major currencies on Tuesday as market attention turned to who will be the next head of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Powell has been on the Fed board for five years and voted to support Yellen's low interest-rate policies - criticized by Trump during his presidential campaign as being overly political, kept low to favor Democrats.

Although he appears to be tilting to Powell and Taylor, in addition to Yellen the Republican president has interviewed his top economic adviser Gary Cohn and former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh for the Fed chief position.

Yellen, speaking at an economic conference in Washington on Friday evening, mounted a strong defence of the tools the Fed has used to fight the sharp economic downturn triggered by the financial crisis and said there was a risk of another crisis in which those "unconventional policies" may be needed again.

"Powell would follow very close to Yellen and would be a great choice for the market", said Paul Zemsky, chief investment officer, Multi-Asset Strategies and Solutions at Voya Investment Management in NY. And questions about Warsh's qualifications - he isn't an economist by training - emerged among some aides. He's been backed by Mnuchin, who has orchestrated Trump's Fed search, and is widely viewed by analysts as a consensus pick for the chairman post.

After Trump's meeting with Yellen on October 19, he indicated he was still considering re-nominating her for a second term, which would be in keeping with a tradition of US presidents keeping their predecessor's Fed chair in the job.

Famous for a formulaic approach to monetary policy, including the so-called Taylor Rule, he is seen as likely to tighten monetary policy more quickly. I also met with Janet Yellen, who I like a lot. "So I have three people that I'm looking at", he told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo in a recent interview.

Cohn is now director of the White House National Economic Council and is a former president of investment bank Goldman Sachs.

"I think Powell might be the safer pick insofar as we know what we're getting", said Michael Feroli, chief USA economist at J.P. Morgan Chase.

"I think in their hearts every modern Fed chair knows that the institution's mandate has to include stock prices", said Nicholas Colas, co-founder at DataTrek Research in NY.



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