President Donald Trump is leaning toward appointing Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Fed, according to three people familiar with the matter.
The decision isn’t yet final, the people cautioned, and Trump could change his mind at any time. Yet his preference for Powell dims current Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s chances for a second term at the helm of the world’s leading central bank.
Yellen’s first term ends in February, and Trump has been working from a shortlist of five candidates developed by his advisers that includes the current chair and Powell. Other candidates he’s considering are Stanford University economist John Taylor, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.
The president has promised to make a decision soon and White House officials have said he would reveal his choice before his Nov. 3 trip to Asia.
Trump’s advisers have been steering him toward choosing either Powell or Taylor for the job, according to several people familiar with the deliberations. All of the people who discussed the matter did so on condition of anonymity.
Powell, a Republican who was appointed to the board in 2012 by President Barack Obama, has backed Yellen’s gradual approach to raising interest rates and earned a reputation as a non-ideological pragmatist.
A lawyer by training, Powell managed the Fed’s response to the 2014 flash crash in Treasury debt. The 64-year-old, who goes by Jay, served at the Treasury Department under President George H.W. Bush, eventually ending up as undersecretary for domestic finance.