President Donald Trump plans to nominate Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to the top job at the U.S. central bank, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Trump, who has said he’d announce his pick Thursday, would be choosing a former private-equity executive who favors continuing gradual interest-rate increases and sympathizes with White House calls to ease financial regulations.
The president spoke with Powell on Tuesday, the Journal said, citing another person familiar with the matter. A Fed spokeswoman was not immediately available for comment.
If approved by the Senate, the 64-year-old former Carlyle Group LP managing director and ex-Treasury undersecretary would succeed Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who has raised borrowing costs four times starting in late 2015 and just begun scaling back the central bank’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet.
A Republican appointed to the Fed in 2012 by Democratic President Barack Obama, Powell has earned a reputation as a non-ideological and pragmatic policy maker. While he hasn’t played a prominent public role in formulating and explaining monetary policy, he has generally backed Yellen’s cautious approach to withdrawing stimulus.
“Powell is very likely to establish monetary policy continuity,” said Roberto Perli, a partner at Cornerstone Macro LLC in Washington and a former Fed official. He “would also be a shade more dovish than Yellen on bank regulation, so I believe the equity market would react well.”
Under Yellen, whose four-year term as chair expires Feb. 3, the Fed has overseen an economic expansion now in its ninth year and a fall in unemployment to a 16-year low. It will be up to Powell to keep that growth on track, under a president who has stated a preference for much faster gains in gross domestic product and continued low interest rates.