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Trump plumps for 'safe pick' Powell to oversee economy

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-04 07:12

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump on Thursday announced his nomination of Jerome Powell to chair the Federal Reserve, a replacement who is widely expected to stay the course on monetary policy.

If confirmed by the United States Senate, Powell, the 64-year-old Fed governor and former investment banker, would take over as head of the world's most powerful central bank in February when current chair Janet Yellen's term expires.

Powell's nomination is widely regarded as a "safe choice" for the Trump administration, as he holds similar views with Yellen in terms of monetary policy approach and he is open to deregulation which the administration is advocating.

"He has proved to be a consensus builder for the sound monetary and financial policy that he so strongly believes in," Trump said in an announcement at the White House.

"Based on his record, I am confident that Jay has the wisdom and leadership to guide our economy through any challenges that our great economy may face," he added.

A native Washingtonian, Powell graduated from Princeton University in 1975 and earned a law degree from Georgetown in 1979.

Consensus builder

He previously served as undersecretary at the Treasury Department in the George W. Bush administration, with responsibility for policy on financial institutions, the Treasury debt market and related areas.

Powell has a reputation for being a moderate and consensus builder and he has never voted against the Fed's monetary decisions since he joined the central bank in 2012.

He shared similar views to Yellen on the monetary policy front. However, unlike Yellen, Powell is more open to financial deregulation.

He also supported simplifying the rules in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of regulation without sacrificing safety and soundness of the financial system.

"I... am committed to making decisions with objectivity and based on the best available evidence, in the longstanding tradition of monetary policy independence," said Powell at his nomination announcement on Thursday.


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