Oct. 30, 2017 — There has been speculation that after Trump picks one of the five candidates to be chair of the Federal Reserve (with Jay Powell now apparently the front-runner), he could pick another one of them to be Vice-chair. This latter position is the one that, sadly, Stanley Fischer is now vacating.
I hope that Trump asks Janet Yellen to be Vice-chair, assuming he breaks precedent and does not re-nominate her for Chair, and I hope she accepts. Continue reading
October 29, 2017 — The Trump Administration has said it will announce its choice for the new Chair of the Federal Reserve Board by November 3. Subject to Senate confirmation, the chosen candidate will succeed Janet Yellen, whose term ends February 3.
The White House has said it views five candidates as front runners. Two are eminent economists with unusually impressive records — both in academic research, mostly at West Coast universities, and as practitioners of macroeconomic policy. That would be Yellen herself, who is a strong candidate for reappointment, and Stanford’s John Taylor. The other three front-runners are not professionally trained as economists, but rather come from financial backgrounds: Gary Cohn, Jerome Powell, and Kevin Warsh. They worked, respectively, for Goldman Sachs, Dillon Read, and Morgan Stanley; all three also have important government experience.
September 8, 2017 — Nine years ago this month, the US sub-prime mortgage crisis morphed into a severe global financial crisis. Many Americans across the political spectrum angrily demanded financial reform, by which they meant a tightening of financial regulation. Indeed, important reforms were subsequently enacted, in particular the 2010 Dodd-Frank bill.
Today, those reforms are increasingly under assault. Most recently, the Trump Administration is proposing a roll-back of regulation of banks as well as of other financial institutions. The recent decisions of Fed Governors Stan Fischer and Dan Tarullo to retire are also worrisome signs. Continue reading