U.S. President Donald Trump will interview Janet Yellen this week about potentially reprising her role as Federal Reserve Chair, various media outlets reported Monday.
Janet Yellen became the first woman to head the all-powerful Fed. Her first term is scheduled to end in February. Unlike her predecessor Ben Bernanke, Yellen’s second term is far from guaranteed under Trump.
The president has been highly critical of both Yellen and the Fed’s policy-setting board. While campaigning, Trump accused the Fed of doing Barack Obama’s dirty work, with Yellen “doing political things” to keep interest rates artificially low.
“When they raise interest rates, you’re going to see some very bad things happen, because they’re not doing their job,” Trump said in a televised debate against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton less than two months before the election.
It’s no surprise that Trump and Yellen don’t see eye-to-eye on numerous subjects. It was even less surprising when Trump interviewed a handful of other potential candidates for the Fed role. This includes Yellen’s colleague and Fed Governor Jerome Powell. Prior to meeting with Powell, the president also invited former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh to an interview. Stanford economist John Taylor and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn are all said to be in the running for the job.
Although Trump has not outlined a timetable for selection, the White House says the president will wrap-up the decision-making process soon before sending a nominee to Capitol Hill for confirmation hearings and votes.
The Chair of the Federal Reserve is arguably the second-most powerful person in the country. Under Yellen, the central bank ended quantitative easing and began the long process of raising interest rates. Yellen’s presence has reassured the markets that interest rates may be slow to rise.
The financial markets have been calm amid the speculation. That could change should Yellen be removed from her post after serving only one term.
Harriet Torry (26 September 2016). “Donald Trump Attacks Federal Reserve, Yellen During Debate.” The Wall Street Journal.
Ben White (16 October 2017). “Trump to interview Yellen as final decision nears on Fed chair.” Politico.