CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow will replace Gary Cohn as Trump's top economic adviser

  • Larry Kudlow will replace Gary Cohn as President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser.
  • Trump tweeted Thursday that Kudlow was coming on board and the country would have “Great Economic & Financial Success.”
  • Kudlow was a staff economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, worked in the Reagan administration, and was chief economist for Bear Stearns.
  • Kudlow joined CNBC in 2001 and hosted a show on the network for 12 years.

The conservative economist Larry Kudlow will replace Gary Cohn as National Economic Council director and become the top economic adviser to President Donald Trump.

“Larry Kudlow was offered, and accepted, the position of Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House Press Secretary, said in a statement Wednesday. “We will work to have an orderly transition and will keep everyone posted on the timing of him officially assuming the role.

Kudlow confirmed that he had accepted the position earlier Wednesday and said on his former network, CNBC, that he was “honored” to receive the role.

On Thursday, Trump gave his seal of approval to Kudlow on Twitter.

“Larry Kudlow will be my Chief Economic Advisor as Director of the National Economic Council,” Trump said. “Our Country will have many years of Great Economic & Financial Success, with low taxes, unparalleled innovation, fair trade and an ever expanding labour force leading the way! #MAGA”

Prior to the announcement on Tuesday, Trump suggested the offer was imminent and said that Kudlow would be valuable as a dissenting voice.

“I’ve known him a very long time,” Trump told reporters. “We don’t agree on everything, but I think in this case I think that’s good because I want a divergent opinion.”

Kudlow began his career as a staff economist at the Federal Reserve’s New York branch before joining the Reagan administration as associate director for economics at the Office of Management and Budget.

Kudlow was then the chief economist for Bear Stearns from 1987 to 1994, when he was fired because of struggles with a cocaine addiction.

After Kudlow sought treatment, he became a media presence advocating free-market, low-tax economics in the same vein as President Ronald Reagan, his former boss. Most notably, Kudlow began appearing on CNBC in 2001, co-hosted a show with Jim Cramer from 2002 to 2005, and anchored his own program through 2014, and he continues to appear frequently on the network.

While a pundit, Kudlow drew criticism for some of his overly optimistic predictions for the economy. Kudlow memorably wrote in December 2007: “There’s no recession coming. The pessimistas were wrong.” The National Bureau of Economic Research determined that the 2007-2009 recession officially began that month.

At the same time, Kudlow’s record isn’t all misses. For example, while at Bear Stearns the economist correctly predicted the 1990-1991 recession and recovery.

Additionally, Kudlow is well known as a supply-side economist who favours tax cuts as a way to boost the economy.

During Trump’s presidential run in 2016, Kudlow expressed support for his candidacy and acted as an informal adviser to him. Following the release of the “Access Hollywood” tape from 2005 in which Trump was recorded bragging about groping women, Kudlow said he was considering writing in Mike Pence on his ballot. He eventually backed Trump.

In the early days of the administration, Kudlow was considered to be chair of the Council of Economic Advisers but was passed over because of his vocal disagreement with Trump on trade policy. Kudlow favours free-trade policies, contrary to Trump’s more protectionist leanings.

Those concerns appear to not be an issue this time, despite Trump’s recent forays into trade policy with new tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

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