Like any good reality television producer, Donald Trump doesn’t want to go into the season finale of his appointment of the next chair of the Federal Reserve with all his cards on the table.
That’s probably why, after recent reporting in Politico that Trump was favouring his close adviser, former Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn, for the powerful post, Trump decided to insert fresh uncertainty into the mix in a Wall Street Journal interview.
Keeping current Fed Chair Yellen on her toes, Trump said she’s still in the running for a second term appointment — even though he accused her of keeping rates low to help President Barack Obama during the election campaign.
“She is in the running, absolutely,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “I like her. I like her demeanour. I think she’s done a good job. I’d like to see rates stay low. She’s historically been a low-interest-rate person.”
Still, confirming market suspicions and Washington chatter, Trump said he is thinking about replacing Yellen with Cohn, who is currently head of Trump’s National Economic Council.
“He doesn’t know this, but yes he is,” being considered, Trump said. “I actually think he likes what he’s doing right now.”
Yellen’s term as Fed chair expires in February of 2018. She could choose to remain as a governor if she is not reappointed to the central bank’s helm but that is not widely seen as a likely possibility.
Trump said he is considering “two or three” other candidates for the post, adding he probably wouldn’t announce a nominee until the end of the year.
“It’s early to make the decision,” he said.
Asked about whether she’s like to stay on during her June press conference, Yellen said: “I fully intend to serve out my term as chair, which ends in early February. I have not had conversations with the President about future plans.”
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