Fed chair Janet Yellen Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Who Wants to Deregulate Finance?

Because central bankers typically make a virtue of understatement and ambiguity, a recent interview by Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, in which he expressed strong reservations about the Trump administration's intentions, has fueled concerns about a return to the pre-2008 status quo. But are such fears well founded?

LONDON – Since a revolving door was installed at the entrance to the West Wing of the White House, it has been difficult to keep track of the comings and goings in America’s corridors of power. Anything written about the Trump administration’s personnel and policies may be invalid before it is published.

At least for the time being, however, the key economic-policy actors remain in place. Steve Mnuchin is still Treasury Secretary and has not been mentioned in dispatches during the latest power struggles. Gary Cohn continues to chair the National Economic Council, though he is reported to be unhappy about some of the president’s statements on non-economic issues. And of course Janet Yellen is still at the helm at the Federal Reserve, at least until February next year.

But this stability does not seem to indicate a single settled view on economic and financial policy, particularly the future framework of financial regulation. A remarkable recent interview in the Financial Times with Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer laid bare some major disagreements.

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