Reserving Judgment on Powell
The sigh of relief that has greeted US President Donald Trump’s selection of Jerome Powell to chair the US Federal Reserve Board may be premature. Certainly, the fact that Trump, in appointing Powell, broke with a number of well-established Fed traditions suggests that his efforts to capture US institutions remain a priority.
- For Joseph Stiglitz, Powell’s appointment is just another battle in Trump’s war on what his former chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, calls the "administrative state."
- Kenneth Rogoff agrees, arguing that Powell’s greatest challenge will be to stay out of Trump’s shadow and uphold the Fed’s independence.
- So does Eswar Prasad, who raises the possibility that if Trump fills the Fed Board's remaining vacancies with loyalists or less conventional candidates, Powell will have a harder time building a consensus.
- Benjamin J. Cohen worries that Trump's push for financial deregulation, so far resisted by outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen, could set the stage for another financial crisis.