Trump picks Powell as next Fed chair, policy continuity expected

Updated 2017-11-03 09:03:13 Xinhua
U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell attend a nomination ceremony at the rose garden of White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Nov. 2, 2017. Trump picked Thursday Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as next Federal Reserve chair. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell attend a nomination ceremony at the rose garden of White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on Nov. 2, 2017. Trump picked Thursday Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell as next Federal Reserve chair. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday announced his nomination of Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to succeed Fed Chair Janet Yellen whose term expires in February.

Powell's nomination to head the U.S. central bank is widely regarded as a "safe choice" for the Trump administration, as he holds similar views to Yellen in terms of monetary policy approach as well as openness to deregulation which the Trump administration is advocating.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Powell, 64, will become the first Fed chairman without a Ph.D. in economics since 1980s.

"He has proved to be a consensus builder for the sound monetary and financial policy that he so strongly believes in," Trump said in an announcement at the White House.

"Based on his record, I am confident that Jay has the wisdom and leadership to guide our economy through any challenges that our great economy may face," he added.

A native Washingtonian, Powell received an A.B. in politics from Princeton University in 1975 and earned a law degree from Georgetown University in 1979.

After graduation, he worked as lawyer and then investment banker in New York, then he returned to his hometown and served at the Treasury Department of the George H.W. Bush administration, with responsibility for policy on financial institutions, the Treasury debt market, and related areas.

Following the public service, he became a partner at the Carlyle Group from 1997 through 2005, and amassed considerable wealth. Then he worked as a visiting fellow at the Washington-based think tank Bipartisan Policy Center, where he focused on federal and state fiscal issues.

In view of his efforts to successfully educate lawmakers the danger of government hitting debt limit in 2010, Powell was picked by then President Barack Obama as Fed governor in 2012.

Powell has a reputation for being a moderate and consensus builder. He never voted against the Fed's monetary decisions since he joined the central bank in 2012.

He shared similar views to Yellen on the monetary policy front. He supported the central bank to gradually raise interest rates and unwind its 4.5 trillion-U.S.-dollar balance sheet, as a result of the sluggish inflation growth.

However, unlike Yellen, Powell is more open to financial deregulation. He supported simplifying the rules in order to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of regulation without sacrificing safety and soundness of the financial system.

"I...am committed to making decisions with objectivity and based on the best available evidence, in the longstanding tradition of monetary policy independence," said Powell at his nomination announcement.

Market investors widely expected that Powell's Fed could ensure the continuity of the monetary policy and might fine-tune current financial regulations.

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