Trump picks Jerome Powell to replace Janet Yellen as Fed chair
- Jerome Powell, the current Fed board governor and former private-equity executive, is US President Donald Trump's pick to replace Janet Yellen as the central bank's chair.
- Powell will face key decisions, including honing consensus around whether to continue raising interest rates in a steady-growth but low-inflation environment.
- He is seen as the safe bet, having already served on the Fed for 5 years.
- Janet Yellen's term ends in February.
US President Donald Trump has named Jerome Powell, a current Federal Reserve governor and former finance executive, as his choice to replace Janet Yellen as chair of the world's most powerful central bank — ending months of speculation about who would take charge.
Powell is seen as a relatively safe, Wall Street-friendly choice at a crucial time for the central bank. The Fed has begun the process of raising interest rates from post-recession lows and is unwinding its massive asset-buying program — a response to the financial crisis a decade ago.
The selection was a drawn-out affair conducted in Trump's very public style. The president tweeted as he met candidates, and last week posted and an Instagram video previewing the decision.
Predictable is good
He is likely to maintain the Fed's course of gradual but cautious rate increases, with an eye to an inflation rate that continues to undershoot the central bank's 2% goal. This points to economic activity and a labor market still running below their potential, a point highlighted by weak wage growth for most Americans.