President Donald Trump is leaning toward appointing Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Fed, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Share story

President Donald Trump is leaning toward appointing Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to be the next chairman of the Fed, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The decision isn’t yet final, the people cautioned, and Trump could change his mind at any time. Yet his preference for Powell dims current Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s chances for a second term at the helm of the world’s leading central bank.

Yellen’s first term ends in February, and Trump has been working from a shortlist of five candidates developed by his advisers that includes the current chair and Powell. Other candidates he’s considering are Stanford University economist John Taylor, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn.

The president will announce his decision next week, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at the White House on Friday. She declined to say whom he favors for the appointment.

Most Read Business Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Trump’s advisers have been steering him toward choosing either Powell or Taylor for the job, according to several people familiar with the deliberations. All of the people who discussed the matter did so on condition of anonymity. Powell is favored by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Taylor by Vice President Mike Pence, people familiar with the matter have said.

Powell, a Republican who was appointed to the board in 2012 by President Barack Obama, has backed Yellen’s gradual approach to raising interest rates and earned a reputation as a nonideological pragmatist.

A lawyer by training, Powell managed the Fed’s response to the 2014 flash crash in Treasury debt. The 64-year-old, who goes by Jay, served at the Treasury Department under President George H.W. Bush, eventually ending up as undersecretary for domestic finance.

Trump recently completed his interviews with Fed chair contenders, sitting down with Yellen at the White House on Oct. 19 for half an hour. Yellen came across as polished during their meeting, and in the subsequent days, Trump went out of his way to praise her.

“In one way, I’d have to say, you’d like to make your own mark, which is maybe one of the things she’s got a little bit against her,” Trump told Fox Business Network. “But I think she’s terrific, we had a great talk, and we’re obviously doing very well together if you look at the markets.”

Taylor also impressed Trump after an hourlong meeting at the White House, several people familiar with the matter said.

The president has said privately at least twice in the last few weeks that he’s ruled out appointing Cohn to the job, according to two people who heard the information directly from Trump. He’s told advisers that Cohn is doing a great job in his current role.