Powell tapped to lead US central bank

President Donald Trump nominated Jerome “Jay” Powell on Thursday to replace Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Federal Reserve.

If confirmed by the Senate in the following weeks, Powell will replace Yellen when her term expires in February 2018. Trump is the first president in decades to not nominate an interim Fed Chair for a second term.

Though he has no formal training as an economist, Powell, currently on the Fed’s board of directors, would lead the central bank of the world’s largest economy. Considering the economy has improved under Yellen’s leadership, his past statements as part of the Fed have indicated that he does not want to dramatically change the bank’s course.

Trump made the announcement of Powell’s nomination at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden with Powell standing by his side.

"Today is an important milestone on the path to restoring economic opportunity to the American people,” Trump said.

Powell is a former hedge fund manager and registered Republican. Yellen is a Democrat.

“He's strong, he's committed and he's smart, and if he is confirmed by the Senate, Jay will put his considerable talents and experience to work leading our nation's independent central bank,” Trump continued.

Trump said in statements last week that his decision to not nominate Yellen for a second term -- the first time a president has taken that step since the end of World War II -- was because of a desire to leave a mark on the Fed.

There are also currently three vacancies on the Fed’s board, giving Trump an opportunity to further influence the central bank.

“I'm both honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve our great country,” Powell said following the president’s introduction.

“If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything within my power to achieve the goals assigned to the Federal Reserve by Congress: stable prices and maximum employment.”

Credits: Barry Eitel