Finance

Bloomberg: GOP senator doesn’t expect Trump to renominate Yellen

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The former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee said Tuesday he doesn’t expect President Trump to reappoint Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen after her term ends in February.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) told Bloomberg News this morning that he’s spoken to Trump about the Fed’s future and doesn’t believe Yellen will get another term to lead the central bank.

“I believe he will appoint somebody else to take her place,” Shelby said, adding that he’d prefer to see “somebody else in there that’s pro-growth.”

Yellen joined the Fed in 2010 and has served as chairwoman since 2014, presiding over the recovery from the 2007 financial crisis and recession. Unemployment has declined to roughly 4.5 percent over her term, while inflation remains lower than the Fed’s preferred 2 percent benchmark.

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Yellen has declined to say whether she expects or wants to return to the Fed after February, nor if she’s discussed her future with Trump. The president floated reappointing Yellen in March after spending his 2016 campaign torching Yellen for being “obviously political” in support of President Obama. Trump has praised Yellen since taking office, saying he approves of the Fed’s current low interest rates and respects the chair.

It’s unclear who Trump would nominate if he chose to replace Yellen. White House National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn was reportedly Trump’s top pick but fell out of the president’s favor in August after criticizing his boss’s defense of white nationalist protestors.

Trump has a chance to make critical changes to the Fed’s trajectory. Yellen could theoretically stay on the Fed board if Trump nominates someone else to serve as chair, but former chairs rarely stay beyond their tenure on top. Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer is also leaving the bank in October, opening another slot for Trump to fill.

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