Trump Picks Two Economists for Federal Reserve Board

The Marriner S. Eccles Federal Reserve Board Building in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump announced late Tuesday he plans to nominate two economists to seats on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, amid his criticism of the central bank’s refusal to cut interest rates.

A former economic adviser to Trump, Judy Shelton currently works as the U.S. executive director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. She has been a critic of the Federal Reserve and has advocated for a return to the gold standard.

“I think we have to say, what is the role of central banks in a productive economy?” Shelton told Business Insider in June. “And are they helping or hurting? I think it’s legitimate to say, are they too dominant or does it turn out that they only serve a small segment of the private sector? And what is their interaction with governments and what is their impact on currency?”

Trump has been critical of the central bank for not lowering interest rates and Shelton last month told the Washington Post she would lower rates “as fast, as efficiently, as expeditiously as possible.”

In addition to Shelton, Trump announced his plans to tap Christopher Waller for the second vacant seat on the board. Waller has worked as the executive vice president and research director at the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis since 2009 and taught economics at Notre Dame before taking his current position.

James Bullard, president of the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, dissented at the central bank’s meeting last month as he pressed his view that the bank should lower interest rates, according to the Associated Press.

Trump has struggled to fill the vacancies on the central bank, as the last two people he suggested for the jobs each withdrew from consideration after they received a cold welcome in the Senate.

Stephen Moore, a conservative television commentator and former adviser to Trump’s campaign, withdrew his name from the running in May after the Republican-controlled Senate made it clear he could not win confirmation.

The same happened to Herman Cain, the former GOP presidential candidate and pizza company CEO who backed out of the nomination amid the resurfacing of sexual misconduct allegations that ended his 2012 bid for the White House. Cain has denied the allegations.

Both Shelton and Waller must be confirmed by the Senate before taking seats on the central bank.

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