Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 1:00 am

Trump nominee gives support to Fed goals

MARTIN CRUTSINGER | Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Richard Clarida, President Donald Trump's nominee for the No. 2 post at the Federal Reserve, pledged support Tuesday for the Fed's twin goals of stabilizing inflation and maximizing employment while also declaring the importance of the central bank's independence.

Clarida, an economics professor at Columbia University who is among the nation's leading experts on monetary policy, is the latest of several Trump selections to the Fed's board. In filling those key slots, the president has been gradually putting his personal stamp on the Fed. Along with Michelle Bowman, another Trump nominee to the seven-member board, Clarida received generally favorable reviews during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. Both are expected to win approval, although some committee Democrats questioned their commitment to tough oversight of the nation's banks.

Bowman, the first woman to serve as banking commissioner in Kansas, was chosen by Trump to fill the Fed board seat reserved for someone with experience in community banking.

Clarida and Bowman both gave an emphatic yes when asked by Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, whether they thought it was important for the Fed to remain independent from the president. Clarida said that neither Trump nor any other member of his administration had said anything during his interviews that could compromise the Fed's independence.

“I had a number of meetings over several months with a number of officials, including the president, and in no meeting at no time did I ever have any reason to question the independence of the Federal Reserve,” Clarida said.

In an interview last week with Politico's “Morning Money” podcast, Kevin Warsh, a former Fed board member who was on Trump's short list for Fed chairman, said that when Trump interviewed him for the post, the president was direct about how he thought interest rates should be managed.