The Trump administration is weighing the nomination of Judy Shelton, U.S. director for The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, to fill one of two vacancies on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, according to a Bloomberg News, which cited people familiar with the White House’s thinking.
The Bloomberg report (paywall) comes after two possible nominees, Stephen Moore, the former Wall Street Journal editorial writer and senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and Herman Cain, the former pizza executive and a onetime candidate for president, recently withdrew their names from consideration for the posts. The two men had elicited heavy criticism for their lack of an economics background and past, controversial statements.
Shelton, considered an economist with a conservative political leaning, wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, that appeared to defend Cain and Moore, saying that “mainstream commentators have made a point of dismissing anyone sympathetic to a gold standard as crankish or unqualified,” she wrote on April 21.
Shelton’s April commentary more specifically challenged the “infallibility” of central bankers and advocated for monetary-policy alternatives, partly, as an effort to “avoid monetary mistakes that undermine otherwise positive economic developments.”
The economist, and author “Money Meltdown: Restoring Order to the Global Currency System,” appears to echo some of the sentiments of President Donald Trump, who has persistently challenged the Fed’s monetary-policy authority, claiming that policy makers, at times, have undermined the president’s efforts to boost economic expansion in its 10th year.
Amid opposition from the Senate over potential Fed nominees Moore and Cain, back in April, Trump blasted the U.S. central bank, currently run by Chairman Jerome Powell, for its decision to raise rates four times in 2018 despite signs of little to no inflation pressures. He also urged the Fed to revert to easier monetary policies, including the resumption of the Fed’s bond-buying program.
“I would say in terms of quantitative tightening, it should actually now be quantitative easing,” Trump said in separate comments, in early April. “You would see a rocket ship,” he said, referring to his predicted rise for stock-market gauges the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.44% and the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.37%
Bloomberg notes that Shelton has been an informal Trump adviser. She holds a Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Utah.
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