Trump Says He’ll Nominate Waller, Shelton to Federal Reserve

July 3, 2019by Josh Wingrove
President Donald Trump speaks during an opioid round table at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (Sipa USA/TNS)

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he’s planning to nominate Christopher Waller and Judy Shelton to serve on the Federal Reserve Board.

Waller, who is an executive vice president and the director of research at the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, previously served as a professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame.

Shelton, who has been an informal adviser to Trump, is the U.S. executive director for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Trump, who announced his picks on Twitter, has struggled to find candidates for the Fed that are acceptable to senators who vote on confirming nominees. Trump has named four people for the two open seats on the board of governors. None of them has made it through the Senate, raising questions about the White House vetting process for his picks.

The White House has conducted the search for Fed candidates as Trump has repeatedly blasted Fed Chairman Jerome Powell over the Fed’s interest rate increases. The president has told confidants that he believes he has the authority to replace Powell as Fed chairman, demoting him to the level of board governor, according to people familiar with the matter. But Trump said he doesn’t plan to do it.

Powell said he intends to serve his full four-year term and that “the law is clear” on that issue.

Earlier this year, Trump advanced two supporters for the Fed board, Stephen Moore and Herman Cain, but both withdrew their names after they came under criticism.

Waller is a Ph.D. economist whose key research focus has been on monetary and macroeconomic theory and the political economy. He’s worked for a decade in his current role, according to his biography on the St. Louis Fed’s website.

He’s held positions at the University of Kentucky, the Center for European Integration Studies at University of Bonn, and Indiana University’s Department of Economics.

Shelton has a doctorate in business administration from the University of Utah, with an emphasis on finance and international economics. She previously worked for the Sound Money Project, which was founded to promote awareness about monetary stability and financial privacy.

Her unorthodox views could attract opposition. In an interview with Bloomberg in May, she said she was “highly skeptical” that the goals for the Fed set by Congress — the pursuit of maximum employment, stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates — were relevant.

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