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Trump taps two allies as Fed board nominees

AFP / Share:
(Xinhua/Wang Jingqiang)

(AFP) – Donald Trump said Tuesday he intends to nominate two new candidates to the board of the Federal Reserve, which the US president has assailed over its reluctance to lower interest rates.

Both of the president’s intended nominees, which he announced on Twitter, are economists who share his cutting opinion of the Fed. He noted in his announcement that both possess doctorates.

“I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate” Christopher Waller, a director of at the Fed’s satellite office in St. Louis, Missouri, and conservative economist Judy Shelton,” Mr Trump tweeted.

The Fed has a seven-member board, but has had openings for many months.

The last two candidates Mr Trump tapped for the Fed board – conservative economic commentator Stephen Moore and former pizza executive Herman Cain – were so unusual that even several Senate Republicans said confirming them would be out of the question.

Mr Moore, who advised Mr Trump when he was running for president, had faced mounting criticism over his qualifications and past comments, such as complaints that women’s wage gains could pose a danger to families by outpacing those of men, which he tried to walk back.

Mr Cain previously served as a board member at the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank and was a candidate for the Republican Party’s nomination in the 2012 presidential election, but he suspended his campaign following allegations of sexual misconduct, which he denied.

Mr Cain and Mr Moore’s withdrawals suggested the president had faced difficulty in installing loyalists at the central bank.

Mr Trump has repeatedly ignored norms designed to protect the independent Fed from political influence, and routinely lambasts the central bank and its president Jerome Powell for raising interest rates, claiming it is holding back US economic growth, which he views as key to his reelection in 2020.

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