President Trump has made two new nominations to the U.S. Federal Reserve.
According to his tweets and reports, he wants to fill two board vacancies with Judy Shelton, who serves as U.S. executive director at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and Christopher Waller, who is director of research as the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
These two nominations follow a recent attempt that failed to put two other people into those Fed spots. As The Wall Street Journal put it, “Mr. Trump recently dropped plans to nominate two other picks, conservative pundit Stephen Moore and onetime Republican presidential contender Herman Cain. Both of them withdrew from consideration after Republican senators expressed reservations about their personal backgrounds, policy views and qualifications for the job.”
Shelton gained approval from the U.S. Senate for her current job in 2018, according to the report. As for Weller, he is, according to that report, “a trained economist [who] holds a Ph.D. from Washington State University and headed the University of Notre Dame’s economics department before joining the St. Louis Fed in 2009.”
The announcement of these new nominations comes during a dramatic period for the Federal Reserve. As the newspaper put it, “Mr. Trump has recently escalated his criticism of the central bank for raising interest rates last year and called on it to lower interest rates. Doing so would allow the economy to take off like a ‘rocket ship,’ he said April 5.”
The nominations also come as the Federal Reserve deals with the issue of corporate debt, as PYMNTS has recently covered.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell offered his thoughts on rising corporate debt levels in the U.S. and abroad just weeks after the Fed released its latest financial stability report, which found that the U.S. economy “appears resilient.” USA Today reported that Powell spoke during a banking conference in Florida, where he said the Fed is closely monitoring corporate debt levels, concluding that the risks are “moderate.”