Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is taking a different approach to meetings, spending more time with lawmakers, White House Advisors, and banks than Janet Yellen, who was Fed head until his appointment.
According to a report in Reuters looking at the calendars detailing Powell’s meetings during the first four months as the Federal Reserve Chairman, the schedules don’t say who sought the meetings and what was discussed — but they do show what the Fed’s priorities will be based on who he met with. Reuters noted that at the same time as the meetings, the Fed is in the process of determining whether or not to raise interest rates further this year as trade tensions between China and the U.S. are starting to hurt growth. While the White House — led by President Donald Trump — has cut taxes and increased spending to boost economic growth, the tariffs imposed on China that went into effect late last week are expected to have an impact as China retaliates.
Reuters reported that during the four months through May, Powell had 117 meetings in person or by phone with non-Federal Reserve staff that weren’t part of his regular duties as Fed chairman. Yellen, Reuters reported, had 96 meetings of that nature during her first four months as Fed chair. Reuters noted that of the meetings Powell had, 27 were with lawmakers — with the meetings equally split between Democrats and Republicans. Yellen had met with seven lawmakers in her first four months, with six of them Democrats. Powell has also met with President Donald Trump’s economic advisers seven times compared to four when Yellen was in charge. Meanwhile, Powell held 12 meetings with banking executives and experts in the financial markets including John Taylor, an economics professor at Stanford University who had been on Trump’s list to lead the Fed. Yellen had six meeting with banks and eight with economic professors in her first four months, noted the report.