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Politics

Trump knocks out an awful Fed chair contender -- for an awful reason

Catherine Rampell on

WASHINGTON -- Among the growing list of reasons that a president might reject a candidate for Federal Reserve chair:

-- Too hawkish on inflation.

-- Too dovish on inflation.

-- Too anti-regulation.

-- Too pro-regulation.

-- Too anti-Nazi.

 

Wait. What, pray tell, does Nazism have to do with U.S. monetary policy?

Normally the answer is: not a lot. But President Trump has hardly proved himself a slave to normalcy.

For the non-Fed-watchers out there, a bit of context: The Fed chair is not only the world's most powerful central banker; arguably he or she is also its second-most-powerful person. That's because the chair has enormous influence over the international economy and markets. A wrong move can destroy trillions in wealth.

Current Chair Janet L. Yellen's leadership term ends in February, and earlier this year the White House launched a search for her successor (assuming she's not reappointed; more on this later). The person running that search has been National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn. Not just coincidentally, Cohn also quickly emerged as the leading contender to get the job.

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