Trump to nominate economics professor to Federal Reserve

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump intends to nominate Marvin Goodfriend, a Carnegie Mellon University economics professor, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, the latest step in the administration’s effort to put its stamp on the nation’s central bank.

The White House announced late Wednesday that Goodfriend would be nominated to fill one of three empty seats on the Fed’s seven-member board. If confirmed by the Senate, Goodfriend would have a 14-year term on the powerful board that helps set interest rate policies.

Trump earlier this month tapped Fed board member Jerome Powell to serve as the Fed’s next chairman, after deciding not to offer a second term to Janet Yellen.

Goodfriend, who has long been mentioned as a likely pick for one of the empty board seats, is a highly respected monetary economist who from 1993 to 2005 was research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., one of the Fed’s 12 regional banks.

Goodfriend earned his Ph.D. in economics from Brown University, and his appointment would provide the board with expertise in monetary policy. Powell, who has been on the Fed Board since 2012, will be the first Fed chairman without a degree in economics in nearly four decades.

In his writings and testimony before Congress, Goodfriend has expressed support for various central bank policy changes that are being advocated by conservative Republican lawmakers, such as using a monetary formula to help set interest rates.

With the nomination of Goodfriend, Trump will have nominated three people to positions on the Fed board. In addition to selecting Powell as chairman, Trump earlier this year tapped Utah financier Randal Quarles for the position of vice chairman for supervision, a spot where he is expected to play a key role in Trump’s efforts to loosen regulations on the financial sector.

There are two more vacancies for Trump to fill currently. When Yellen’s term as chair ends on Feb. 3, Trump will have three spots to fill.

There have been reports that Trump is considering nominating Mohamed El-Erian, an economist who has served as chief executive of Pacific Investment Management Co., or PIMCO, to serve as vice chairman, replacing Stanley Fischer, who left the board in October.

Another name that has been mentioned is Michelle Bowman, the top banking regulator in Kansas, who could fill the spot on the Fed board reserved for a community banker.