Trump to nominate conservative economist Stephen Moore to Federal Reserve board

Fed prods Americans to purchase more on credit

President Trump told FOX Business' Maria Bartiromo on Thursday that while Federal Reserve policies have impeded economic growth, the nation's financial status continues to outpace its global counterparts.

In a radio interview in December, Mr Moore said that Mr Powell and others members of the Fed board "should be thrown out for economic malpractice" after raising rates that month. The position would give him a vote at the policy-setting table of an institution whose interest rate hikes a year ago were a frequent target of Trump's ire.

Mr Moore's selection is just the latest step in Mr Trump's effort to exert control over the USA central bank, which was designed by Congress to be independent from short-term political pressure.

Moore if confirmed would fill one of two vacancies on the seven-member board. Moore has since urged the Fed to be more generous in supporting the economy, even though growth has strengthened in the past two years and less help is needed. The biggest question will be whether the Republicans who have regularly met with Powell agree to advance someone who has publicly chastised the head of the Fed and agreed that Trump has the power to fire him.

An official familiar with the nomination said Moore's latest op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on the Fed is what pushed his nomination forward.

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Scott Sumner, the chair of monetary policy at George Mason University's Mercatus Center, said his concern is that Moore accused the Fed of providing too much aid after the 2008 financial crisis, when the economy depended on help from the central bank. He also was an adviser to Trump's presidential campaign. "I'm going have study up" on that, he said.

In the op-ed, Moore also suggested the Fed stabilize the value of the dollar by adopting a commodity price rule.

" Janet Yellen couldn't have been any worse than the guy he's got in there now", Moore said of Powell and his predecessor.

Along with using technical terms to mean different things than most economists, Moore in a 2014 co-authored paper argued the exact opposite of the views he embraces today, urging the Fed to pull liquidity from the economy by selling off its assets because of the risk of inflation. Moore predicted rising budget deficits under Obama would lead to higher interest rates and inflation, but that didn't come true. He was a senior economist on the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, served on the editorial board of the Wall Street Journal and was an economic analyst for CNN.

The comments were among the first made by a Fed policymaker since the USA central bank made an unexpectedly dovish shift on Wednesday. I said, what're we doing here? He's a longtime proponent of supply-side economics, the idea that growth is best stimulated by lowering taxes and reducing government regulation.


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