Far more important than any corporate earnings or central bank announcements this week, will be Trump’s widely telegraphed and trial ballooned choice who will replace Janet Yellen, and as Politico writes, that announcement is likely to come on Thursday. As Politico reports, citing sources, “look for an announcement on Thursday, though plans are not totally set yet.” The reports adds that Jerome Powell is still the most likely pick, but Trump could surprise, Politico says and adds that if Trump changes his mind, “Kevin Warsh is more likely than John Taylor.”
More details on Warsh’s unexpected rise in the ranks:
The reason for this is that senior administration officials argued (evidently successfully) to Trump that while Taylor is a rock star economist and monetary policy expert, he might not be the steady hand you’d want at the helm during a potential crisis. Powell may not be the world’s most exiting chair but he is viewed as the safest pick outside of Janet Yellen. That’s where Warsh comes in.
If Trump decides at the last second that he wants a splashier pick that would satisfy more conservatives, Warsh could be the guy. And he worked at the Fed during the financial crisis, so presumably could be counted on if for whatever reason we hit the skids hard again.
Still, as of this writing, Powell remains the very likely pick. He wouldn’t be able to take part in any announcement early in the week, given the FOMC meets Tuesday and Wednesday. That would push the announcement to Thursday.
Meanwhile, over the weekend, the NYT reported that Trump is unlikely to simultaneously tap a vice chairman at the same time, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Saturday, eliminating one potential twist in a selection process being closely watched on Wall Street.
Finally, as far as the market is concerned, the only surprise at this point is if Powell is not picked as next Fed chair.
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