Jay Powell has been chairman of the Federal Reserve for a little over a week now, and boy, what a week it has been. Jay Powell is also the first non-economist to lead the central bank in 30 years, which means he may need some help dealing with things.
At the moment, that help is somewhat lacking. There are seven seats on the Fed Board of Governors. Four of them are currently empty, including the seat of the vice chairman. This has got some people thinking that maybe someone who knows something about economics might be nice to have whispering in Powell’s ear. Maybe it would be nice if this person did not have a penis. Hey, Mr. President, have you seen this Cleveland Fed president? We like the cut of her jib.
The Trump administration is interested in filling the vice chairman post with a well-respected expert in monetary economics. Ms. Mester would satisfy that criterion and possibly others for the White House’s search, now in its fourth month.
The White House has interviewed Ms. Mester and several other economists for the position….
If selected, Ms. Mester would be the first woman tapped for the Fed’s seven-member board by President Donald Trump. His three nominations so far are all men.
The other three candidates for Fischer’s old job are men, too, including Mohammed El-Erian, in spite of his kind words for Janet Yellen. Not that it particularly matters, because Mester, El-Erian and the rest of us could well be dead before our president and his Very Good Brain™ make a decision.
It isn’t clear whether there is a front-runner, and a nomination doesn’t appear to be imminent.