Fed chair's calendar offers hints about priorities – report

by Francis Monfort09 Jul 2018

In his first four months as chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell had 27 meetings with members of Congress, seven with White House advisers, and 12 with banking executives and financial experts, spending more time with these groups compared to his predecessor Janet Yellen, according to a Reuters report.

The Federal Reserve has published the schedules for Powell’s first four months in his new role. While the calendars do not specify what was discussed or who sought the meeting, they offer some hints about Powell’s priorities.

While lawmakers, White House advisers, and bankers have Powell’s ears, Yellen tended to favor meeting with professors, the Treasury secretary, and community advocates, Reuters found.

Powell’s 27 meetings with lawmakers were split almost evenly between Republicans and Democrats. Meanwhile, Yellen only met with seven in her first four months, six of whom were Democrats. Powell’s schedule also indicates that he keeps an open line to the White House, with seven meetings to Yellen’s four.

Powell met with only one economic professor, Stanford University’s John Taylor. Meanwhile, Yellen met with eight. Powell was previously a lawyer for private equity firm Carlyle Group, while Yellen holds a doctorate in economics and was a university professor before becoming chair.

Powell and Yellen had frequent meetings with their respective Treasury secretaries in their respective first four months. For meetings with international central bankers and other foreign government officials, Powell’s 32 meetings exceed Yellen’s 26.

The Reuters report comes as the Fed continues to consider further raising interest rates as global trade tensions cause growth concerns.

 

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