Mnuchin: Fed vice-chair need not be Ph.D. economist

by Francis Monfort15 Nov 2017
The next vice-chair of the Federal Reserve has to be the best person for the job, but that does not mean he has to have a Ph.D. in economics, according to the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump is looking for a candidate qualified to serve as vice-chair under Jerome Powell, Trump’s nominee for Federal Reserve chairman.

 “We’re not putting any criteria on the job,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday at an event in Washington, Bloomberg reported. “We’re looking for the best person.”

Powell, whose nomination to lead the Fed is still subject to confirmation by the Senate, would be the Fed chair who does not have an economics doctorate since Paul Volcker, who served in the role from 1979 to 1987, according to the report.

Bloomberg said that the appointment has fueled speculation that a trained economist will be nominated for the vice-chair role.

Mnuchin said, however, that the hundreds of Ph.D. economists in the Fed can provide the research and modeling needed by the bank leadership. He also said that not all White House officers have traditional backgrounds, including Trump himself.

“The president doesn’t have government experience, and I think he’s doing a great job,” Mnuchin said.

Mnuchin finds Powell impressive, saying that he has worked with the nominee on regulatory issues. A former lawyer, Powell has been a Fed governor since 2012.


Related stories:
Yellen yet to decide on diminished Fed role
Fed’s No. 2 man quits
 

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