Trump to Nominate Stephen Moore for Fed Board

Federal Reserve Interest Rates

President Trump says he will nominate Stephen Moore to serve on the Federal Reserve Board - and it may be because of a Wall Street Journal op-ed. The president later said in a tweet that Moore is "a very respected Economist" and said he has "no doubt he will be an outstanding choice".

The president said in an interview Thursday night that the Fed's decision is not up to him, but he still contended that the Fed was wrong to raise interest rates a year ago.

"I believe the people on the Federal Reserve Board should be thrown out for economic malpractice", Moore said December 22 on Red Apple Group chairman and chief executive John Catsimatidis's radio show, blaming an end-of-the-year stock market swoon on the Fed's rate hikes.

The Federal Reserve announced after its March meeting that it will leave short-term interest rates unchanged for 2019 and will not raise rates for the remainder of the year.

Moore if confirmed would fill one of two vacancies on the seven-member board.

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Trump was so incensed by the Fed's policies he is said to have sought advice late past year on whether he could fire its chairman, Jerome Powell.

He argued that Mr Trump's policies had created a global demand for dollars by increasing the attractiveness of the U.S. as a place for investment and said the Fed had worked at cross purposes to that by tightening credit and withdrawing money from the economy.

In the Bloomberg Television interview, Moore said he was "not sure" about whether the Fed should cut rates and also said he needed to "reserve judgement" about the size of the Fed's bond holdings "because I don't have the full knowledge that I need".

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.

" Janet Yellen couldn't have been any worse than the guy he's got in there now", Moore said of Powell and his predecessor. Moore co-authored an op-ed in which he wrote that "the Fed should stabilize the value of the dollar by adopting the commodity-price rule used successfully by former Fed chief Paul Volcker", explaining that "to break the crippling inflation of the 1970s, Mr. Volcker linked Fed monetary policy to real-time changes in commodity prices".

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As a TV commentator, Moore has been an anti-tax conservative and fiscal hawk. And he contended that the approach, if adopted, would help accelerate economic growth above 3 percent, compared with the longer-run average of 1.9 percent that Fed officials have forecast.

Moore had earlier predicted in 2010 that the Fed's low rates would ignite inflation, and he advised investors to buy gold.

By contrast, the central bank raised rates just twice during the entire eight years Barack Obama was in office - and one of those rate hikes was approved in December of 2016, the month after Trump was elected.

"QE2 is just a fancy word for saying that what we're doing right now is we're monetising our debt, " he told a November 2011 conference in Palm Beach, Florida, according to a transcript of the event. He also praised Moore on Twitter. Federal debt has jumped since Trump's overhaul to the tax code, surging almost 77 percent through the first four months of fiscal 2019 compared with the previous year.

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