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WSJ reports Trump picks new leader for Federal Reserve: Who is Jerome H. Powell?

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The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that President Donald J. Trump plans to nominate Jerome H. Powell to succeed Janet L. Yellen, the current chairwoman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

According to the WSJ:

The White House has notified Federal Reserve governor Jerome Powell that President Donald Trump intends to nominate him as the next chairman of the central bank, according to a person familiar with the matter.

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The president spoke with Mr. Powell on Tuesday, according to another person familiar with the matter who couldn’t describe what they discussed.

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Mr. Trump had settled on Mr. Powell by Saturday, but people familiar with the process had cautioned that he could change his mind. The president plans to formally announce the decision Thursday before he leaves for a trip to Asia on Friday.

Powell, a graduate of Princeton University and Georgetown Law School, was nominated to the board in 2012 by President Barack Obama, but he is considered a Republican, having served as both the assistant secretary and as undersecretary of the Treasury under President George H.W. Bush.

At Georgetown Law, he was the editor-in-chief of the Georgetown Law Journal.

His business career, Powell worked as an investment banker and attorney. From 1997 to 2005, he was a partner at The Carlyle Group, a private equity firm. Before his joining the Federal Reserve Board, Powell was a visiting scholar at Washington’s Bipartisan Policy Center.

A resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Powell is married with three children.

 

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Big League Economics

BACK TO WORK: Ford Motors Announces They Intend to Begin Reopening Plants on Apr. 6

Ford does not want to suspend production for months because of coronavirus.

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Ford Motor Co. announced on Thursday that they intend to begin reopening some of their plants on Apr. 6, as the iconic automaker hopes that the coronavirus pandemic will not sideline their business for long.

Ford said last week that they would be suspending all production at their facilities indefinitely. They made the decision along with General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles with union workers spooked because of potential exposure to the coronavirus.

While Ford wants to resume their operations as quickly as possible, their plans are not written in stone. They could re-evaluate their time frame if the coronavirus pandemic worsens over the next ten days.

“We will continue to assess public health conditions as well as supplier readiness and will adjust plans if necessary,” Kumar Galhotra, Ford’s president of North America, said in a statement.

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GM and Chrysler have not issued any possible schedule for resuming operations at the present time. If all goes according to plan, Ford will re-open the Hermosillo Assembly Plant on Apr. 6 for one shift. It would then open many more facilities across the country on Apr. 14.

The other corporate titans of Motor City may be skittish about reopening because of Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s draconian restrictions on industry. Whitmer has issued an edict forcing all supposedly non-essential businesses to shutter until Apr. 13.

“The current trajectory we’re on seems a lot like Italy,” Whitmer said earlier this week. “We’ve got to do everything in our power to keep that from happening in Michigan.”

“This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities,” she added. “The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”

While public officials like Whitmer may have the best of intentions, their forced shut-down of the economy may cause more lasting damage to the country than the coronavirus ever could.

“The situation is fluid and can change week to week,” said Jim Cain, a spokesman for GM. “We don’t have firm return-to-work dates at this time.”

Americans are desperate to go back to work as the social safety net is strained like never before during these trying times. A dubious record was set for jobless claims filed in March, with three million Americans filing for unemployment benefits. President Trump hopes to have the country back on track by the Easter holiday.

“I think there are certain people that would like it not to open so quickly,” Trump said on Wednesday. “I think there are certain people that would like [the economy] to do financially poorly, because they think that would be very good as far as defeating me at the polls.”

He added: “I’m not going to do anything rash or hastily — I don’t do that. But the country wants to get back to work.”

It will not be easy for President Trump to pull the nation out of the grip of media-driven mass hysteria that has resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.

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