Chairman Jerome Powell? President Trump Reportedly Plans to Take the Moderate Route

Reports in multiple media outlets today indicate that President Trump will nominate Jerome Powell, a sitting governor on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, to replace current Chair Janet Yellen.

As I wrote last week, Powell is the “moderate” choice between Yellen and Stanford University Professor John Taylor.

Powell does not seem to have said much on the record about community development and the Community Reinvestment Act, but last April he made brief opening remarks at the Interagency Minority Deposition Institution and CDFI Bank National Conference.

He said, in part, that, “…the Fed has a unique Community Development function that seeks to mobilize ideas, networks, and approaches that address a wide range of community and economic development challenges. One thing that makes our Community Development function unique is that we have deep geographic coverage at the 12 Reserve Banks and their Branch locations. Last year, we combined the resources of our Supervision and Regulation division with those of our Community Development department to staff our Partnership for Progress. By bringing in Community Development, we brought in a new perspective, one that has an explicit focus on low- and moderate-income communities. We know that you serve many of these same individuals and communities, and we are asking our Community Development staff around the country to reach out to you to gather your perspectives on the communities you serve to identify emerging issues of which we should be aware.”

Powell has shown interest in and understanding of the need for CRA. That is probably not the reason the President is leaning toward selecting him, however. The economy is riding lots of positive momentum and a sharp change of course likely would disrupt it.

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