One month ago we reported that according to Beacon Policy Advisors, a new name had emerged as potential replacement to Janet Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve: that of former Goldman COO and current Trump National Economic Council advisor Gary Cohn.
“The buzz among those who claim Cohn confides in them is that he would like to eventually replace” Yellen, assuming Trump decides to move in a different direction when the chair’s term ends in early February, Beacon Policy Advisors said in a daily report for clients in late April.
“On paper, Cohn likely meets Trump’s expected top two requirements for a Fed chair candidate,” the Beacon analysis said, specifically citing Cohn’s advocacy for deregulation and his likelihood to keep interest rates low as Trump seeks to implement his pro-growth economic policies.
Now, as Axios reports, this story is being validated by none other than Gary Cohn’s inner circle. According to Mike Allen a shake-up of the White House staff has put Cohn in contention to replace Reince Priebus as chief of staff. While such a move had long been speculated, Allen added that a late surge in support among confidants of Trump could lead GOP lobbyist David Urban to get the job.
However, as Axios notes, citing Cohn’s Friends “after his current gig, Cohn would love to be named … chair of the Federal Reserve.“
As a reminder, Janet Yellen’s term as Fed chair expires in February 2018. And while their relationship has been far less contentious recently, during his presidential campaign, Trump accused Yellen of collaborating with President Barack Obama and Democrats to keep interest rates low to ensure a victory for his competitor Hillary Clinton. His personal attacks led to speculation that he could even fire Yellen if he won. Since then, however, Trump has had a change of heart, and during an April WSJ interview, he stated that lower rates are in fact prefereable and said he may even reappoint Yellen.
Of course, if Cohn were appointed Fed chair it would add yet another person with Goldman Sachs ties to the Federal Reserve’s key positions. Cohn was Goldman’s president and COO before leaving to join the Trump administration.
Below we list some prominent former Goldman employees currently employed by the Federal Reserve:
- New York Fed president, William Dudley, previously Goldman’s chief economist
- Minnesota Fed president, Neel Kashkari, previously worked at Goldman
- Philadelphia Fed president, Patrick Harker, previously a former trustee of the Goldman Sachs Trust
- Dallas Fed president, Robert Kaplan, previously vice chairman at Goldman in charge of investment-banking operations.