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Mortgage industry stands behind TrumpÕ Fed chair pick

Jerome Powell to begin four-year term in early 2018

As predicted, President Donald Trump nominated current Maryland Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell to take over as chair early next year.

Powell will begin his four-year term once current Chair Janet Yellen’s term is up in February 2018.

“Thank you, Mr. President, for the faith you have shown in me through this nomination,” Powell stated. “I am both honored and humbled by this opportunity to serve our great country. If I am confirmed by the Senate, I will do everything within my power to achieve the goals assigned to the Federal Reserve by the Congress: stable prices and maximum employment.”

Yellen congratulated Powell on his nomination, complimenting his ability and saying she is committed to working with him for a smooth transition.

“I congratulate my colleague Jay Powell on his nomination to be Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board,” Yellen said. “Jay's long and distinguished career has been marked by dedicated public service and seriousness of purpose.”

“I am confident in his deep commitment to carrying out the vital public mission of the Federal Reserve,” she said. “I am committed to working with him to ensure a smooth transition.”

Now, the housing industry is standing behind Trump’s pick, saying the experience he brings is essential to the housing finance industry.

“MBA applauds the President’s choice of Jay Powell as the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors,” said Mike Fratantoni, Mortgage Bankers Association chief economist. “The Fed’s goals of maintaining full employment, low inflation, and financial stability are essential components of a healthy and dynamic housing finance system.”

“Governor Powell brings substantial experience at the Fed, at Treasury, and in the private sector to this critically important role,” Fratantoni said. “His work at the Fed through this challenging recovery should enable him to carefully guide monetary and regulatory policies in the years ahead in a manner that provides the environment for further, sustainable growth.”

Others joined in by voicing their support, saying Powell’s dovish outlook  will not differ significantly from the Fed’s current chair.

“The choice of Jerome Powell as Fed Chair supports President Trump’s pro-growth agenda quite well,” said Steve Rick, CUNA Mutual Group chief economist. “Powell represents a relatively dovish voice whose path should not deviate significantly from that charted by Janet Yellen.”

However, not everyone is happy with the president’s choice, and they are not shy about their opinion.

“Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them,” Capital Economics Chief Economist Paul Ashworth said. “Jerome Powell belongs in the third category.”

“President Donald Trump’s nomination of Powell to be the next Fed Chair is an underwhelming choice,” Ashworth said. “The Fed will face many difficult challenges over the next few years and it is unclear whether Powell has the skills to navigate them.”

Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said the decision not to re-nominate Yellen was “senseless.”

“Janet Yellen, who is the first woman to lead the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, has done a masterful job as steward of the U.S. economy,” Waters said. “She has demonstrated steady and strong leadership, and through bold and independent Federal Reserve policy, she has made critical contributions to the recovery and health of our economy.”

“Under Chair Yellen’s leadership, the Federal Reserve has played a key role implementing many critical reforms required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, making our financial system much safer and stronger,” she said. “Despite her impeccable credentials, accomplishments and outstanding service, Donald Trump has diverged from the common practice of reappointing Federal Reserve Board Chairs who are eligible for another term, and senselessly pushed Chair Yellen out of her historic position of leadership at the Fed.”

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