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FedÕ Powell reportedly names two senior advisers

Names monetary policy specialists Jon Faust and Antulio Bomfim to senior adviser roles

Recently confirmed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has made his first staff moves, reportedly naming two senior advisers, according to the Wall Street Journal.

WSJ’s Nick Timiraos reports that Powell has named monetary policy specialists Jon Faust and Antulio Bomfim to adviser roles.

Faust, currently a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University, will be working on a part-time basis, spending one day a week at the Fed until John Hopkins’ academic term ends, according to the report. His role and schedule following the academic year is unclear. Faust served as a senior adviser to Powell’s predecessors, Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, from 2012 to 2014.

Bomfim, currently an economist in the Fed’s monetary affairs division, also will serve as a special adviser to Powell, WSJ reported. Bomfim is also a Fed veteran, serving as an economist from 1992 to 2003. He returned as a senior advisor in 2016, following work with research firm Macroeconomic Advisers.

From the WSJ report:

Powell joined the Fed as a governor nearly six years ago and is the first non-economist to lead the institution in more than three decades. He has stressed continuity with Ms. Yellen’s tenure, suggesting the Fed will continue with its recent policy of gradually raising interest rates this year. 

Mr. Powell is contemplating steps to make the organization more transparent to the public and less bureaucratic internally, extending an evolution started by his predecessors.

In an interview last month before his latest appointment, Mr. Faust said one challenge facing the Fed and Mr. Powell would be to develop tools to reduce the prospect of resorting to unconventional stimulus measures, such as bond buying, when interest rates are pinned near zero, during future downturns.

“The Fed isn’t out of ammunition, but the ammunition has been shown to be quite weak,” he said. “That’s a very frightening prospect that we’ve all got to hope we don’t face.”

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