President Donald Trump’s possible selection of a former Republican presidential candidate to join the Federal Reserve reflects his continued displeasure with the central bank, despite its recent shift to a more dovish stance.
Trump has decided to appoint former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain to a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, according to a report by Axios. The report, which quotes two senior administration officials, said Trump will wait until the background check is completed before making the formal announcement.
The White House didn’t immediately comment.
Trump has also said he will appoint former Wall Street Journal editorial writer Stephen Moore to the Fed, but the White House has yet to send the nomination to the Senate. Moore and Cain would fill the two remaining vacancies on the Fed’s seven-member board. Trump’s interest in selecting Cain for the Fed was first reported in January.
The president remains sharply critical of the Fed’s interest-rate policy even thought the central bank has shifted in a dovish direction.
Trump has already filled four of the five seats at the central bank. But he has said he’s deeply unhappy that the central bank raised interest rates last year, which he alluded to with a tweet on Thursday morning, called the Fed’s 2018 rate hikes “unnecessary and destructive.”
Cain, 73, has prior Fed experience, having served as a director on the board of the Kansas City Fed from 1992-1996, ultimately becoming the board’s chairman.
Cain is known for being the chairman and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza and for his run for president as a Republican in 2012. He had a memorable tax plan called 9-9-9. It would have eliminated the tax system and replaced it with a 9% personal income tax, a 9% corporate income tax and a 9% sales tax.
Cain’s campaign ended after Politico reported that two female employees complained about alleged inappropriate behavior while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association.
Cain also backed Trump’s presidential campaign and presidency, including launching a Super Pac last year to support the president’s agenda.
Cain recently suggested he was now in the camp of lower rates.
“If I were offered the job, I would try to encourage the Fed not to make inflation a fear factor because deflation…is more of a fear factor than inflation,” Cain said in an interview this year.
That wasn’t always his position.
In an article in Atlantic Magazine in 2011, Drue Jennings, a lawyer who served with Cain on the Kansas City Fed board and succeeded him as chairman, said Cain “was in lock step” with the Fed policies of then-chairman Alan Greenspan and calling him “an inflation hawk.”
Cain wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal advocating a return to the gold standard.
“A gold standard is to the moochers and looters in government what sunlight and garlic are to vampires,” he wrote. The gold
standard has often been touted by Republicans during presidential primaries as a way to seek support from the party’s base.
U.S. stocks on Thursday struggled for direction, with the S&P 500
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rose. The benchmark 10-year Treasury
yielded just over 2.5%.