skip to Main Content

Comment: Nomination of Stephen Moore to Board of Governors a long shot

The nomination of Stephen Moore to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors is a long shot to successfully navigate the confirmation process. While he is on the surface more qualified than some names that have been floated, he lacks many of the credentials looked for in a central banker. Moreover, he is burdened by more than the weight of political partisanship — he is a die-hard supporter of President Trump and his appointment would constitute a bald effort to infringe on the independence of the US central bank.

President Trump can put forward any name he chooses to fill empty seats on the Board of Governors. However, as the failed nomination of Marvin Goodfriend should demonstrate, even someone with serious academic and Federal Reserve system experience and the respect of his colleagues can fail. At the present time, Moore would face an even more grueling nomination hearing and examination of his past forecasts and writings, and his willingness to approach monetary policy independent of political interference. It might be possible for Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee to give him friendly Q&A, but the Democrats will not. Even if he cleared the nomination hearing and received a Banking Committee recommendation, a full vote in the Senate might not be able to guarantee the necessary “yea’s”, which is what happened to Goodfriend. If so, Moore’s nomination could stall, perhaps long enough for it to time out at year end, which happened to Goodfriend twice.

Even if ultimately the nomination goes through and Moore was confirmed, his vote would be only one of the possible seven of the Governors and would further be balanced by the five FOMC voters among the District Bank President.

It isn’t clear which term applies to the Moore nomination. It could either be for the unexpired term ending January 31, 2024 or January 31, 2030.

Back To Top