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Comment: Moore out of contention for Federal Reserve Board Governor, who next?

Now that Stephen Moore is out of contention for a Governor’s seat at the Federal Reserve, it is back to speculating on what names President Trump will put forward for the two empty places.

It is a conundrum as to who might be able to get through the confirmation process successfully and still meet with Trump’s desire for placing loyalists on the Board. Unless and until that puzzle is solved, the two governships are likely to remain empty.

Prior Trump Administration picks of Randal Quarles (Governor and Vice Chair for Supervision), Richard Clarida (Governor and Vice Chair), and Michelle Bowman (Governor to fill the spot reserved for a community banker) were all respectable selections that passed through the confirmation process without undue difficulty. Jerome Powell managed to be confirmed as Chair in spite of originally being an Obama appointee. None of them were controversial or laden with embarrassing baggage the way that was true of Stephen Moore and Herman Cain.

The failed nominations Marvin Goodfriend — who lingered in confirmation limbo for most of a year — and Nellie Liang — who was unwilling to face a dragged-out confirmation process — are instructive as to how difficult it can be to get even a respected and qualified figure confirmed and sworn in.

The Trump Administration has shown it can find and nominate qualified people for the job. Whether at this point President Trump is willing to pass on a loyalist in favor of someone more main stream remains to be seen.

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