Traders watch as a monitor displays news about the unchanged interest rates on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Traders watch as a monitor displays news about the unchanged interest rates on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

President Donald Trump recently announced that he would not nominate businessman Herman Cain to a powerful seat on the Federal Reserve Board.

Cain was largely seen as someone who would be a Trump ally, but the Federal Reserve Board is supposed to be apolitical.

The Wall Street Journal offered some context on the move.

Mr. Trump’s tapping of Mr. Cain and fellow conservative pundit Stephen Moore for the two vacancies on the seven-seat Fed board came after the president had grown increasingly critical of the central bank, which he has said is undermining his administration’s efforts to boost growth.

Under the leadership of Jerome Powell, Mr. Trump’s choice for Fed chairman, the central bank raised interest rates four times in 2018 to keep the economy on an even keel.

In the case of his first six picks to the central bank—four of which were confirmed by the Senate—Mr. Trump ran a traditional personnel process in which staff culled through the candidate pool and the president signed off on the finalists. This resulted in a board of governors made up largely of policy experts who received bipartisan support in Senate confirmation hearings.

Why does an independent Fed matter? How much power does Jerome Powell, the current Fed chair, hold? And how do the actions of the Fed affect everyday Americans?

We talk with Marketplace’s Kai Ryssdal about it.

Produced by Paige Osburn.

Guests

  • Kai Ryssdal Host and senior editor, Marketplace; @kairyssdal

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