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Trump said to plan Fed Chair pick before Nov 3 Asia trip

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President Donald Trump plans to announce his nominee to chair the Federal Reserve before he leaves Nov 3 for an 11-day trip to Asia and Hawaii, a person familiar with the process said.

[WASHINGTON] President Donald Trump plans to announce his nominee to chair the Federal Reserve before he leaves Nov 3 for an 11-day trip to Asia and Hawaii, a person familiar with the process said.

Mr Trump is working with a shortlist of five names to lead the central bank: former Fed Governor Kevin Warsh, Stanford University economist John Taylor, current Fed Governor Jerome Powell, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and the current chair, Janet Yellen, according to people familiar with the process.

Mr Trump has already interviewed some of the candidates and plans to interview Ms Yellen on Thursday. Her current term ends in February. The post is subject to confirmation by the US Senate, a process that can take months to complete.

Mr Taylor, 70, made a favourable impression on the president after an hour-long interview at the White House last week, several people familiar with the process said.

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Mr Warsh has meanwhile seen his star fade within the White House, three of the people said. They wouldn't say why, but Mr Warsh's academic credentials aren't as strong as the other finalists and at 47, he is considerably younger than the others.

Mr Trump gushed about Mr Taylor after his interview, one of the people said. The president has a history of hiring people with whom he has a strong personal rapport. Mr Taylor is a monetary policy expert whose equation on policy-rate settings is a standard reference tool used by central banks and economists around the world.

US DOLLAR RISES

Speculation that Mr Taylor is a leading contender for the post prompted investors to lift bets on a rate increase in December and sent the US dollar up versus the Group of 10 currencies.

US central bankers are presiding over the third-longest economic expansion in US history, fuelled in part by Ms Yellen's caution in reversing the Fed's crisis-era interventions.

Under her tenure, the Federal Open Market Committee has raised rates just four times since December 2015. At issue for the next Fed chair, if Ms Yellen isn't renominated, is ensuring the long expansion doesn't give way to a recession.

In his first term, Mr Trump may nominate as many as five governors to the Fed's seven-person board - decisions whose consequences may outlast his presidency. Governors are appointed to terms as long as 14 years, while the next Fed chair will serve until at least 2022 and could be reappointed.

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