Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on Wednesday sidestepped speculation about being replaced in 2018, as she dodged a question about whether President Donald Trump might reappoint her, or whether she’d even accept another term if offered.
Yellen’s tenure will expire early next year, amid expectations that Trump — who in the past has criticized the Fed’s ultra-accomodative monetary policy — may seek to replace her. Although Trump hasn’t explicitly ruled out retaining Yellen, a report in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday cited a senior official saying Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs executive who is the president’s top economic advisor, will oversee a search for the next Fed chief.
In response to a question after the Fed’s decision to hike rates by a quarter point, Yellen said that she and Trump have not had any conversations about her status, but she expected to continue serving until her tenure expires.
The White House has largely dismissed Wall Street’s chatter about potentially replacing Yellen, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, telling CNBC in April that the talk was little more than idle speculation.
Since taking the Oval Office, Trump has sounded a more conciliatory tone toward the Fed chief, telling The Journal in a February interview that he respected Yellen, and backed low interest rates.