It's up to Cain to move ahead with Fed nomination

Leroy Wright
April 13, 2019

Potential Federal Reserve nominee Stephen Moore extended a remarkable run of commentary on the US economy on Wednesday even as prospects for another possible Fed pick, former presidential candidate Herman Cain, appeared to fade.

Cain was chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, one of the branches of America's central bank, but has been criticized as strictly a loyalist and political pick by Trump to counter the president's angst with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. Cain's bid for president in 2012 was derailed by accusations of sexual harassment that he has repeatedly denied.

The president has said he intends to nominate another conservative secretary, Stephen Moore, to get another vacancy on the board.

The Fed's seven-member board has two empty seats. A series of personal and professional issues could also complicate Cain's appearance before the Senate, leading experts to predict that the potential nomination is either never submitted or simply falls through.

"I have a pretty populist agenda that I'm pursuing, which is more growth, higher wages, more transparency and more sunlight on how the Fed operates", Moore said, calling those priorities "the right things to do" and saying that he wants "to talk directly to the American people".

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Sen. Mitt Romney - who ran against Cain in 2012 - also told Politico, "I would anticipate voting no on Herman Cain". He will need to be confirmed by the Senate.

Trump indicated he continues to support Cain when asked about by reporters Wednesday, "Herman is a wonderful man, he's been a supporter of mine for a long time". However, the president cast doubts on the process going forward. "He's just somebody I like a lot".

Cain and Moore are battling hard for the two vacant seats on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, positions that would give them a say for years on interest-rate policy and bank regulation. "As to how he's doing in the process that I don't know..." Cain's photo and name were used as recently as last month in a letter raising funds to oppose a group of 12 senators if they ever "cross" Trump.

In his International Monetary Fund speech, the Treasury secretary also said that he doesn't see the US returning to the gold standard - an idea advocated by Cain and to a lesser extent, Moore.

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