Economists place odds of Yellen reappointment at one in five


Economists have placed the odds of US president Donald Trump reappointing Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve at 20.8 per cent, a Wall Street Journal survey reveals.

The next most likely pick is National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, a former investment banker with no experience setting monetary policy, who is responsible for the White House’s search for nominees to the central bank.

Trump hasn’t ruled out selecting Yellen for another term, but appearing before the House financial services committee this week she said her renomination hadn’t come up for discussion.

The former chair of the San Francisco Federal Reserve, Yellen’s term at the US central bank ends in February.

Other contenders include Stanford economist John Taylor, who attracted odds of 11.3 per cent, and there was an 11.5 per cent chance on Kevin Warsh, a Fed governor until 2011.

Taylor has created a theoretical rule-based approach to monetary policy.

The 63 respondents were asked to assign probability of nomination to a list of 14 names, but were also allowed to assign probability to someone not on the list.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney was one wild card name, but only landed a 0.3 per cent change of landing the job, which would represent his third time in a central bank’s top role having also been the governor of the Bank of Canada.

JP Morgan chief executive Jamie Dimon was also ranked as a possible contender, but only with a 3.2 per cent chance.

M&G head of retail fixed income Jim Leaviss has previously warned on the risk of a “gold nutter” or Trump business crony replacing Yellen and noted that both Taylor and Warsh would be likely to more hawkish if elected chair.