Fed’s Williams guns for vice-chair job

John Williams of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is gunning for one of the top positions in the central bank, saying it would be a “great honour” to serve as number two under Jay Powell, the incoming chair.

Mr Williams said he would “welcome such an opportunity to contribute to the important mission of the Fed,” when asked by the Financial Times in an interview today if he would be up for a move to Washington to serve as vice-chairman of the Fed’s Board of Governors.

His words come as Donald Trump considers candidates to fill the position vacated by Stanley Fischer, the former vice-chair, who left last October. Among the candidates said to be in the running for the post is Larry Lindsey, a former Fed governor and a White House official under George W Bush, Mohamed El-Erian, the chief economic adviser at Allianz, and Richard Clarida of Pimco.

The Trump administration is looking for a top-notch economist to offer backing to Mr Powell, who succeeds Janet Yellen next month. Mr Williams is one of the most influential figures in the Fed system, having recently helped champion the push for a rethink of the central bank’s inflation targeting framework.

Full interview to follow

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