(Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve’s insulation from political pressure will be respected by President-elect Donald Trump’s administration, economic adviser Judy Shelton said.
“The Fed is independent and will remain independent,” Shelton told Bloomberg Television’s David Gura in an interview Friday. Asked if Fed Chair Janet Yellen will serve the remainder of her term, Shelton said “I can’t imagine why she wouldn’t.”
Trump’s election has spurred speculation over whether Republican-backed Fed reform proposals -- such as subjecting monetary policy to an audit or a mechanical rate-setting rule -- could become law, potentially limiting the Fed’s independence. As a candidate, Trump alternately said that he respected Yellen and that she was “highly political,” was keeping interest rates low to benefit Democratic President Barack Obama, and should be ashamed of herself.
“He reserves the right, when her term expires, to appoint someone else if he so chooses,” Shelton said in a Bloomberg Radio interview following her TV appearance. Yellen’s time as chair ends in 2018, unless she’s reappointed.
While the business world is focused on the Fed, Trump is looking at growth and focusing on “making it real” and trying to “get the economy growing in a substantive way,” said Shelton, who is an economist and co-director of the Sound Money Project at Atlas Network in Washington. She called the Fed a “wag-the-dog” institution.
Shelton, who favors returning to a gold standard, said she couldn’t speculate whether Trump might try to return to it and that doing so would “obviously be a very difficult transition.” Trump is looking to curb currency manipulation and make sure that low rates don’t create a false economy, she said.
“There’s really intellectual consistency there -- he’s talking about monetary integrity,” Shelton said.
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