Federal Reserve

Trump might have renominated Yellen for Fed chair if she wasn't so... short, report says

Key Points
  • President  Trump was considering reappointing Janet Yellen to another term as Federal Reserve chair but was concerned she was too short, according to a Washington Post report.
  • Trump instead chose Jerome Powell, whom he has criticized repeatedly for presiding over interest rate hikes.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen (L) congratulates Fed Governor Jerome Powell at his swearing-in ceremony for a new term on the Fed's board, in Washington in this handout photo taken and released June 16, 2014.
US Federal Reserve | Reuters

President Donald Trump might have reappointed Janet Yellen to head the Federal Reserve if only she was a few inches taller.

A Washington Post report that quoted current and former officials said Trump on multiple occasions discussed giving Yellen another term at the central bank but was concerned over her height. He feared that at 5 feet and 3 inches she just wasn't tall enough to get the job done.

The report said he expressed his misgivings to National Economic Council members and noted that Yellen "impressed [Trump] greatly" during their interview.

There have been some tongue-in-cheek comparisons made in the past to the height of Fed chairs and their propensity to raise rates, with 6-foot-9 Paul Volcker being the most aggressive. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is close to 6 feet tall.

Trump has been harshly critical of the Fed and Powell, whom he chose over Yellen. The president has objected to the interest rate increases under Powell, though Yellen also presided over hikes and the beginning of the reduction in the Fed's balance sheet.

"Look, I took recommendations. I'm not blaming anybody," Trump told the Post, despite reports that he blames Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for recommending Powell.

For the full Post report, go here.

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