President Donald Trump
The next Fed chair
President Trump confirmed Tuesday that he has narrowed his choice of the next chair of the Federal Reserve to five candidates, acknowledging that he is having a tough time making a choice.

"Honestly, I like them all," Trump told reporters during a press conference. "I have a great respect for all of them. But I'll make a decision over the next very short period of time."

A decision is expected within the next couple weeks. Trump has little flexibility as Janet Yellen's term as chair is due to expire early next year, and any candidate would need to be vetted by the Senate Banking Committee and voted on by the full chamber, an often lengthy process.

It remains unclear if Trump wants a big change in direction at the Fed. As a presidential candidate, he was critical of Yellen, but he has warmed to her as the stock market and the economy have done well during her tenure. He is set to meet with Yellen on Thursday to discuss whether she would be interested in being reappointed. (The final five candidates were first reported by The Wall Street Journal.)

The president has a rare opportunity to reshape the entire Fed board so early in his term. His first pick, Randal Quarles, was sworn in Monday as vice chairman of supervision, but three other spots on the seven-member board are currently vacant. If Trump does not pick Yellen as the next chair, she could also choose to leave the board, which would open a fourth spot.

Following is who he is considering for the Fed chair slot:
Fed Chair Janet Yellen
Janet Yellen
Not long ago, the idea that Trump would reappoint Yellen appeared unthinkable. As a presidential candidate, Trump accused Yellen of playing politics at the Fed, purposely keeping interest rates low to help President Obama. Once in office, however, Yellen's go-slow approach to raising interest rates has benefited Trump and he has sounded increasingly positive about her.

It still seems more likely than not that the president will choose someone else for the spot, if only so that he can make his own pick and not reappoint one inherited from his predecessor. Yet keeping Yellen would avoid any potential market uncertainty surrounding the choice and give him a Fed chair who's obviously qualified for the role.
Federal Reserve Board Gov. Jerome Powell
Jerome Powell
Fed Gov. Jerome Powell was once considered a dark horse for the Fed chair slot, but he's seen as an increasingly viable choice. Powell has already been confirmed by the Senate, which makes the process for Fed chair easier, and is seen as a way for Trump to stay the current course on interest rates while also putting his own stamp on the board.

Powell is a former visiting fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center and worked for the Treasury Department in the George H.W. Bush administration.
Kevin Warsh, fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution
Kevin Warsh
Fed Gov. Kevin Warsh, now a fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, is seen as a strong candidate to become the next Fed chair. He met with Trump late last month about the Fed job, according to media reports. Warsh is seen as an experienced hand who might inject new thinking into the central bank's discussion as it navigates reducing its massive balance sheet.
NEC Director Gary Cohn
Gary Cohn
In July, National Economic Council head Gary Cohn was widely considered the front-runner to be the next Fed chair.

But that changed dramatically after Cohn reacted poorly to Trump's comments following violence in Charlottesville in July. Cohn was outspoken that the president did not strongly condemn Nazis and other white supremacists taking part in a rally there. Since then, the relationship between Trump and Cohn is said to have cooled. Yet he remains in the running.
John Taylor, professor at Stanford University
John Taylor
John Taylor, the top economics professor at Stanford University, is the fifth candidate on Trump's short list. He is already well known in policy circles for the so-called Taylor Rule, an algorithm that he suggested should be used by the Fed in place of discretionary monetary policy. The rule has been popular with conservatives, who argue the Fed has been too subjective in making decisions on interest rates.

Taylor is a former Treasury undersecretary for international affairs in the George W. Bush administration and a former member of the Council of Economic Advisers for President George H.W. Bush.
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