Warren raises 'significant concerns' in letter to Trump's Fed pick Shelton


By Ann Saphir
Friday, January 31, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren today released a letter she sent to economist Judy Shelton, one of President Donald Trump's two planned nominees for seats on the Federal Reserve, raising "significant concerns" and posing a series of questions about her views.

Warren is among those vying to be the Democrat selected to take on Trump in the U.S. presidential elections in November. Polling for primaries kicks off Monday with caucuses held in Iowa, with other states holding their contests in coming months.

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Shelton, Warren wrote in the letter citing the former Trump adviser's own writings among others, has made a number of "radical" statements on economic policy, including her embrace as recently as 2012 of the gold standard as a better path to the price stability and full employment that are the Fed's mandates.

"While you have downplayed that position since your nomination was announced, I'm concerned that your change of heart reflects a political calculation rather than a true evolution in your thinking," wrote Warren, one of 12 Democrats on the Republican-dominated Senate banking committee, the first stop for any Fed nominee seeking the necessary Senate approval.

Warren asked Shelton to clarify her views on the gold standard, along with a number of other questions, including whether she believes the Fed should defer to the president's wishes should that person's views on how to achieve a certain goal differ from those of the Fed. Trump has been a fierce critic of the Fed for not delivering the steep rate cuts that he believes the economy needs.

Shelton in an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal last year called for the Fed to coordinate with the president and Congress on policy.

Shelton did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

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