Trump nominates Stephen Moore to Fed Board.  Does this spell trouble for Jerome Powell?


ABOVE CAPTION.  President Trump Announces The Nominee For Federal Reserve Chair Of The Board Of Governors
Jerome Powell, governor of the U.S. Federal Reserve and President Donald Trump's nominee as chairman of the Federal Reserve, speaks as Trump, left, listens during a nomination announcement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. If approved by the Senate, the 64-year-old former Carlyle Group LP managing director and ex-Treasury undersecretary would succeed Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

“It is my pleasure to announce that @StephenMoore, a very respected Economist, will be nominated to serve on the Fed Board. I have known Steve for a long time – and have no doubt he will be an outstanding choice! @realDonaldTrump “

If your ambition is to serve as part of the Donald Trump administration, it helps to be part of the FOX network, speak negatively about the Obama administration or communicate in the media your disdain for someone in the current administration who happens to be in “hot water” with Donald Trump or his acolyte’s.  This morning it was Steven Moore’s turn to see if he can parlay his loyalty to Trump and go through the nomination process.

Stephen Moore, visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation, listens during a Bloomberg Television interview in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, March 22, 2019. President Donald Trump said he’s nominating Moore, a long-time supporter of the president, for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Powell’s dilemma

The Federal Reserve is an independent body with the task of establishing monetary policy.  Currently there are two openings on the board.  Current Board Chair Jerome Powell has been in the crosshairs of Donald Trump for some time.  It doesn’t matter that Powell, a life-long Republican was recently nominated by Trump to his current post less than two years ago.  During that period the stock market hit some low marks.  Rather than blame himself for the policies he adopted which most economist indicated was the reason for the decline, Trump found a new foe in Powell and suffered the wrath and the blame.  Similar to so many officials Trump has appointed, many are independent and do not report or work for the White House.  Their role is to work on behalf of the citizens of the United States of America.   

Unfortunately as soon as whatever work they are doing intimates something Trump or the White House dislikes, they are admonished and chastised for not being a “team player.”

I only hire the best!

During the 2016 presidential campaign and leading up to naming key administration staff, Trump would boast, “he’d “surround myself only with the best and most serious people” — adding: “We want top-of-the-line professionals.”

That may result in a good sound-bite but the results to date have been a big flop.  More than a few people who had the aspiration to be part of team Trump has resigned, summarily shown the front door or indicted due to criminal behavior, while their dreams went up in flames.

Being a panderer has its benefits

In some circles, Moore has been viewed as the ultimate panderer known for making nervous smiles during his stint as a cable-news analyst.  He has demonstrated the willingness to support anything and everything spouted by Donald Trump.  His behavior has been very similar to those who are publicly interviewing for administration post’s knowing full-well of Trump’s appetite in spending as much time as possible consuming media.

The editorial

Up until this morning Moore was an analyst for CNN.

“Moore joined CNN as a contributor in early 2017. Given this news, he is no longer with the network, a CNN spokeswoman confirms.” CNN Chief Correspondent @brianstelter

He was known for his commitment to never admit anything negative about Donald Trump or his administration.  Despite tremendous documentation and evidence to the contrary, Moore’s would presents arguments that might result in an “F” grade in the most basic debate class.  His position was to always deny the obvious.

As mentioned, similar to other appointees Moore’s performance caught the attention of Trump.  But perhaps the thing that sealed his nomination was his March 13, 2019 editorial to the Wall Street Journal which blasted current chair Powell and blamed him for the concern about Wall Street.  This surely supported Trump’s attitude who in turn suggested to Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow that Moore is just the type of person to fill one of the Fed vacancies.

Interestingly, many view the Federal Reserve as a prestigious organization where top economist who hold pHD’s wind up.  Moore’s resume does not compare to those who currently sit on the board.  Absent of a pHD, for the past three years his core employment was being a pundit for the Trump administration.

 

While Trump’s tweets are considered official communication, Moore indicated he has not received a firm offer.  Assuming it comes later today or within the next several days the next step is to go through the nomination process.  The big question is whether Trump is appointing Moore because he truly is competent and can improve the body or is he being positioned  to promote his views as articulated in his March 13th op-ed.

 

 

 

 

Trump Administration continues its attack on Cuba


 

Old American car drives near the Cuban telecommunications company ETECSA building in Havana, on February 28, 2019. – The European Union as well as Cuba faces a nervous wait as the countdown to US President Donald Trump’s March 17 deadline to activate sanctions against the Caribbean island nation approaches. Trump has broken with two decades of precedence in threatening to activate the Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which extended the US embargo to apply to foreign companies trading with Cuba. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP) (Photo credit should read YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)

On March 4th, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo announced the United States has suspended Title III of the 1996 Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity (LIBERTAD) against Cuba.

The move is another twist of the administration’s zeal to thwart any progress made by the Obama administration regarding rebuilding relations between the two countries.

Ironically, Title III had been waived by presidents since 1996 and had been renewed consistently until the announcement by Pompeo.  The act essentially allows Cubans who fled the country and landed in the United States following the 1959 revolution to sue in an attempt to reclaim land and property which was claimed by the government.  Whether they will be successful in court is undefined at this time.

 

While the move appears pretty straight-forward, many international experts have a different perspective.  Cuba is the largest country in the Caribbean and known for its independence and endurance.   In addition to being an ally to communist regimes, they have been a big supporter of Venezuela and their support of the Maduro government.

The 1959 Revolution resulted in those not supporting the new regime to flee leaving  property and other assets which the government used to rebuild the country.  No doubt the issue is controversial and bitter feelings still exist from those who were exiled.  However, some view the Trump Administration’s action as basic retaliation for the country supporting someone in another country who they do not support.  As mentioned Pompeo indicated the move will be revisited in 30 days.

Like many things with this administration, it is unclear how many lawsuits may be brought or their probability of success.