Kudlow Close to Being Named Trump Chief Economist, Paper Says
(Bloomberg) -- President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team is close to picking economic commentator Larry Kudlow to be chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, according to a report in the Detroit News.
Kudlow, 69, has served as an informal adviser to the Trump campaign, primarily focused on tax policy and teaming primarily with Stephen Moore, a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and fellow alumnus of President Ronald Reagan’s economic team. Moore was cited by the newspaper as saying Thursday the selection of Kudlow would be announced in the next 48 hours.
Kudlow’s appointment, which would require Senate confirmation, marks another non-traditional pick by the incoming administration. Kudlow doesn’t hold a Ph.D. in economics, unlike former heads of the CEA. For five years, he hosted a show on CNBC on business and politics, and he’s worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. During Reagan’s first term, Kudlow was associate director for economics and planning in the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.
Bryan Lanza, deputy communications director for the Trump transition team, declined to comment when reached by phone.
The council is a group of economists who advise presidents based on policy research and forecasting. Previous CEA chairs include current Fed Chair Janet Yellen and former central bank chiefs Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan.
While outspoken previously about the merits of free trade, Kudlow’s public comments about Trump’s trade policies have softened a bit since the election. He said recently that the president-elect is unlikely to act on campaign promises to label China a currency manipulator or to impose tariffs, and that “he just wants trade to be pro-American.”
Kudlow and Moore also speak frequently with Arthur Laffer, a fellow alumnus of the Reagan administration economic team, whose famous Laffer Curve embodied supply-side economics from the 1980s onward.
“He’d be perfect for this job. And he believes in Trump,” Laffer said in a phone interview. “A lot of this is public persona,” he said of the economic post, noting that Kudlow’s platform as a CNBC commentator would help check that box.
The Heritage Foundation’s Moore didn’t immediately respond to a voicemail message requesting comment.