Yellen lunches with White House adviser Cohn, day after Trump interview

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 20, 2017 12:40 PM

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen returned to the White House on Friday to have lunch with President Donald Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn, a White House official said, describing the meeting as "nothing out of the ordinary."

Yellen met with Trump on Thursday for an interview on her possible reappointment as chair of the U.S. central bank, and the news of her return to the White House, led to a modest and brief pullback in U.S. Treasury yields, which subsequently resumed their rise.

"She's here for lunch with Gary, which she does from time to time," the White House official told Reuters.

Both Yellen and Cohn are candidates for the top Fed job, along with Fed Board Governor Jerome Powell, former Fed governor Kevin Warsh and Stanford University economics professor John Taylor.

Yellen and Cohn have had lunch about once a month since February, according to her calendar released by the Fed, which showed such meetings on Feb. 7, March 2, April 18, May 19, June 16, July 27, and Aug 31.

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Two officials described Yellen's Thursday meeting with Trump as having gone well, with one official describing her as very competent.

Powell, who is viewed as representing a continuation of Yellen's gradualist approach to raising interest rates, along with Warsh, are seen as the top contenders.

(additional reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Chizu Nomiyama)