Rex Tillerson has demoralized and degraded the State Department to the point of uselessness. Tom Price did much the same to Health and Human Services before jetting off. Scott Pruitt is trying to eliminate the “protection” aspect of the Environmental Protection Agency. Similar stories are unfolding throughout the executive branch.
Donald Trump has been like a Category 5 hurricane sweeping through the U.S. government, leaving devastation in his wake. Will this happen to the Federal Reserve? And if it does, how disastrous could that be for the world economy?
The Fed sets monetary policy and is by far our most important economic agency. Its chair is arguably the most powerful economic official in the world. It isn’t exactly part of the executive branch, but it isn’t exactly independent, either. Its board members are appointed by the president subject to congressional approval, but have traditionally been technocrats expected to remain aloof from partisan politics.
That is, however, a norm rather than a legal requirement. And we know what happen to norms in the Trump era.