Pimco economist Clarida is looking like a front-runner for Fed deputy

In New York, where formal job interviews began in January, people familiar with the search said the short list included former NYU Stern dean Peter Blair Henry, former New York Fed markets chief Brian Sack who is now at D.E. Shaw, and JPMorgan Chase’s chief regulatory affairs officer Sandie O’Connor. Current New York Fed markets chief Simon Potter, former Treasury deputy secretary Mary Miller, and UBS economist Seth Carpenter, also formerly of Treasury, were also in the mix, those people said.

The New York Fed’s president has a permanent vote on policy and serves as the central bank’s eyes and ears on Wall Street. Two people said Dudley privately favored Henry, though another person close to Dudley said he has not formally endorsed anyone. It was not clear whether there were front-runners now and when a decision would be made.

The New York Fed declined to comment. Those on the short list either declined to comment or did not respond to requests.

The Trump administration appeared closer than the New York Fed to a decision in part because of the Fed Board vacancies, according to those familiar with both search efforts.

Powell was playing a larger role than his predecessors in making his views known to the White House and to the New York Fed, four people told Reuters, with two noting he has stressed monetary policy expertise and has discussed specific names.

Two sources said he had supported Williams for vice chair, but they noted his candidacy may be in doubt after the White House considered others, including Mester, for the job following his interview in January.

One person said Gary Cohn, Trump’s chief economic advisor, backed El-Erian.

Powell has no formal role in selecting Fed governors, though the White House typically seeks the chair’s advice. He and the Fed Board must approve the nominee for New York Fed president.

Clarida would shore up the ranks of professional economists at the Fed where eight of 15 current policymakers have PhDs.

However, his nomination could stoke criticism over lack of diversity at the central bank. Trump’s other picks – Powell, Vice President for Supervision Randal Quarles, and governor nominee Marvin Goodfriend, who faces a narrow Senate confirmation vote – are also white, male and Republican.