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Gary Cohn and Janet Yellen

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s term ends in February, and President Donald Trump is in the process of deciding whether to ask her to stay at her job, or to turn to his top economic adviser, Gary Cohn to fill the spot. Trump’s natural inclination would be to go with Cohn, whose thinking is more compatible with the President’s approach to slashing regulations. This was made even clearer on Friday, when Yellen delivered a speech to the world’s top central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, reminding them of the financial catastrophe that preceded her reign, and the fact that her tightening of regulations has resulted in the 40% rise of the S&P 500 since February 3, 2014, when Yellen was sworn in.

Both candidates for the top job at the Federal Reserve are Jewish. Yellen is the daughter of a Jewish family-doctor from Brooklyn, and is married to Nobel laureate George Akerlof, who is also Jewish. According to the Forward, when they lived in Berkley, Yellen and Akerlof belonged to the Reform Congregation Beth El, where their son attended pre-school. Gary Cohn is the son of a Jewish electrician-turned-real estate developer from eastern Europe. He was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and currently is member of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County, Florida.


And according to reports in the US media, neither candidate is particularly happy at this point to work for the president, and one of them, Cohn, told the Financial Times on Friday he had written a resignation letter after Trump’s feeble response to the neo-Nazi protests in Charlottesville:

“Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK,” Cohn told The Financial Times. “I believe this administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities.”

Cohn said he had expressed his unhappiness to Trump, and the NY Times cited two sources close to the senior adviser who said he had written a resignation letter but decided to pocket it.

“As a Jewish American, I will not allow neo-Nazis ranting ‘Jews will not replace us’ to cause this Jew to leave his job,” Cohn told the Financial Times. “As a patriotic American, I am reluctant to leave my post  […] because I feel a duty to fulfill my commitment to work on behalf of the American people. But I also feel compelled to voice my distress over the events of the last two weeks.”


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