Former Pimco CEO El-Erian among candidates for Fed vice-chair


Mohamed El-Erian, Pimco’s former chief executive and a Laguna Beach resident, is one of several candidates under consideration for vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, according to a report Tuesday, Nov. 14 in the Wall Street Journal.

El-Erian, who quit the Orange County investment giant in 2014 after a dispute with its co-founder Bill Gross, is an expert in monetary policy. He has a doctorate in economics from Oxford University, worked at the International Monetary Fund early in his career and, after leaving Pimco, published a book on central banks, “The Only Game in Town.”

Since his departure from Pimco, El-Erian has served as a part-time economic advisor to Pimco’s parent, the German insurer Allianz, and has worked assiduously to remain in the public eye. He writes a column for Bloomberg View, contributes to the Financial Times, and has cultivated a following of 1.5 million on LinkedIn and 170,000 on Twitter.

But for President Donald Trump, and for the Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, which would need to confirm his appointment, El-Erian could be a controversial choice.

In 2012, President Barack Obama appointed El-Erian, who was born in New York to an Egyptian diplomat, to his Global Development Council. In a 2015 interview with the Register, El-Erian professed admiration for Obama, support for raising taxes on the wealthy and approval of the Affordable Care Act, which Trump and the Republican Congress have sought to dismantle.

“The government should be using fiscal policy – taxing the rich more and supporting the sectors that are critical to equality of opportunity: like education and health,” El-Erian said at the time. “I would remove loopholes that are being taken advantage of by the rich. I would tax private equity [more]. The inheritance tax should be higher.”

The Trump administration and the GOP bills in the House and Senate would eliminate the 40 percent federal inheritance tax on estates of over $5.5 million. The Senate bill would lower taxes on the richest Americans.

At the same time, El-Erian, who managed Harvard University’s portfolio before moving to Pimco, represents the Wall Street elite. Under his tenure in 2013, according to Bloomberg, Pimco had a bonus pool for its 60 managing directors of almost $1.5 billion.

After Trump’s election, El-Erian warned against “anti-trade rhetoric,” even as the new president continued to promote protectionist policies.

El-Erian declined to respond to the…



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