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Herman Cain withdraws name for Federal Reserve seat

Businessman and strong Christian Herman Cain has withdrawn from consideration for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board, President Donald Trump said on April 22. Cain is a vocal critic of the Federal Reserve’s currency and fractional reserve banking system.

“My friend Herman Cain, a truly wonderful man, has asked me not to nominate him for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board,” Trump said in a Twitter post. “I will respect his wishes. Herman is a great American who truly loves our Country!”

Four Republican U.S. senators voiced opposition to Trump’s expected nomination of Cain in recent weeks, likely enough to deny Cain the support he needed to secure Senate confirmation for the post.

Failed presidential candidate Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was one of the Republicans who opposed Cain’s consideration. Romney said on April 18 that he doesn’t think Cain would be able to be confirmed by the Senate.

Trump has not sent any formal nomination to the Senate.

Cain has been a public advocate of many of Trump’s policies, as has Stephen Moore, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank, who Trump has also said he wants to nominate for one of two vacant seats on the seven-member Fed Board of Governors in Washington.

Like Trump, both Moore and Cain believe that returning to the gold standard would be better for the U.S. economy than the current fractional reserve system under the Federal Reserve.

Cain, a former presidential candidate, had vowed to fight on in several previous interviews and had said he was under attack as a nominee because he is a conservative. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trump elevated Jerome Powell to Fed chairman a year ago but has frequently criticized him for the U.S. central bank’s interest rate increases.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow previously told reporters on April 16 that the White House is vetting additional candidates as Cain and Moore go through the process.

The central bank’s other top policymakers who head the Fed’s 12 regional banks are chosen by local boards of directors, not the U.S. president.

Cain, the former head of the Godfather’s Pizza restaurant chain, had served as chairman of the Kansas City Fed’s board in the mid-1990s in a role that also provides the regional bank with input on the local economy.

The Fed in March brought a three-year rate-hike cycle to an abrupt end as it abandoned projections for any further rate increases this year.

The Gold

Cain wrote an editorial for The Wall Street Journal in 2012 calling for a return to the gold standard. Cain argued that while the gold standard system has its flaws, historical data shows that American economic growth was stronger, unemployment rates were lower, and recessions were less frequent and severe than under the Federal Reserve.

“I realize the Washington establishment goes ballistic at this suggestion,” Cain wrote. “Gold is kryptonite to big-spending politicians. It is to the moochers and looters in government what sunlight and garlic are to vampires.”

Moore isn’t as fervent of a supporter for the gold standard and favors pegging the dollar to a basket of commodities. He nonetheless told The New York Times in 2015 that the gold standard would be “a lot better than what we have now.”

Under the gold standard, which President Richard Nixon abandoned in 1971, the central bank backs the value of each dollar with gold held in the reserves.

Congress tasked the Federal Reserve with keeping inflation at a healthy level and preventing economic bubbles. Over the course of its existence, the central bank has instead contributed to the booms and busts it was created to prevent.