After that December rate hike, Mr. Moore said Mr. Powell should resign as Fed chair, calling the increase “one of the most remarkable Abbott and Costello routines in modern times.”
In an interview with Bloomberg TV on Friday, Mr. Moore said those comments were made “in a time of anger” but said “everyone would now acknowledge that what they did in December with the rate increase was a substantial mistake.”
Mr. Moore added that he was not going to the Fed to be a “destructor” and that he looked forward to working with Mr. Powell, whom he has not yet met. Mr. Moore also demurred when asked about the size of the Fed’s balance sheet, saying he wanted to “study up” on the issue.
“Over time, obviously, we want to reduce that balance sheet,” he said in the interview.
Mr. Moore would be Mr. Trump’s seventh Fed nominee. Aside from Mr. Powell, the Senate approved Mr. Trump’s nominations of Richard H. Clarida and Randal K. Quarles, both vice chairs, and Michelle W. Bowman. Two other nominees, Nellie Liang and Marvin Goodfriend, were opposed by some Senate Republicans, and Ms. Liang pulled her name from consideration. Mr. Goodfriend’s nomination lapsed in the last Congress.
Mr. Moore, who has a master’s degree in economics, was the founder of the conservative Club for Growth and a past member of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board. His interest rate views have changed in recent years.
In 2015, when growth was slower and unemployment higher than it is now, he wrote a column criticizing the Fed for amassing $4.5 trillion worth of government backed bonds and for refusing to raise rates, and warned that the Fed chairwoman at the time, Janet L. Yellen, was setting the stage for another financial crisis.
“The Fed refused to raise interest rates off zero in September, and, hello, that easy money policy is how we got into the mess in 2000 and then in 2008,” he wrote. “Wall Street cheered Janet Yellen’s decision to keep the cheap dollars flowing. Isn’t this all starting to sound familiar?”