Practical analysis for investment professionals
19 September 2013

Poll: Which Characteristic of the Next Fed Chairperson Is Most Important?

Posted In: Economics

World news media are rife with speculation about who will be the next chair of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System, arguably the most important central banker in the world. In a poll conducted earlier this week in the CFA Institute Financial NewsBrief, we asked readers which characteristic, from an investor’s point of view, they considered the most important for the next Fed chair.


For investors, which perceived characteristic of the next chairperson of the Federal Reserve is most important?
Poll: For investors, which perceived characteristic of the next chairperson of the Federal Reserve is most important?


Of the five characteristics listed, none emerged as a dominant choice of the 808 respondents. However, political independence (35%) was regarded as the most important characteristic by the highest number of respondents, followed closely by competence and track record as an economist (33%). Recognition and acceptability in financial markets was a distant third, and the remaining characteristics did not reach double digits. Fewer than 2% of respondents said the most important characteristic was not listed. At the risk of generalizing from these results, one might say that the desired characteristics for the next Fed chair are probably not very different from those for any technocrat holding public office, most notably, political neutrality and technical competence.


Please note that the content of this site should not be construed as investment advice, nor do the opinions expressed necessarily reflect the views of CFA Institute.

About the Author(s)
Usman Hayat, CFA

Usman Hayat writes about sustainable, responsible, and impact investing and Islamic finance. He is the lead author of "Environmental, Social, and Governance Issues in Investing: A Guide for Investment Professionals," and the literature review, "Islamic Finance: Ethics, Concepts, Practice." He is interested in online learning and has directed three e-courses for CFA Institute: "ESG-100," "Islamic Finance Quiz," and "Residual Income Equity Valuation." The other topics he writes about are macroeconomics and behavioral finance. Previously, he was a content director at CFA Institute. He is a former executive director at the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). He has experience working in securities regulation and as an independent consultant. His qualifications include the CFA charter, the FRM designation, an MBA, and an MA in Development Economics. His personal interests are reading and hiking.

2 thoughts on “Poll: Which Characteristic of the Next Fed Chairperson Is Most Important?”

  1. Moses Kariuki says:

    I belive the most important characteristic has to be He or she has to be ethical. Without ethics, no matter how good they are, they’ll end up bein compromised.

    1. Moses Kariuki,

      Your point is well taken. Ethics is critical for any professional in any field.

      I was trying to focus on characteristics which are apparently more specific to the role of Chairman Fed.

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