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S&P's Sheard: Here's what to listen for in Trump's Davos speech

Dion Rabouin
Financial Markets Reporter

He’s been hearing about policy by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the future of the European Union and diverging central bank policies around the world, but the thing S&P Global Vice Chairman and Chief Economist Paul Sheard is most looking forward to is hearing from U.S. President Donald Trump.

Trump is expected to address the audience of world and business leaders on Friday and Sheard said he’s expecting all the world’s eyes will be upon him.

“Well, I think it’s a fascinating event, obviously,” Sheard said. “And it will be the highlight of the week, there’s no doubt about that. I’m sure it’ll be a packed room. But I think, you know, people will be waiting to see what sort of message does he give.”

More than just podering what message Trump is set to deliver, Sheard wondered aloud – while noting it was important to watch his words – whether Trump’s America first message would reach the Davos crowd.

“What I’d look for is does he tell that story, because people will be hearing it for the first time, firsthand,” Sheard said. “Does he tell it in a way that actually makes sense to the so-called Davos elite?”

Paul Sheard

Sheard, an Australian who has been a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council and the Bretton Woods Committee, also weighed in on his expectations for U.S. monetary policy as the Fed moves forward under the leadership of Jay Powell. While he’s not expecting major changes, he did highlight one nagging query he’s had about the new Fed chief.

“One thing I’d look for is, you know, President Trump did appoint Jay Powell. So, you know, has he whispered in his ear, in terms of, ‘Look, I’d like you to perhaps slow down a little bit and not be so keen to raise rates,” Sheard said. “Let’s see what the labor market does ahead of inflation.”

Dion Rabouin is a markets reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter: @DionRabouin.

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