A pro-Trump TV personality

WASHINGTON • Conservative TV business news personality Larry Kudlow is generally a booster of United States President Donald Trump's economic policies - and a man who does not mince words.

The White House on Wednesday confirmed that Mr Kudlow would replace Mr Gary Cohn as Mr Trump's top economic adviser, following an internal battle over trade tariffs.

The 70-year-old takes over as head of the National Economic Council (NEC), a policy body created in 1993 that includes officials and experts from across an array of policy areas.

He had once already been in the running for NEC director, following Mr Trump's election in 2016, but the President ultimately chose an investment banker with deep Wall Street experience.

Mr Kudlow may be a trained economist and historian, but he represents a departure from the scholarly types normally chosen for the role. He is better known as a TV pundit, having spent 25 years on CNBC.

His bullish pro-trade ways and comical manner made him a familiar face on the financial news network.

In 2007, just as the US housing bubble was about to burst, he reassured his audience that there would be no recession in the US.

In the 1980s, he served as White House budget director under then-president Ronald Reagan and is a champion of that era's conservative, supply-side economics, which calls for cutting taxes to boost growth, an ideology the Trump administration has embraced.

From 1987 to 1994, he served as chief economist for the investment bank Bear Stearns.

Two years ago, he supported Mr Trump's presidential campaign, in particular the pledges to renew American infrastructure and cut taxes, becoming an informal Trump adviser.

Married thrice, he has acknowledged undergoing treatment in the 1990s for alcohol and cocaine dependence.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2018, with the headline 'A pro-Trump TV personality'. Subscribe