November 2, 2017 / 5:26 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Goldman's Blankfein: If Trump taps Powell as Fed chair wouldn't be 'one bit disappointed'

(Adds quotes on Powell, taxes and Bitcoin)

NEW YORK, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc CEO Lloyd Blankfein said Thursday on Bloomberg TV that he would not be “one bit disappointed” if President Donald Trump nominated Jerome Powell as the new Federal Reserve chair.

“His background is a terrific background - again a lot of government service, service in the Fed, service in the private sector,” Blankfein said. “I think he is a very great, credible candidate. There were other credible candidates as well but I am not one bit disappointed if it turns out to be J. Powell.”

Trump was expected on Thursday afternoon to nominate Powell for the post, putting his own stamp on the leadership of the U.S. central bank while signaling continuity on monetary policy.

Asked about Powell’s lack of a PhD, Blankfein said, “I sometimes feel that people with PhDs - and believe me, I am not anti-intellectual, I have a law degree, my kids went to graduate school, I’m not against people who have PhDs — but sometimes I wish people who only have PhDs had a little more life and professional and business experience.”

Blankfein also said a good U.S. tax plan will have “stimulative elements” and could get U.S. GDP growth to a higher level than 3 percent. “The free-est kind of stimulus you could provide for the economy is confidence and peeling away redundant or bad regulation, to be frank,” Blankfein said.

Asked about Bitcoin, which soared past $7,000 to a new record high on Thursday, Blankfein said: “I have a level of discomfort with it as I have a level of discomfort with anything that’s new. But I learned over the years that there’s a lot of things that work out pretty well that I don’t love.

“Right now, I tell you, I don’t have an investment in it. But I’m not willing to pooh-pooh it and that’s why, I say, I am open to it,” Blankfein added.

Reporting By Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Frances Kerry

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