Federal Reserve vice chair’s resignation fuels speculation about Trump nominations

In a letter to President Trump delivered Wednesday, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer reveals for personal reasons he will resign his seat on the central banking governing board in October.

Mr. Fischer did not elaborate on the nature of his personal reasons for resigning, but did tout the Fed’s record during his tenure.

“Informed by the lessons of the recent financial crisis, we have built upon earlier steps to make the financial system stronger and more resilient and better able to provide the credit so vital to the prosperity of our country’s households and businesses,” the letter read, in-part.

A long-time ally of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellin, upon hearing of Fischer’s resignation, Yellin said:  I’m personally grateful for his friendship and his service.”

Fischer, 74, has served on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors since January 2014 and his term as vice chair was set to expire in June 2018.  Fischer’s departure follows the April resignation of Daniel Tarullo, who had served for eight years.

Fischer’s early leaves four vacant seats on the Board and is likely to grant Mr. Trump room to appoint a new member likely to conform with the president’s deregulatory agenda.

In July, President Trump nominated Randal Quarles, a former Bush administration official, to fill one of the empty positions.

A specialist in interest-rate policy, Fischer previously served as a deputy at the International Monetary Fund (1994–2001) and as Governor of the Bank of Israel (2005-2013).  Prior to serving the public, Fischer was a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Although speculation persists Mr. Trump may not re-appoint Janet Yellin as Fed chair, whose term expires in February 2018, sources close to the White House expressed doubt top White House economic assistant, Gary Cohn, will be nominated to oversee the central bank.

Once viewed as a potential successor to Janet Yellin, President Trump is unlikely to nominate Cohn due to comments Cohn made to the Financial Times in an interview following protests in Charlottesville, Va., in which he was critical of Trump’s response.

Cohn told the Times the White House “can and must do better” condemning hate groups and that “Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis and the KKK.”

According to Wall Street Journal sources, nominee candidates for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors include, former BB&T Bank CEO John Allison, former Richmond Fed research director, Marvin Goodfriend, and Stanford University economist John Taylor.

“People who thought we were going to keep the same cast of characters around, I hope they realize now that’s not the case. There’s going to be a significant change,” former investment banker Christopher Whalen told CNBC.

“It will be far less interventionist, far less prone to experiment,” he concluded.

 

[Business Insider] [Wall Street Journal] [CNBC] [Photo courtesy Flickr/Federal Reserve]

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