Choice for vice chairman of Federal Reserve is monetary policy expert

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Posted: Saturday, January 11, 2014 12:00 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama intends to nominate Stanley Fischer, a former head of the Bank of Israel, to be vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, replacing Janet Yellen, who is ascending to the central bank’s chairmanship.

Fischer, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, is considered a leading expert on monetary policy. He was a longtime professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Departing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was one of his students.

Obama also is nominating Lael Brainard as a Fed governor. Brainard served as the undersecretary for international affairs at Treasury during Obama’s first term. She left the administration recently. He also is renominating Jerome Powell to the Fed for a second term.

“These three distinguished individuals have the proven experience, judgment and deep knowledge of the financial system to serve at the Federal Reserve during this important time for our economy,” Obama said in a statement.

In selecting Fischer, Obama is tapping someone with extensive experience in global economics to serve on the Fed’s seven-member board. Fischer served as chief economist at the World Bank and deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. He led the Bank of Israel from 2005 until 2013.

During his time as the No. 2 official at the IMF from 1994 to 2001, Fischer dealt with a number of countries in financial crises. The 1997-98 Asian currency crisis forced a number of nations to seek support packages from the IMF to stabilize their currencies and emerge from deep recessions.

“He is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading and most experienced economic policy minds, and I’m grateful he has agreed to take on this new role, and I am confident that he and Janet Yellen will make a great team,” Obama said.

Economists said they did not expect Fischer, 70, to dissent from the activist approach to Fed policy that Bernanke and Yellen have supported. That effort has kept interest rates low in an effort to stimulate growth and fight high unemployment in the wake of the 2007-09 recession.

© 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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