Photo: Harvard University / Columbia University
The White House has picked two economists for the seven-member Federal Reserve Board, but has yet to officially nominate them, according to The Wall Street Journal.The choices have been dubbed a strategic move, on the premise that the partnering of a Democrat and Republican would get an easy Senate confirmation.
The matter of Fed nominees is crucial right now, as Bernanke (perhaps) considers more easing amid discontent among multiple members.
The two economists are Jeremy Stein and Richard Clarida, both of whom have worked with the Treasury department in the past.
Stein is a professor at Harvard University. From February – July of 2009, Stein served as a senior advisor to the Treasury Secretary, and on the staff of the National Economic Council, in the Obama administration.
According to his biography on Harvard University’s website, Stein is already a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Financial Advisory Roundtable. Previously, he was on the finance faculty of M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management for 10 years, and very early in his career, Stein was an intern at Goldman Sachs.
Clarida, is a professor of economics and international affairs at Columbia University. He is also an executive vice president at Pimco. From February 2002 – May 2003, Clarida served as the assistant secretary of the United States Treasury for economic policy, in the Bush administration.
Only two of the five incumbent Fed governors have PHDs, if appointed, Stein and Clarida would make four. Stein received his PhD in economics from M.I.T. in 1986, while Clarida received his from Harvard University.
If appointed Stein and Clarida would get permanent votes on the FOMC, like other members of the board. And talk of the appointments comes at a crucial time, since three regional Federal bank presidents voted against Bernanke’s position at the last FOMC meeting, in which it was decided that interest rates would be kept at 0% till 2013.