The White House announced today that President Obama was nominating two new officials to the Federal Reserve Board — Stanley Fischer as Fed vice chair and Lael Brainard as a Fed governor. Stanley Fischer will replace Janet Yellen, who was recently confirmed to replace Ben Bernanke as Fed chair. Obama is also asking Congress to extend the term of current Fed governor Jerome Powell through 2028.
Both men still have to be approved by the Senate before assuming their positions. Stanley Fischer’s approval by the Senate is not expected to be particularly controversial, but Brainard’s nomination is likely to receive some flack from Republicans.
Stanley Fischer’s bio
Although born in Zambia, Stanley Fischer is a dual citizen of Israel and the U.S. The now 70-year-old Stanley Fischer took over as the chief executive at the Bank of Israel in 2005. He remained with the Bank of Israel for eight years until resigning in mid-2013.
Stanley Fischer is also well-known in economics circles as an intellectual and academic. He taught a number of future central bankers while he was a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1970s, including retiring Fed chair Ben Bernanke, European central bank chair Mario Draghi, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, as well as influential economists Kenneth Rogoff and Greg Mankiw.
His career also includes management positions at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. He earned a Ph.D. from MIT, and holds bachelor’s and masters degrees in economics from the London School of Economics.
Fischer’s economic views
Stanley Fischer is generally considered to hold mainstream economic views, and as a central banker is known for his efficiency and careful avoidance or mitigation of risk. When interviewed by CNN’s Richard Quest about a Fed meeting in mid-September, Stanley Fischer said he believes the Fed and other central banks “need to gain credibility by sticking with what they said they’d do.”
When asked about the Fed’s bond-buying program and the possibility of a taper at a Wall Street Journal economics-related event in November of last year, Fischer said he believed the Fed’s current bond-buying program was “dangerous” but “necessary.”