Stanley Fischer’s surprise resignation as vice chair of the Federal Reserve provides President Donald Trump with yet another opportunity to influence Fed policy.
The 73-year-old Fischer delivered a resignation letter today to the White House today citing “personal reasons” for his departure “on or around October 13,” eight months before his term ends as vice chair.
That will leave the seven-member Board of Governors of the Fed with four vacancies, assuming the president’s nominee for vice chair of regulation, Randal Quarles, isn’t confirmed by the time Fischer leaves. (The Senate Banking committee has scheduled a confirmation vote for Thursday, but confirmation requires a vote by the full Senate.)
Trump is also interested in nominating former Fed official Marvin Goodfriend, an economics professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University, to fill another vacancy on the board, according to a late July report in the The New York Times, but he hasn’t officially done so.
The most important vacancy on the Fed Board will come in early February, when Janet Yellen’s term as chair ends. She’s expected to leave the Fed then although her term as a Fed governor doesn’t end until almost six years later.
“I think Fischer expects Yellen to depart the Fed in February 2018, and wants to precede her out the door,” says Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies & Co., about Fischer’s departure. “Fischer has had a stellar career and is also 73 years old so some downsizing of his responsibilities makes sense.”