3 Fed nominees signal support for current policy

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 13, 2014 at 11:57 am •  Published: March 13, 2014
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Three nominees for the Federal Reserve's board expressed their support Thursday for the Fed's efforts to bolster the U.S. economy. Their comments suggested that the Fed's low-interest-rate policies will continue if they win confirmation.

Stanley Fischer, who has been nominated to be vice chairman; Lael Brainard, a former Treasury undersecretary; and Jerome Powell, a current board member who has been nominated for another term, all endorsed the Fed's current policy stance under Chair Janet Yellen during a confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee.

The committee chairman, Tim Johnson, D-S.D., described the three as "well qualified" and said it was important that the Senate confirm the nominees quickly to fill vacancies on the Fed's seven-member board.

The three nominations were announced by President Barack Obama in January. His selections could reshape the Fed's seven-member board under Yellen. She took over on Feb. 3, succeeding Ben Bernanke, who stepped down after eight years as chairman. Next week, Yellen will preside over her first policy meeting as Fed chair and will hold a news conference afterward.

Fischer, a former head of the Bank of Israel, would replace Yellen in the Fed's No. 2 job.

"Achievement of both maximum employment and price stability requires the continuation of an expansionary monetary policy, even though the degree of expansion is being gradually and cautiously cut back," Fischer told the committee.

Fischer, a dual citizen of the United States and Israel, was a longtime professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Bernanke and Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, were among his students, as was former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.

Brainard, who served as Treasury's top international official in Obama's first term, told the committee she would be "intensely focused" on safeguarding the Fed's credibility in fighting inflation as well as "supporting its indispensable role in getting Americans back to work."



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