Locking in Fischer is a key step in replenishing the Fed's
governing body, which has an unusual number of vacancies at a
sensitive time, as the central bank faces several critical measures
for U.S. monetary policy.
The Senate is likely to hold an initial vote on Tuesday to proceed
to consider the nomination, setting up action for a final
confirmation the following day, according to a Senate Democratic
Fischer, 70, a well respected economist and Israel's former top
central banker, is expected to win confirmation easily.
But it appeared unlikely that the Senate would act next week on two
other pending Fed nominees: U.S. Treasury official Lael Brainard,
52, and current Fed Governor Jerome Powell, who has been nominated
to serve another term.
With Fed Governor Jeremy Stein leaving later this month to return to
academia, the normally seven-person board would fall to three
members for the first time in its more than 100-year history if the
Senate does not confirm Fischer before Stein's departure.
In addition to the board, the Fed also has 12 regional branches,
whose presidents rotate through four voting positions each year,
with the New York Fed holding a fifth vote.
[to top of second column]
While Fed governors have come and gone over the years, rarely has
the balance within the central bank tipped so heavily to the voting
Fed presidents, who tend to offer more divergent views than the
Even if Fischer, Brainard and Powell, 61, are confirmed, as analysts
widely expect, two empty spots would remain on the board after Stein
(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Michael Flaherty; Additional
reporting by Tim Ahmann; Editing by James Dalgleish and Chizu
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