Fed's Fischer first to flee from Trump administration, Yellen not far behind

Posted September 07, 2017

Stanley Fischer, the Fed's 73-year-old vice chairman, said Wednesday that he will be stepping down next month, citing "personal reasons".

Fischer said his resignation will take effect October 13 and cited "personal reasons" for his departure.

He has been a member of the board since May 2014.

Fischer's term as vice chair was set to expire next year but his early departure gives Trump an opportunity to further shape the central bank sooner than expected.

Fischer is seen as the second-most influential member of the Federal Open Market Committee - the Fed committee that sets monetary policy - behind only Chair Janet Yellen.

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Significantly, barring any further clarification Fischer's resignation might lead markets to believe it implied a lower likelihood of Fed president Janet Yellen being renewed in her post, said Paul Ashworth, chief USA economist at Capital Economics.

"We commend Stanley Fischer for his years of dedicated public service, and we wish him well in his return to private life", said American Bankers Association President and CEO Rob Nichols.

Michael Pearce, Ashworth's colleague at Capital Economics, wrote in August that Fischer is the "most ardent defender of the status quo" among Fed officials, adding that it seemed likely Trump would seek to replace Fischer with someone more sympathetic to his deregulatory agenda. During his tenure at the Fed, he served as chairman of the board's committee on Financial Stability as well as the Committee on Economic and Financial Monitoring and Research. I'm personally grateful for his friendship and his service.

He previously served as governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 through 2013.

Trump already has nominated Randal Quarles to one vacancy and now will have at least two more beside, potentially, Yellen.