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Senate committee clears 3 Federal Reserve nominees

WASHINGTON – The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Stanley Fischer, the former president of the Bank of Israel, for the Federal Reserve’s No. 2 job and also approved two other nominees to fill seats on the central bank’s short-handed board.

Senators approved the nominees by a voice vote, sending the nominations to the full Senate for expected approval in the coming weeks.

Committee Chairman Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said the three were “extremely well qualified” and that he wanted to act quickly to get them on the Fed’s board.

Fischer’s nomination was approved along with those of Jerome Powell, a current Fed governor whose term expired Jan. 31, and Lael Brainard, a former Treasury Department official.

The seven-member Fed board has three vacancies, with a fourth coming in May.

Fischer was governor of Israel’s central bank from 2005-13. He worked at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He also did a stint on Wall Street, serving as vice chairman of Citigroup Inc. from 2002-05.

Brainard, a former associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was the Treasury’s undersecretary for international affairs from 2010 until late last year.

Powell was an assistant secretary and undersecretary at the Treasury under President George H.W. Bush.


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