3:44 PM PST, December 11, 2013
Former Bank of Israel Gov. Stanley Fischer is President Obama's leading candidate to become vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, people familiar with the selection process said.
Fischer, 70, would replace Janet L. Yellen as the Fed's No. 2 official, according to the people, who asked for anonymity because the decision isn't final. There are no plans by the White House to announce the choice this week, one of the people said.
Another person familiar with the process said Obama has already offered the job to Fischer, who accepted it. The person said the decision was made jointly by the president and Yellen, who is awaiting Senate confirmation to succeed Ben S. Bernanke as Fed chairman.
"I would expect Yellen and Fischer to work closely together and form a very potent team," said Mark Gertler, a New York University economist who is the coauthor of research with Bernanke. "He has the ideal mix of qualities you would like in a central banker: wise, experienced and cool under pressure. His academic work was thoughtful and mainstream, where I'd expect him to be as a central banker."
Fischer, who holds both U.S. and Israeli citizenship and lives in New York, stepped down as governor of the Bank of Israel on June 30, midway through his second five-year term. He was credited with helping his nation weather the global economic crisis better than most developed countries.
As Fed vice chairman, Fischer would take over a post that Yellen turned into a platform for promoting greater transparency at the central bank, including spelling out goals for inflation and unemployment.
Fischer has voiced skepticism about using so-called forward guidance to signal the Fed's policy intentions as much as two years in advance.