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Obama taps ex-Treasury official, Harvard economist for Fed Board

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President Obama on Tuesday nominated a former Treasury official and a Harvard economist to fill two vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

The nominees, Jerome H. (Jay) Powell and Jeremy C. Stein, would serve 14-year terms on the board if they are confirmed by the Senate.

‘I am grateful that these individuals have agreed to serve their nation at this important time for our economy,’ Obama said. ‘Their distinguished backgrounds and experience coupled with their impressive knowledge of economic and monetary policy make them tremendously qualified to serve in these important roles.’

Powell is a visiting scholar at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C. He served as undersecretary of the Treasury for Finance under President George H.W. Bush. Stein is on the economics faculty at Harvard. In 2009, he served on the staff of the National Economic Council and was a senior advisor to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner.

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Obama is trying to get the seven-member Federal Reserve Board back to full strength for the first time since mid-2010 after running into difficulty with one of his nominees this year. Nobel Prize-winning economist Peter Diamond was nominated in 2010 along with Janet L. Yellen and Sarah Bloom Raskin.

Yellen and Raskin were confirmed by the Senate, but Diamond ran into strong opposition from Republicans and withdrew in June.

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-- Jim Puzzanghera in Washington


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