Obama to nominate Fischer as Fed vice chairman

US president says former BoI governor is ‘widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading and most experienced economic policy minds.’

January 10, 2014 18:12
2 minute read.
Stanley Fischer.

Stanley Fischer nice background 512. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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US President Barack Obama on Friday announced his intent to nominate former Bank of Israel Gov. Stanley Fischer as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve.

“Stanley Fischer brings decades of leadership and expertise from various roles, including serving at the International Monetary Fund and the Bank of Israel,” Obama said.

“He is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s leading and most experienced economic policy minds and I’m grateful he has agreed to take on this new role, and I am confident that he and [incoming Federal Reserve Chairwoman] Janet Yellen will make a great team,” he added.

Fischer will also be nominated as a governor representing the New York region for a six-year term.

The US Senate confirmed Yellen, who will be the first woman to lead the US central bank, on Monday.

In November Fischer’s former deputy Karnit Flug succeeded him, becoming the first woman to lead the Bank of Israel.

Fischer joins the Federal reserve as it begins pulling back, or “tapering,” the unconventional asset-buying program known as “Quantitative Easing.”

In June Fischer stepped down from his position at BoI, two years before the end of his second fiveyear term.

Cast as a Centrist by his colleagues, Fischer is also known to buck classic economic rules and market expectations.

During his tenure as head of the Bank of Israel, Fischer, 70, successfully protected the state from the worldwide great recession, often surprising investors with his interest rate decisions.

Israel’s economy shrank for only one quarter under his leadership, and by autumn of 2009, Fischer was raising interest rates in a declaration of victory.

Fischer is revered on both sides of the political aisle in Israel, earning unvarnished praise from Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and Labor MK Shelly Yacimovich, former opposition leader.

Fischer is a dual citizen of Israel and of the United States, but had never lived in Israel before taking the top job at Israel’s central bank in 2005.

Before joining the Bank of Israel, Fischer served as top deputy at the International Monetary Fund, where he successfully battled the Asian financial crisis of 1998.

As a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, one of the country’s leading economics departments, Fischer personally trained many of today’s most influential economists, including Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi.

His lengthy experience battling economic crises, and his international expertise, could be important assets at the Fed.

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