Fed's Stein announces quick exit


A Federal Reserve governor is stepping down from his spot at the central bank after just two years.

Jeremy Stein, who joined the Fed in May 2012, sent a letter of resignation to President Obama on Thursday, saying he planned to leave his position at the central bank on May 28.

Stein told the president that he intended to return to his position teaching economics at Harvard University, while calling his brief stint at the Fed a “great privilege.” Stein likely left the Fed after just a few years to preserve his tenure position at the Ivy League school.

“During my time here, the economy has moved steadily back in the direction of full employment, and a number of important steps have been taken to make the financial system stronger and more resilient,” he wrote. “There is undoubtedly more work to be done on both dimensions. But … much progress has been made as well.”

In a statement, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen praised Stein as an “intellectual leader” at the Fed.

“His understanding of monetary policy and markets as well as his expertise in banking and financial regulation has proven invaluable in his service to the Federal Reserve and the country,” she said.

Stein’s exit will create another vacancy on the Federal Reserve Board, as the administration continues to work to fill open spots that already existed. The seven-member board currently only has four members on it, including Stein. His exit means there will be two vacancies at the Fed that will need to be filled with new nominees.

The president has already nominated Stanley Fischer, the former head of Israel’s central bank, to serve as the Fed’s vice chair, and Lael Brainard, a former Treasury Department official, has been nominated to fill a board spot.

Jerome Powell is currently a Fed governor, but is currently only filling in until 2014. The president has also nominated him for a full 14-year term.

All three of those nominations are pending before the full Senate, although there does not appear to be substantial opposition to any of the picks at this time.

This post updated at 11:46 am.