Financial Regulatory Forum

PENPIX – Whom will Obama name to fill U.S. Fed vacancies?

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) – President Barack Obama is sifting through candidates for three vacant seats on the Federal Reserve Board, including the No. 2 spot that comes open when Vice Chairman Donald Kohn departs on June 23.

The White House on Tuesday said Obama will move quickly to fill the vacancies on the seven-person board.

The president’s picks will be in position to influence when the Fed raises interest rates and how aggressively it takes on its post-financial-crisis regulatory responsibilities.

With mid-term elections a possible referendum on his administration, Obama may aim for a Fed that pushes hard to reduce unemployment and clamps down on risky financial practices. But he must avoid rattling markets with nominees seen as giving insufficient weight to preventing inflation.

Following are possible picks for the vice chairmanship and the other two open board seats.

U.S. Fed Vice Chairman Kohn to step down, Obama gets chance to reshape

By Mark Felsenthal

WASHINGTON, March 1 (Reuters) – Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn, a 40-year veteran of the U.S. central bank, will step down in late June, giving President Barack Obama a chance to reshape the institution.

In a letter to Obama released on Monday, Kohn, who has served as the Fed’s No. 2 since June 2006, said he will depart when his current term as vice chairman expires on June 23.

“The Federal Reserve and the country owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Don Kohn for his invaluable contributions over 40 years of public service,” Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said in a statement.