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Astonishingly, it has been more than six years in coming. But the Federal Reserve Board finally got its full complement of seven governors on Wednesday after Jeremy Stein was sworn in.
Mr Stein’s appointment comes shortly after that of Jerome Powell last Friday and follows years of wrangling among senators over who should fill the board’s vacant seats.
Both Mr Stein and Mr Powell will now be able to vote in the Federal Open Market Committee’s policy meetings, the next of which falls on June 19 and 20. That means the Fed board, which tends to back the chairman, will hold the seven of the FOMC’s 12 votes.
The delay in returning the Fed board to its full complement owes much to the nomination process becoming far more partisan in recent years.
It speaks volumes about the degree of partisanship that the two most recent appointees come from different ends of the political spectrum; Mr Stein is a Democrat, Mr Powell a Republican.
Unfortunately for the Fed board, it also means that the central bank could soon find itself short of its full complement for another extended period. Read more
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