Clarida to take No. 2 spot on Fed Board after Senate votes to confirm, 69-26

The Senate Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Richard Clarida as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, on a vote of 69-26. He is positioned to join the board immediately, and certainly before the next meeting of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) set for late September.

Richard Clarida testifies June 12 before the Senate Banking Committee

Clarida, 61, was nominated to the post, a four-year term, by President Donald Trump in April. Trump also nominated Clarida to serve out the remainder of a current Fed governor term that ends Jan. 31, 2022. Clarida was also confirmed by the Senate for that position.

He is now the Lowell Harriss Professor of Economics at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1988. Previously, he taught at Yale University and served as senior staff economist with President Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers. He has also served as Treasury’s assistant secretary for economic policy and, since 2006, has been serving as global strategic advisor for investment firm PIMCO.

The new Fed vice chairman was recommended for confirmation by the Senate Banking Committee June 12, on a vote of 20-5. The vote came in the wake of a May 15 hearing before the committee, where Clarida told the panel that he would support the Fed’s dual mandate of maximum employment and stable prices as well as efforts to ensure the Fed’s regulations are appropriate for institutions subject to them. He also pledged to uphold the Fed’s independence.

In mid-July, apparently frustrated by Senate inaction on pending Fed nominations (including Clarida and two others for seats on the Fed Board, Michelle “Miki” Bowman, and Marvin Goodfriend), the White House chastised the Senate for not moving more quickly. “There are still three more nominees to the Fed who have yet to receive a vote,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. “It is inexcusable that Senate Democrats have delayed confirming the president’s nominees,” Sanders said then, adding the White House urges the Senate to stop delays and take action.

The Senate has not yet scheduled consideration of Bowman or Goodfriend. Bowman was recommended for confirmation by the Banking Committee in June on a vote of 18-7. Goodfriend was recommended for confirmation by the panel Feb. 8, on a partisan vote of 13-12.

Clarida is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Bureau of Economic Research. He earned his B.S. in economics from the University of Illinois and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Bio/background, Richard Clarida