As end of Fed chair’s term looms early next year, White House mum on what’s next

No talk either on other Fed seats, OCC, FDIC

If Federal Reserve Board (FRB) Chair Jerome H. (“Jay”) Powell should be looking over his shoulder at a replacement for him when his term runs out in February, the White House is giving no indication that’s what he should be doing.

During a Friday press briefing, President Joe Biden’s (D) Press Secretary Jen Psaki told the gathered press – in response to a question – that she had “no announcements or pronouncements on the Federal Reserve chair, or any other personnel to convey to you today.” She also said she doesn’t have a timeline for a decision to share.

Powell’s term as board chair officially ends in February (his term as an FRB member concludes in January 2028). Powell may be reappointed to the position by the president, or replaced. But, as Psaki indicated, there’s no news on that position for now.

Powell’s role as chair isn’t the only term that is soon to expire at the Fed: Board Member Randal Quarles’ term as vice chair for supervision concludes in October. Further, the term of Vice Chair Richard Clarida (as a member of the board) ends in January too. Quarles’ term as a board member runs to February 2032.

In addition, there remains one open board seat at the Fed – for which no nominees have been forwarded by the White House.

Meanwhile, other positions remain to be filled, either because they are open or because the terms of incumbents in the positions have expired (but they remain in the seats because no successors have been nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate). No one has been nominated, to date, to fill those seats. They are:

  • Comptroller of the Currency: Michael J. Hsu is serving in an acting capacity since May.
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Board vice chairman: The seat is vacant.
  • FDIC Board member: Martin Gruenberg, whose term officially ended in December 2018, remains in the seat as a holdover.
  • National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board chairman: Todd Harper, whose term officially ended in April, remains in the seat as a holdover.

Biden has nominated Rohit Chopra to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), but the Senate has yet to vote on his nomination (he participated in a hearing on his nomination last spring). The Senate Banking Committee, in voting to refer his nomination to the full Senate, tied on whether the nomination should proceed. In the meantime, he remains as a member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – and Dave Uejio continues his role as acting CFPB director, a role he was appointed to in January, the same day Biden was inaugurated.

Regulators/boards; names, positions, term expirations