White House Eyes Jeremy Stein for Federal Reserve

Staff Directory

Harvard economics professor Jeremy C. Stein may be nominated to fill one of two empty seats on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday afternoon, citing “several people familiar with administration decisions.”

Neither Stein nor the other potential candidate, Columbia professor and Pimco vice president Richard H. Clarida, have officially been nominated by the Obama administration.

According to the Journal, the Obama administration is seeking to fill the empty positions on the seven-person Board of Governors with both a Republican and Democrat to ease Senate approval. Stein is a Democrat, and Clarida is a Republican.

The economics department lists Stein as being on leave from this past July through the end of June 2012. He could not be reached for comment.

From February to July 2009, Stein worked in the Obama administration as a senior adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner and as a staff member of the National Economic Council. After returning to Harvard, he taught Economics 1759: “The Financial Crisis,” an intensive course on the recent economic downturn that has earned high ratings from students.

He has also taught Economics 2728: “Behavioral Finance.”

He first came to Harvard as an assistant professor of finance at Harvard Business School from 1987 to 1990. From 1990 to 2000, he was a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, first as an associate professor of finance and eventually as the J.C. Penney Professor of Management.

Stein graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 1983 with a bachelor’s in economics, earning his Ph.D. from MIT in 1986.

As a scholar, his work has focused on financial regulation, risk management and behavioral finance, among other areas.

Vacancies at the Fed have become more important as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke '75 has faced opposition from three regional Federal Bank presidents at policy meetings.

President Obama nominated three economists to fill vacancies last year, but only two, Janet L. Yellen and Sarah B. Raskin, were approved. MIT economics professor and Nobel laureate Peter A. Diamond faced repeated opposition from Senate Banking Committee Republicans, and eventually withdrew his name from consideration earlier this year.

—Staff writer Leanna B. Ehrlich can be reached at lehrlich@college.harvard.edu.

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