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Harvard Prof. Confirmed For Federal Reserve Board

A Harvard University economics professor is one of two nominees who will join the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, following Senate confirmation Thursday.

The chamber confirmed Harvard’s Jeremy Stein, 70-24, and investment banker and lawyer Jerome Powell, 74-21. Both Massachusetts senators voted in favor of both candidates.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

[President] Obama nominated the two late last year. The White House had hoped that by pairing Powell, a Republican, with Stein, a Democrat, it could more easily win Senate approval. The Senate Banking Committee approved them in March, but confirmation by the full Senate was held up by Sen. David Vitter (R., La.), who has opposed the Fed’s easy-money policies.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cited the recent, multibillion-dollar JPMorgan Chase trading loss in forcing the vote. As the New York Times reports, “[b]oth of the nominees are experienced in financial regulation.”

And as American Banker notes, the confirmations give the Fed board “a full complement of seven members for the first time since April 2006.”

Stein, according to Reuters, served as an adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and on the Obama administration’s National Economic Council. His Harvard bio also says he was on the finance faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Sloan School of Management, and received a doctorate in economics from MIT.

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