Fed Governor Quarles to Step Down in December

Mr. Quarles’s term as a governor could have stretched until 2032. His departure will give the Biden administration more room to remake the Fed.

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Randal Quarles, formerly the Fed’s vice chair for supervision, will leave the central bank at the end of December.

Randal K. Quarles

Nov. 8, 2021, 11:00 a.m. ET

Randal K. Quarles, a Federal Reserve governor who spent four years overseeing bank supervision, will step down from the Fed in December — opening an additional seat that will allow the Biden administration to reshape the central bank’s leadership.

Mr. Quarles’ role as vice chair for supervision expired in October, but his term as governor was set to last until early 2032. The Trump appointee was widely expected to stay on until his time as head of the Financial Stability Board, a global monitoring and standard-setting body, ended in December. It was an open question whether he would stay after that.

“I intend to resign my position as a governor of the Federal Reserve during or around the last week of December of this year,” Mr. Quarles wrote in a letter the Fed released on Monday.

The announcement that he will step down is likely to be greeted warmly by Democrats, many of whom have been critical of Mr. Quarles’s push to relax some post-crisis financial regulations. Many Democrats have been calling for the administration to nominate a diverse set of leaders to the central bank.

President Biden already has one open spot on the central bank’s seven-person Board of Governors to fill, and will have another when Richard H. Clarida, the Fed’s vice chair, sees his term as governor expire early next year. This will give the administration at least three open spots. Jerome H. Powell’s term as the Fed’s chair is also scheduled to expire early next year.

It is not clear when Mr. Biden will announce his central bank nominees, including whether he plans to reappoint Mr. Powell. He last week said that the decision would come “fairly quickly.”

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