Chair of the Federal Reserve
|Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System|
Seal of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors
Flag of the Federal Reserve System
|Appointer||President of the United States|
|Formation||August 10, 1914|
|First holder||Charles Sumner Hamlin|
The Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is the head of the central banking system of the United States. Known colloquially as "Chair(man) of the Fed", "Fed Chair(man)" or "Fed Chief". The Chair is the "active executive officer" of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The currently used gender-neutral title for this position is "Chair."
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve did not exist prior to the major reorganization of the Fed in 1935 (Banking Act of 1935). Prior to that time, the "Federal Reserve Board" (created in 1913 under the Federal Reserve Act) had a Board of Directors. The directors' salaries were significantly lower (at $12,000 when first appointed in 1914) and their terms of office were much shorter prior to 1935. In effect, the Federal Reserve Board members in Washington, D.C., were significantly less powerful than the presidents of the regional Federal Reserve Banks prior to 1935.
In the 1935 Act, the district heads had their titles changed to "President" (e.g., "President of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis"), as part of a major shift of power to Washington.
Thus, Marriner Eccles was the first actual "Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board". The others prior to 1935 were "Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve System", with much more circumscribed power.
As stipulated by the Banking Act of 1935, the President appoints the seven members of the Board of Governors; they must then be confirmed by the Senate and serve for 14 years only. Once appointed, Governors may not be removed from office for their policy opinions.
The nominees for chair and vice-chair may be chosen by the President from among the sitting Governors for four-year terms; these appointments are also subject to Senate confirmation. By law, the chair reports twice a year to Congress on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy objectives. He or she also testifies before Congress on numerous other issues and meets periodically with the Treasury Secretary.
Conflict of interest law
The law applicable to the Chair and all other members of the Board provides (in part):
No member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System shall be an officer or director of any bank, banking institution, trust company, or Federal Reserve bank or hold stock in any bank, banking institution, or trust company; and before entering upon his duties as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System he shall certify under oath that he has complied with this requirement, and such certification shall be filed with the secretary of the Board.
List of Chairs of the Federal Reserve
The following is a list of past and present Chairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. There have been a total of 15 Chairs of the Federal Reserve, who are appointed by the President of the United States.
- see 12 U.S.C. § 242
- "Senate Confirms Yellen as Fed Chairwoman". New York Times. Retrieved January 6, 2014.
- "The Reserve Board Nominations". The Independent. July 20, 1914. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
- Meltzer, Allan H. (2003). A history of the Federal Reserve: Volume 1, 1913-1951. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Federal Reserve (January 16, 2009). "Board of Governors FAQ". Federal Reserve. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
- 12 U.S.C. § 244
- "Federal Reserve Bank Presidents". The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Retrieved December 8, 2007.
- "Chairs". Membership of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1914–Present. The Federal Reserve Board. February 3, 2014. Retrieved February 10, 2014.
- Chairs were designated Governors before August 23, 1935.
- "Fed Leadership and the 2000 Election". Financial Markets Center. February 26, 1999. Retrieved December 10, 2007.
- Served as Chair Pro Tempore from February 3, 1948, to April 15, 1948.
- Served as Chair Pro Tempore from March 3, 1996, to June 20, 1996.
- Beckhart, Benjamin Haggott. 1972. Federal Reserve System. [New York]: American Institute of Banking.
- Shull, Bernard. 2005. The fourth branch: the Federal Reserve's unlikely rise to power and influence. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.
- Andrews, Edmund L. (November 5, 2005). "All for a more open Fed". New Straits Times. p. 21.
- "Executive Order 11110 - Amendment of Executive Order No. 10289 as Amended, Relating to the Performance of Certain Functions Affecting the Department of the Treasury". The American Presidency Project., via UCSB.edu
- Official website
- Public Statements of the Chairs of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, via the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank
- Nomination hearings, conducted in the Senate, for Chairs and Members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System