Chairman of the Federal Reserve
|Chairman of the Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System
Seal of the Federal Reserve
|Appointer||President of the United States|
|Inaugural holder||Charles Sumner Hamlin|
|Formation||August 10, 1914|
The Chairman 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 "Chairman of the Fed", "Fed Chairman" or "Fed Chief". The Chairman is the "active executive officer" (see 12 U.S.C. § 242) of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
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. Once appointed, Governors may not be removed from office for their policy opinions.
The chairman and vice-chairman are chosen by the President from among the sitting Governors for four-year terms; these appointments are also subject to Senate confirmation. By law, the chairman 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.
The current chairman is Ben Bernanke, an academic nominated by George W. Bush and sworn into office on February 1, 2006, for a term lasting until January 31, 2010. He was nominated for a second term by President Barack Obama in 2009, and was confirmed by the Senate in 2010. Bernanke's second term ends on January 31, 2014. Bernanke succeeded Alan Greenspan, who served for more than 18 years during the terms of four U.S. Presidents.
The law applicable to the Chairman 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 Chairmen of the Federal Reserve
The following is a list of past and present Chairmen of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. There have been a total of 14 Chairmen of the Federal Reserve, who are appointed by the President of the United States.
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.
- 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.
- "Chairmen". Membership of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1914-Present. The Federal Reserve Board. April 3, 2007. Retrieved December 7, 2007.
- Chairman were designated Governor before Aug 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.
- "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.
- 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. (Nov 5, 2005). "All for a more open Fed". New Straits Times, p. 21.
Office of the Federal Register http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=59049
- Official website
- Public Statements of the Chairmen of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
- Nomination hearings, conducted in the Senate, for Chairmen and Members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System