Senate panel OKs Clarida, Bowman Fed nominations

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The Senate Banking Committee Tuesday advanced the nominations of Richard Clarida and Michelle Bowman for seats on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
Both are seen winning approval of the full Senate.

The nominations were seen by most observers as solid picks, and their testimony before the panel went without a hitch.

Clarida, a PIMCO managing director, professor and noted economist was tapped for the vice chair spot vacated by Stanley Fischer, who left the Board in October. Clarida’s strong real world experience complements Chair Jay Powell’s talents and soon-to-be Federal Reserve Bank of New York President John Williams’ strengths, Gary Pzegeo, head of fixed income at CIBC Atlantic Trust Private Wealth Management said in a Bond Buyer podcast.

Bowman, the Kansas State Bank Commissioner, was selected as Fed governor representing the interests of community banks.

Clarida was called a “fantastic choice” by Alan Rechtschaffen, portfolio manager and senior vice president at UBS Financial Services Inc. in a Bond Buyer podcast. He said Clarida’s “business wherewithal” and academic background fit nicely with Powell’s strengths.

These choices, he said, were “very comforting to the markets” and provided “less friction” than the nomination of Marvin Goodfriend for a fed seat, which is still pending in the Senate.

The vote for Clarida was 20-5, with seven Democrats joining the panel’s 13 Republicans in favor, while Bowman garnered 18 votes for to 7 against.

The Committee’s ranking Democrat, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, voted against both nominations, suggesting their written responses to his questions were “identical or nearly identical,” leading him to suggest the Fed staff wrote the answers for them.

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