In the midst of discussions about who may takeover at the Fed with the current debate centered on Vice Chair Janet Yellen versus former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers there are one of two other items to note. It’s not just Bernanke who is leaving. Elizabeth A Duke leaves imminently, Sarah Bloom Raskin and Jerome H. Powell in the coming days to months. If Summers is appointed there is no guarantee that Yellen will stay. A string of new appointments by the White House will allow President Barack Obama to leave an influence long after he is gone. But it also makes it hard to say what course the Fed will steer in the next year or so. It may also not be such a good time for any sort of uncertainty around the Fed given the massive stimulus that has been in place in recent years and which will slowly have to be pulled from the system. Cleveland Fed President Sandra Pianalto who would have been a voter in 2014 has also announced her retirement. Yes, much is changing at the Fed.
And one last thought, Fed speakers have become the equivalent of economic celebrities in recent years with too many people hanging on every word. Perhaps it would be nicer if the Fed went back to being a little more anonymous with corresponding less volatility in financial markets. But given the media and the Internet those days may be gone forever.