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Not Far to Look: Fed’s Newest President Searched, Found Himself

Bloomberg Business

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Patrick Harker, who takes over July 1 as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, had some advantages over his rivals for the job.

Not only was Harker a member of the board of directors — the group that would choose a successor to the retiring Charles Plosser — he was also part of the board’s search committee. That meant he helped interview and evaluate other finalists before agreeing to become a candidate himself.

The details of Harker’s appointment were disclosed by the Philadelphia Fed in response to a Bloomberg inquiry. They come to light as the central bank faces increased scrutiny from lawmakers, policy analysts and some community activists over the Fed’s structure and how its leadership is selected.

“The Fed Board and appointment of regional reserve bank presidents is a topic that has growing interest on Capitol Hill,” said Aaron Klein at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. “Concern that that process is untransparent and favors insiders will only raise pressure in Congress to reexamine it.”

KEYWORDS: AARON KLEIN, CHARLES PLOSSER, FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM, PATRICK HARKER, PHILADELPHIA, SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE, SHERROD BROWN