Cleveland Fed’s Pianalto to Retire Early in 2014, Bank Says

Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland President Sandra Pianalto will retire from the district bank early next year, according to an e-mailed statement.

Pianalto, 59, is the longest serving of the Fed’s 12 regional presidents, having become leader of her district bank in 2003. During her 10-year tenure at the Fed, Pianalto was a reliable supporter of Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, never dissenting from a decision of the Federal Open Market Committee.

“She was a centrist and she was a team player during a difficult period,” said Michael Feroli, chief U.S. economist for JPMorgan Chase & Co. in New York and a former Fed economist. “We’re going to have a couple new faces next year, a couple new voters on the FOMC in 2014.”

Pianalto is the third policy maker, all women, whose plans to depart the Fed have become public in the past month. Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin was nominated last week by President Barack Obama to become deputy Treasury secretary and Governor Elizabeth Duke announced last month that she would resign at the end of August.

In addition, Bernanke’s term as chairman ends in January 2014 and Vice Chairman Janet Yellen’s ends in October 2014. Fed Governor Jerome Powell’s term as governor expires in January 2014 as well.

Fed Career

Pianalto joined the Cleveland Fed in 1983 as an economist in the research department, and prior to that worked as an economist at the Fed’s Board of Governors in Washington. Unlike most of the Fed’s presidents, she had neither a doctorate in economics nor private experience in the financial sector.

Presidents of the Fed’s district banks rotate voting on monetary policy, with the Cleveland Fed holding a vote next year.

“I have no immediate plans beyond continuing my involvement in civic and non-profit activities,” Pianalto said in the statement. “I will not consider any opportunities until my successor is in place. I look forward to staying actively engaged in leading the bank and serving on the Federal Open Market Committee until the selection process is complete.”

The Cleveland Fed’s board of directors has formed a search committee to appoint a successor. A final decision is “expected to be made in early 2014,” according to the statement.

“We will miss her thoughtful insights and leadership across a broad range of issues, including monetary policy, payments policy and community development,” Bernanke said in the statement.

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