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Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland names new president

| Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has chosen a longtime Fed economist as its next president.

The Cleveland Fed, one of 12 regional Fed banks, said it selected Loretta Mester, director of economic research at the Philadelphia Fed, to replace Sandra Pianalto. Pianalto is one of five regional bank presidents who have a vote on Fed policy this year. Mester will take over that vote once she succeeds Pianalto in June.

Pianalto, who had led the Cleveland Fed since 2003, announced in August that she was stepping down. Mester, 55, joined the Philadelphia Fed in 1985 as a staff economist after receiving a doctorate in economics from Princeton University.

Three nominations by President Obama to fill vacancies on the Fed's seven-member board in Washington are awaiting Senate action. The Senate Banking Committee is expected to hold a hearing on those nominations by the end of this month.

Obama has nominated Stanley Fischer, a former head of Israel's central bank, as vice chairman of the Fed board. Fischer would fill the vacancy opened when Janet Yellen was chosen to succeed Ben Bernanke as Fed chair.

The president has nominated Lael Brainard, former Treasury undersecretary for international affairs in his administration, for one of the other vacancies. And he has nominated Jerome Powell, a Fed board member, to serve another term.

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