Edward Gramlich announced that on August 31 he will leave the Federal Reserve Board, where he has served since 1997, according to published accounts. Gramlich added that he will not attend the August 9 meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, which is responsible for setting the country’s interest-rate policy.
Gramlich’s departure opens a second vacancy on the 12-member FOMC; Ben Bernanke will soon become the chairman of President Bush’s three-member Council of Economic Advisers. In addition, Alan Greenspan — who has chaired the Federal Reserve Board since August 1987 — is expected to leave on January 31 at the expiration of his current term.
The Washington Post reported that Bush administration officials may encourage Greenspan to stay on a few more months so the White House could broaden its search for possible successors. The paper also observed that if Greenspan remained at the helm until May 11, 2006, he would become the longest-serving Fed chairman ever, surpassing the 18 years, 9 months, and 29 days served by William McChesney Martin Jr. from 1951 to 1970.
A later Post story, however, cited people close to Greenspan who said that while he might consider staying on a few extra weeks to help with a transition, it would be doubtful that he would stay on for months.
Gramlich was appointed to the board by President Clinton, to a term that expires on January 31, 2008. For most of his term he has served as chairman of the Fed’s Committee on Consumer and Community Affairs. He has also chaired the Airline Transportation Stabilization Board, which administers the $10 billion loan-guarantee program established in response to the September 11 attacks.
Gramlich will become the Richard A. Musgrave Collegiate Professor in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, teaching in that program and in the new Michigan in Washington Program. He will also hold a part-time appointment as senior fellow at the Urban Institute.