Key Fed official Randal Quarles plans to resign, creating another vacancy for Biden to fill

Key Fed official Randal Quarles plans to resign, creating another vacancy for Biden to fill
Zach Gibson/Bloomberg/Getty Images

Randal Quarles, previously the top Federal Reserve official overseeing Wall Street, announced plans Monday to resign in December.

The news creates another vacancy at the Fed, giving President Joe Biden further room to reshape one of the most powerful institutions in the world.

In a letter to Biden, Quarles cited the fact that his term as the Fed’s vice chairman for supervision expired in October.

Quarles, nominated by former President Donald Trump in 2017, has been sharply criticized by Senator Elizabeth Warren and others for going soft on Wall Street banks.

Warren has urged Biden to replace Quarles with someone who will be tougher on the financial industry and current Governor Lael Brainard has frequently been mentioned as a possible choice, if she doesn’t get the top job as chair.

Although his term as head of supervision lapsed last month, Quarles could have stayed on as a Fed governor because that term doesn’t expire until January 2032.

Biden now has the chance to fill at least three open seats at the Fed over the coming months.

“This serves as an undeniable reaffirmation that the White House has an opportunity to truly impact the composition of the Federal Reserve Board and therefore the course of the nation’s monetary and bank regulatory policy,” said Isaac Boltansky, director of policy research at BTIG.

In addition to the seat held by Quarles, Biden also needs to fill the vacant spot that Trump tried to install Judy Shelton in.

And at the end of January, Fed vice chair Richard Clarida will have his term expire.

The biggest decision facing Biden is whether or not to reappoint Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, whose term leading the Fed expires in February.

Even if he’s not reappointed, Powell could technically stay on as a governor, though that is viewed as unlikely.

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