Fed Vice President Fischer resigns

Stanley Fischer | Lior Mizrahi  Getty Images

In a surprise move that could augur a shakeup at the USA central bank, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer announced Wednesday that he would resign next month for "personal reasons".

In a letter to President Donald Trump, Fischer, 73, said he was resigning for personal reasons and that the effective date would be on or around October 13.

In a letter of resignation to Mr. Trump dated September 6, Mr. Fischer said "it has been a great privilege to serve on the Federal Reserve Board and, most especially, to work alongside Chair Yellen as well as many other dedicated and talented men and women throughout the Federal Reserve System".

Chair Yellen's term expires early next year and President Trump has been reluctant to confirm whether or not she will be re-appointed.

Quarles' nomination is scheduled to be voted on by the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

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He also served as governor of the Bank of Israel from 2005 to 2013.

Fischer, who has been a member of the central bank's board for three years, was not scheduled to leave the Fed until June of 2018.

In addition to the pending vacancies at the top of the Fed, there are now three vacancies on the Fed's Board of Governors, who along with five rotating regional Fed chairs comprise the 12-member FOMC. One potential candidate was Gary Cohn, a former top executive at Goldman Sachs, who now lead's Trump's National Economic Council. He also taught economics at MIT for more than 20 years-former Fed chairman Ben Bernanke was a student.

In a statement on Wednesday, Yellen said, "Stan's keen insights, grounded in a lifetime of exemplary scholarship and public service, contributed invaluably to our monetary policy deliberations".

That could make it harder for the Fed in the future to slice interest rates to ultra-low levels, as it did in 2008 and 2009, amid the financial crisis and Great Recession. The bank is headquartered in Indiana, Vice President Mike Pence's home state.

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