The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas said President Richard Fisher will step down on March 19, making him the second district chief and voting policymaker this year to announce his retirement from the central bank.
The reserve bank said it has hired the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. to conduct a search for a new president, according to an e-mailed statement Thursday. Fisher, 65, is a former deputy U.S. trade representative who's served as president since April 2005. He had previously announced that he would retire by April 30.
"We intend to consider a broad and diverse group of candidates from inside and outside of the Federal Reserve System," Dallas Fed Chairman Mike Ullman said in the release. "Richard will be sorely missed."
Fisher will join Philadelphia's Charles Plosser, 66, in exiting the central bank after serving this year as voters on the policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee. Both have been consistent critics of the Fed's unprecedented policy actions, and each cast dissenting hawkish votes against the September policy statement. Fisher said it didn't reflect the strengthening economy and the improved labor market outlook.
The FOMC has 12 voting seats. Eight of those are reserved for the bank's board of governors and the president of the New York Fed. The presidents of the other 11 regional banks rotate through four remaining spots on an annual basis.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who took office in February, has just one more meeting Dec. 16-17 with the current FOMC roster before the annual rotation brings on new voters. Next year brings a dove, Charles Evans of Chicago; dovish-leaning John Williams of San Francisco; one consistent hawk, Richmond's Jeffrey Lacker; and centrist Dennis Lockhart of Atlanta.
Fisher was born in Los Angeles, grew up in Mexico, studied economics at Harvard, went to Oxford University, earned an MBA from Stanford University in California and later worked at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. He built his own investment firm in Dallas before becoming an ambassador and deputy minister of trade for the U.S. and later Fed president.
The Dallas Fed chief frequently praised the strength of economy of Texas, the second-most populous state, which forms the bulk of his district along with southern New Mexico and northern Louisiana.
He also stands out among his more academic economist central bank colleagues with his offbeat speeches often titled with wide-ranging references to art, history and literature. His most recent speech was "R.I.P. QE3... Or Will It? (With Reference to Shakespeare, Betsy Duke, Janet Yellen, Yogi Berra and Lenny Kravitz)" on Nov. 3.
Another title from January was "Beer Goggles, Monetary Camels, the Eye of the Needle and the First Law of Holes (With Reference to Peter Boockvar, the Book of Matthew, Sherlock Holmes, 'The Wolf of Wall Street' and Denis Healey)."