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US Senate confirms Clarida as new Fed vice chair

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Washington (AFP)

The US Senate on Tuesday voted to confirm economist Richard Clarida as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, adding the third of President Donald Trump's nominees to the central bank.

Clarida, a Columbia University economist and advisor to the fund manager Pacific Investment Management Co, was confirmed by a vote of 69 to 26.

He replaces former Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, who stepped down in October.

In a separate vote, the Senate confirmed Clarida to fill the remainder of a 14-year term as a member of the board of governors that is due to expire in 2022.

During confirmation hearings, Clarida said he supported current Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's policy of steadily raising interest rates to keep a lid on inflation as the economy grows -- something that has angered Trump.

But Trump has had the unprecedented chance to reshape the central bank to his liking, with six of the board's seven seats either filled by Trump nominees or awaiting their confirmation.

The Fed is widely expected to raise rates against next month and possibly again in December as the world's largest economy continues a decade of economic recovery.

Clarida also served as assistant secretary of the US Treasury under former President George W. Bush.

Trump tapped economist Marvin Goodfriend -- whose nomination narrowly survived a committee vote in February -- and Kansas banking commissioner Michelle Bowman as candidates to fill the final vacancies on the Fed board.

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