WASHINGTON – Narayana Kocherlakota, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, said Friday he will step down when his current term ends in early 2016, marking the departure of one of the Fed’s leading proponents of easier credit conditions to battle unemployment.
Kocherlakota said that he has informed the regional bank’s board of directors that he had decided he would not seek another term once his current term ends on Feb. 29, 2016.
Currently a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, Kocherlakota cast the lone dissenting vote at the Fed’s last meeting in October. He argued against ending the Fed’s bond buying program and urged the central bank to make a commitment to achieving its inflation target before starting to raise interest rates.
Before his appointment as head of the Minneapolis bank in October 2009, Kocherlakota had served as an economist on the research staff at the Minneapolis Fed. Prior to joining the Fed, he had been a professor and chair of the economics department at the University of Minnesota.
Confronted with the massive job loss caused by the Great Recession, Kocherlakota became a leading proponent for keeping short-term interest rates at record lows and buying massive amounts of bonds to hold down long-term rates to boost economic growth and fight high unemployment.
Two other top Fed officials, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser and Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, have announced they will step down from their posts in the spring of 2015.