New York Fed Chief Search Not Over Yet as Williams' Name Floats

(Bloomberg) -- John Williams is a front-runner in the race to take leadership of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, but there are still more hoops to jump through.

Williams, president of the central bank’s San Francisco branch, is on the short list of finalists, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The Fed’s Board of Governors in Washington has been kept informed of the process, according to another person familiar with the matter.

But the simple fact that there’s still a list -- and not a single candidate -- means the search is in the informal vetting stages, though the end is drawing nearer.

When the New York Fed search committee settles on a final, single candidate, all non-bank directors on the branch’s board will vote to formally recommend that person to the governors in Washington, who then vote on whether the person gets the job. Washington in recent history has reliably signed off on the final pick, voting records show.

That final step in the process has not yet been reached and things could still change.

Earlier this month, New York Fed directors said they had narrowed their search for the bank’s next president to a “handful of final candidates,” without naming any of those still in the running or the timetable for announcing their selection.

The Wall Street Journal first reported on Saturday that Williams had been recommended by the New York Fed directors for the position.

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