Fed Up

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WASHINGTON: Alan Blinder, vice-chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, announced on Wednesday his intention not to seek a second term on the board of the world's most powerful central bank. The respected Princeton economist, who served on the White House's Council of Economic Advisers in 1993 and early 1994, was expected to have no problem being appointed to a second term at the end of the month. "Blinder wanted to be Fed chairman," says TIME's Adam Zagorin. "And he's not going to be Fed chairman. He can't be confirmed as chairman by a Republican Congress. And if he hangs around to be vice chairman for another term, which he doesn't want to do, he'll lose his Princeton position." Zagorin doesn't believe that Blinder's departure will have a significant impact on monetary policy. "Though Blinder was supposed to be an advocate of soft money -- which is believing in lowering interest rates more quickly -- his policy differences with Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan are overrated. And many people think Greenspan is doing a great job, so why would you want to replace him?"