Fed policymakers range from the rich to the not so rich

Fri Sep 14, 2012 7:43pm EDT
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(Reuters) - When the Federal Reserve's policymakers meet in Washington to decide how best to steer the world's largest economy, they bring to the table very different levels of personal wealth.

Financial disclosures released on Friday reveal a wide wealth disparity among the 12 presidents of the Fed's regional banks, from tens of thousands of dollars in personal assets to tens of millions.

The wealthiest of the presidents, Richard Fisher of the Dallas Federal Reserve, who in the past managed a hedge fund, had at least $24.7 million in assets last year. New York Fed President William Dudley, a former partner at Goldman Sachs, had at least $7.6 million.

On the other end of the spectrum, Jeffrey Lacker of the Richmond Fed, Esther George of Kansas City and John Williams of San Francisco each disclosed personal assets of no more than $102,000.

The figures exclude the assets of spouses and children and my exclude housing. The disclosures are required by all central bank policymakers.

To avoid a conflict of interest, Dudley was required to divest between $50,000 and $250,000 in General Electric stock last year, the New York Fed disclosure showed. GE had participated in a liquidity facility set up by the central bank.

Only five regional Fed presidents vote in any given year on U.S. monetary policy; as head of the New York bank, Dudley always has a vote, while the four other votes rotate annually among the others. The seven Fed governors in Washington have permanent votes.

On Thursday, the central bank plunged deeper into uncharted policy territory when it unveiled a third round of large-scale asset purchases in an effort to boost economic growth and to get Americans back to work.

(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer, Ann Saphir and Tim Ahmann; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke (R) addresses members of the Dallas Regional Chamber as Richard Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, laughs in Dallas, Texas April 7, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Stone