The Obama administration has identified two economists, one Democrat and one Republican, for two empty seats on the seven-member Federal Reserve Board, according to several people familiar with administration deliberations.
The two are Jeremy Stein, a Harvard University specialist in finance, and Richard Clarida, an executive vice president at money manager Pimco and professor of economics and international affairs at Columbia University.
Mr. Stein did a stint in the White House at the beginning of Barack Obama's presidency. Mr. Clarida was a Treasury official in the early years of the George W. Bush administration.
The administration coalesced around the two names a few months ago, hoping that pairing a Republican with a Democrat would smooth the way for Senate confirmation. But the White House has yet to nominate either formally and could change course depending on the political environment and the individuals' circumstances.
Although the two men have different political views, both are well-credentialed economists who have done scholarly work on central banking and would bolster the economic expertise on the Fed board. Only two of the five current Fed governors are Ph.D. economists, Mr. Bernanke and Vice Chairwoman Janet Yellen.