WASHINGTON — Emmett J. Rice, a member of the Federal Reserve Board named during the Carter Administration, announced Thursday that he will resign by the end of the year, ensuring that five of the board's seven members will be appointed by President Reagan.
Until early this year, Chairman Paul A. Volcker, backed by other holdover members, had dominated the powerful Board of Governors, which sets monetary policy, regulates the money supply and has increasingly influenced interest rates.
However, with four Reagan appointees already on the board and with Volcker himself evidently more willing to respond to Administration fears of an economic slowdown, the Fed in recent months has eased the discount rate four times to 5.5%--the lowest level of this decade.
Rice was named by Carter to the board in June, 1979, and his term was to expire in January, 1990. In a letter Thursday to Reagan, Rice, 66, a former World Bank official said to be close to Volcker in policy orientation, explained that his decision to resign "is entirely personal."