Fed bailout critic Stern to step down

Gary Stern, the president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve and a vociferous critic of the Fed's recent bailouts, is to retire. He is the longest-serving senior Fed official.

Stern has criticised the Fed's bailout of Bear Stearns, saying that it exacerbated the too-big-to-fail problem, on which he has written widely. He has also panned the British authorities' handling of the collapse of Northern Rock.

Writing with Ron Feldman, the senior vice president for supervision, regulation and credit