FED DEPARTURE: Federal Reserve board member Kevin Warsh, who helped engineer the central bank's strategy during the financial crisis, will step down near the end of March.

CLOSE TO FED CHIEF: Warsh has voted largely with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Warsh supported the Fed's $600 billion bond-buying program despite reservations about how much it would help the economy and concerns that it could spur inflation.

BIGGER IMPRINT: Warsh's departure will create a second vacancy on the board, allowing president Barack Obama to enlarge his imprint. Obama has appointed or reappointed four of the board's seven members.