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Biden chooses three for Fed board

WASHINGTON (AP) – United States (US) President Joe Biden will nominate three people for the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors, including Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed and Treasury official, for the top regulatory slot and Lisa Cook, who would be the first Black woman to serve on the Fed’s board.

Biden will also nominate Philip Jefferson, an economist, dean of faculty at Davidson College in North Carolina and a former Fed researcher, according to a person familiar with the decision on Thursday who was not authorised to speak on the record.

The three nominees, who will have to be confirmed by the Senate, would fill out the Fed’s seven-member board.

The nominees would join the Fed at a particularly challenging time in which the central bank will undertake the delicate task of raising its benchmark interest rate to try to curb high inflation, without undercutting the recovery from the pandemic recession.

On Wednesday, the government reported that inflation reached a four-decade high in December. Inflation has become the economy’s most serious problem, a burden for millions of American households and a political threat to the Biden administration.

Raskin’s nomination to the position of Fed vice chair for supervision – the nation’s top bank regulator – will be welcomed by progressive senators and advocacy groups, who see her as likely to take a tougher approach to bank regulation than Randal Quarles, a Trump appointee who stepped down from that post last month. She is also viewed as someone committed to incorporating climate change considerations into the Fed’s oversight of banks. For that reason, though, she has already drawn opposition from some Republican senators.

A Harvard-trained lawyer, Raskin, 60, previously served on the Fed’s seven-member board from 2010 to 2014. President Barack Obama then chose her to serve as deputy Treasury secretary, the number two job in the department.

US President Biden. PHOTO: AP
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