Former No. 2 Treasury official calls for more aggressive climate focus
Mr. Biden also plans to nominate two economists for other seats on the Fed board: Lisa Cook, professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University; and Philip Jefferson, professor and administrator at Davidson College in North Carolina.
Following his decision in November to give Fed Chairman Jerome Powell a second term and to nominate Fed Governor Lyle Brainard to become Fed vice chairman, three picks will complete Biden’s remake of the Fed board.
If all of Biden’s nominees win Senate approval, Ms. Ruskin and Ms. Brainard will replace top officials elected by former President Donald Trump. Mr Biden will be appointed to five of the board’s seven seats. There will be women for four posts.
The nominations of Ms. Cook and Mr. Jefferson, who are both Black, would help Mr. Biden deliver on his promise to improve diversity over the central bank, which has only three Black board members in its 109-year history, all of them. male. The most recent was former Fed Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson, who left the board in 2006.
Ms Ruskin’s nomination is likely to delight progressive Democrats, some of whom have opposed the nomination of Mr. Powell to Mr. Biden, a Republican who was first elected to the top office by Mr. Trump. He has called on the Fed to take a tougher stance on regulating big banks and take a bolder approach to address the financial risks posed by climate change.
But Ms. Ruskin’s call for the Fed to take a more active role on climate change could attract opposition from Republicans.
In a May 2020 New York Times opinion article, Ms. Ruskin criticized the broad-based emergency-loan backstops enacted by the Treasury and the Fed to aid businesses during the pandemic because she believed they had to lend to oil. Steps should have been taken to stop giving-and-gas anxiety.
“The decisions the Fed has taken on our behalf should build towards a stronger economy with more jobs in innovative industries – not supporting and prospering the dying,” he wrote.
With a closely divided Senate, Biden needs either the universal support of Democrats to confirm his candidates or support from some Republicans to overcome the holdouts from his party. Ms. Ruskin could be confirmed by the Senate, but Ian Katz, a financial-policy analyst at Capital Alpha Partners, said in a recent note, “perhaps … a Republican or two on her side” with “tighter, controversial vote”. Customer.
Ms. Ruskin was confirmed by voice vote in the Senate for both her Treasury and Fed positions in 2010 and 2014, respectively.
At the Fed, Ms. Ruskin maintained a low profile on monetary policy, but was deeply involved in behind-the-scenes work writing the rules implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-regulatory overhaul.
In a speech in September 2009, Ms. Ruskin accused the financial crisis of “a regulatory fervor that marginalized the interests of many” and said the recession “brought on us through a combination of greed, weak regulation and weak enforcement”. Went.”
Ms. Ruskin, who has a Harvard University law degree and wrote her undergraduate thesis at Amherst College on monetary policy, served as deputy Treasury secretary in the Obama administration from 2014 to 2017 and as Fed governor from 2010 to 2014. She was previously from Maryland. State commissioner of financial regulation.
She is currently a professor of law at Duke University and is married to Rep. Jamie Ruskin (D., MD). He has served on the board of directors of investment giant Vanguard Group since 2017.