Businesshala News Exclusive | Biden Eyes Raskin as Top Fed Banking Regulator

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Two academic economists may also join White House slate of Fed picks

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Mr. Biden, a Democrat, is also considering two economists for other Fed board seats that will soon fall vacant: Lisa Cook, professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University; and Philip Jefferson, professor and administrator at Davidson College in North Carolina.

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Ms Ruskin’s nomination could placate progressive Democrats, some of whom opposed Mr Biden’s decision in November to offer Fed Chairman Jerome Powell a second term, a Republican who was first elected to the top office by former President Donald Trump. was selected for.

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.

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In a speech in September 2009, Ms Ruskin accused the financial crisis of “a regulatory fervor that marginalized the interests of many” and said that the recession “brought on us through a combination of greed, weak regulation and weak enforcement”. Went.”

Serving as Fed governor from 2010 to 2014, Ms. Ruskin was deeply involved in behind-the-scenes work writing the rules implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-regulatory overhaul.

Since leaving government, Ms Ruskin has spoken out on the need for the Fed and other federal financial regulators to more actively address growing threats from climate-related events such as natural disasters and wildfires.

“There is opportunity in pre-emptive, early and bold actions by federal economic policymakers looking to avert disaster,” Ms. Ruskin wrote last year in the preface to a report from the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Markets, a climate advocacy group.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D, Mass) has signaled to the White House that she will support either Ms. Ruskin or Richard Cordrey, the first confirmed director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, also under consideration for the Fed’s banking-regulatory position. Huh. ,

The potential nominations of Ms. Cook and Mr. Jefferson, who are both Black, will help Mr. Biden achieve his promise to improve diversity over the central bank, which has only three Black board members in its 108-year history, all of them. male. The most recent was former Fed Vice Chairman Roger Ferguson, who left the board in 2006.

There is one vacancy on the Fed’s seven-seat board of governors with two more to come. Governor Randall Quarles has said he will resign by the end of the month and Vice Chairman Richard Clarida’s term ends next month. The slate of White House candidates for these three seats may still change before an official announcement is made in early January.

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.

After serving as Fed governor, Ms. Ruskin, an attorney, served in the Obama administration as deputy secretary of the Treasury from 2014 to 2017. He was confirmed by voice vote in the Senate for both positions. Prior to this, he served as Maryland’s state commissioner of financial regulation. She is currently a professor of law at Duke University and is married to Rep. Jamie Ruskin (D., MD).

At the Treasury, Ms. Ruskin led efforts to address the financial stability risks of cybersecurity. At the Fed, she maintained a low profile on monetary policy and supported then-Chairman Ben Bernanke’s attempt to provide an economic stimulus by buying government bonds.

Most recently, in a May 2020 New York Times opinion article, Ms Ruskin was critical of the broad-based emergency-loan backstops enacted by the Treasury and the Fed to aid businesses during the pandemic because she believed That they should have taken steps to stop the lending. For oil and gas concerns. “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.

Ted Cruz of Texas, a Republican, took to twitter On Tuesday she advocated for “cutting capital for energy and destroying millions of American jobs,” she wrote on Tuesday to criticize Ms. Ruskin’s potential nomination.

Progressive activists praised all three potential candidates on the Fed board and encouraged Biden to nominate them quickly, warning that delays in filling these slots may spoil the White House agenda. “We need them now,” said Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of Better Markets, a group that advocates for stricter Wall Street oversight. in a tweet,

Mr. Jefferson, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Davidson College, has been academic almost full-time since 1990, when he earned his Ph.D. in Economics, specializing in Monetary Economics and Finance at the University of Virginia. He was a professor of economics at Swarthmore College from 1997 to 2019 and spent a year in the 1990s as a staff economist in the monetary affairs division on the Fed’s board.

Her research has focused on labor markets and poverty, including a 2008 paper that examined the economic instability faced by African-American families and female-dominated households and its relationship to declining economic output. Is. In 2005, he analyzed the costs and benefits of policies that promote tighter labor markets to promote a “high-pressure economy”, arguing that the latter outweighs the former.

In a 2018 interview with the Minneapolis Fed publication, Mr. Jefferson discussed the challenges of being a member of a minority group in the field of economics. “I have never been in the economics department with another African-American economist. Never,” he said. “My passion and enjoyment of learning new things, writing, and having a voice in conversations with different, similar-looking colleagues like me compensates for the absence of

Ms. Cook previously served as a senior economist on the White House Council of Economic Advisors in the Obama administration. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and bachelor’s degrees from Spelman College and the University of Oxford.

He wrote a doctoral dissertation on the underdevelopment of Russia’s banking system after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a trait he attributed to weak property rights.

This project germinated what would become her best-known research: a paper exploring the effects of violence and terrorism against black Americans on innovation between 1870 and 1940.

Ms Cook expressed support for programs on Mr Biden’s economic agenda during the recent Fed conference on gender and the economy. Asked at a November 8 panel to identify the three policies most effective in addressing discrimination and lack of opportunity, Ms Cook cited childcare and elderly care support, paid family leave and infrastructure Gave. All are included either in a bipartisan infrastructure package implemented this year or in social-spending and climate legislation that has passed the House but stalled in the Senate.

and Ken Thomas contributed to this article.

Write Andrew Ackerman at [email protected] and Nick Timiros at [email protected]

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