If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Raskin, a former Fed governor, would become the central bank’s vice chairwoman of supervision, the government’s most influential overseer of the American banking system.
The three picks would complete Mr. Biden’s remake of the Fed board, following his decision in November to offer a second term to Fed Chairman
and nominate Fed governor
If all Mr. Biden’s nominees win Senate approval, Ms. Raskin and Ms. Brainard would succeed top officials chosen by former President
Mr. Biden’s appointees would hold five of the seven board seats. Four positions would be held by women.
The nominations of Ms. Cook and Mr. Jefferson, who are both Black, would help Mr. Biden fulfill his promise to improve diversity atop the central bank, which in its 109-year history has had only three Black board members, all of them men. The most recent was former Fed Vice Chairman
who left the board in 2006.
Ms. Raskin’s nomination is likely to hearten progressive Democrats, some of whom opposed Mr. Biden’s nomination of Mr. Powell, a Republican first chosen for the top job by Mr. Trump. They have called for the Fed to take a tougher stance in regulating big banks and a bolder approach in addressing financial risks posed by climate change.
But Ms. Raskin’s calls for the Fed to play a more proactive role on climate change could attract opposition from Republicans.
In a New York Times opinion article in May 2020, Ms. Raskin was critical of broad-based emergency-lending backstops enacted by the Treasury and Fed to assist businesses during the pandemic because she believed they should have taken steps to prevent lending to oil-and-gas concerns.
“The decisions the Fed makes on our behalf should build toward a stronger economy with more jobs in innovative industries—not prop up and enrich dying ones,” she wrote.
With a closely divided Senate, Mr. Biden needs either universal support of Democrats to confirm his nominees or support from some Republicans to overcome holdouts from his own party. Ms. Raskin can be confirmed by the Senate but faces a “tight, contentious vote” with “perhaps…a Republican or two on her side,” said Ian Katz, a financial-policy analyst at Capital Alpha Partners, in a recent note to clients.
Ms. Raskin was confirmed by a voice vote in the Senate for both her Treasury and Fed posts in 2010 and 2014, respectively.
At the Fed, Ms. Raskin maintained a low profile on monetary policy but was deeply involved in behind-the-scenes work to write rules implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-regulatory overhaul.
In a speech in September 2009, Ms. Raskin blamed the financial crisis on “a deregulatory fervor that marginalized the interests of many” and said the downturn had been “brought upon us through a combination of greed, weak regulation and weak enforcement.”
Ms. Raskin, who has a Harvard University law degree and wrote her undergraduate thesis at Amherst College on monetary policy, served in the Obama administration as deputy Treasury secretary from 2014 to 2017 and as a Fed governor from 2010 to 2014. She was previously Maryland’s state commissioner of financial regulation.
She is currently a law professor at Duke University and is married to
Rep. Jamie Raskin
(D., Md.). She has served since 2017 on the board of directors of investment giant Vanguard Group.
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