President Biden signs on economists for Fed governor seats, Sarah Bloom Raskin as vice chair for oversight



President Biden signs on economists for Fed governor seats, Sarah Bloom Raskin as vice chair for oversight

The White House has officially tapped former Fed Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin as Vice Chair overseer of the Federal Reserve, and economists Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson to fill two vacant seats on the Board of Governors.

In an announcement on Friday, US President Joe Biden said he had nominated Cook, an Obama-era economic adviser and Michigan State University faculty member, and Jefferson, a former Fed research economist, to serve on the board of governors in addition to Raskin. Jefferson and Cook will fill two of the vacant seats in the group of seven governors, with Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard nominated as chair and vice chair, respectively.

According to the US President, the three nominees have “the experience, judgment and integrity to lead the Federal Reserve and help better rebuild our economy for working families.” Citing Jefferson and Cook’s decades of experience working on economic issues, he said Raskin was “one of the most qualified nominees ever” for vice chairman for oversight.

The vice chairman of oversight, unlike the vice chairman of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve, is a relatively new role within the government agency. Randal Quarles was the first to hold the position for the entire four-year period from 2017 to 2021, shortly before stepping down as a Fed board member in December. Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, enacted in 2010, the Vice Chairman for Oversight “is to develop policy recommendations to the Board relating to the oversight and regulation of custodian holding companies and other financial entities overseen by the Board, and oversees oversight and regulation of such firms.”

Many Federal Reserve vacancies stemming from term expirations and board member resignations have provided President Biden with an opportunity to shake up the agency’s leadership. This week, his nominees for Fed chair and vice chair – Jerome Powell and Lael Brainard, respectively – testified before the Senate Banking Committee before a full Senate vote. If they get more than 50 votes, Powell, Brainard and Raskin would lead the Fed board through 2026, with Cook and Jefferson serving 14-year terms.

Related: US Lawmakers Hint at Upcoming Crypto Legislation as Jerome Powell Says Fed Will Release Report on Digital Currencies Soon

A significant leadership change at some of the top financial regulators in the United States could impact how the government views both crypto and blockchain. Both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are likely to see a reshuffle in 2022, with the expected departures of SEC Commissioners Elad Roisman this month and Allison Lee in June. Additionally, President Biden has not indicated that he intends to re-nominate CFTC Commissioner Dawn Stump before her term expires in April.