Lael Brainard, the Federal Reserve’s second-in-command, is a candidate to become the next chief economist for the White House, in what would be a major shakeup for the US central bank as it grapples with the worst problem of inflation. in decades.
According to people familiar with the matter, the Biden administration is considering Brainard, who served as assistant secretary for international affairs at the Treasury Department during the Barack Obama administration, to replace Brian Deese as the next head of the National Economic Council.
Deese has held the position since 2021 and helped steer White House economic policy through the successive shocks of Covid-19 and the surge in inflation that followed. While Deese was expected to leave the White House, there is no set date for his departure.
There are other contenders besides Brainard in the mix for the job, and Biden has not made a final decision on the role, people familiar with the matter said. Also under consideration are Gene Sperling and Bharat Ramamurti, current White House finance officers, as well as Sylvia Mathews Burwell, former White House budget director and president of American University.
The Washington Post first reported that Brainard was being considered for the role.
If elected, his departure would vacate a top leadership position at the Fed as it faces how much more to raise its policy rate after its most aggressive campaign since the early 1980s. With the fed funds up more than 4 percentage points since March through a series of giant 0.75 percentage point rate hikes, officials are preparing to return to business as usual. quarter point increments at his next policy meeting next week.
Brainard, a Democrat who has been in the fed for nearly a decade, he has long been one of the more dovish voices on the Federal Open Market Committee, advocating a prudent approach to tightening monetary policy and noting the potential economic and financial risks associated with rapidly rising prices. borrowing costs.
She has also pushed for more strict regulation of the nation’s largest banks, as well as for the central bank to more directly incorporate weather-related risks into its supervisory responsibilities, positions that earned it applause from the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
In front of her appointment to the office of vice president in November 2021, Brainard was also considered a leading candidate for the top job at the Fed and before that, Treasury Secretary.
If Brainard replaces Deese, the Biden administration will need to nominate another vice president, having already drastically reshaped the upper ranks of the central bank. In addition to renaming Jay Powell as president, the White House elevated economists smooth cook and Philip Jefferson as Governors along with Michael Barr as Vice President of Oversight.
Biden’s initial pick for the supervisory position, Sarah Bloom Raskin, was blocked by lawmakers who took issue with his calls for regulators to be more proactive about weather-related financial risks.