President Joe Biden announced on Friday his appointment of Sarah Bloom Raskin to serve as vice chair for supervision at the Federal Reserve, continuing a series of appointments that cumulatively signal a balance of continuity and change in the ideological constitution of the Fed.
Raskin has a long history in the Fed, having previously served on the board of governors under President Obama. In 2020, it was reported that Raskin was under consideration to serve as Biden’s Secretary of Treasury, a position which was ultimately filled by former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
“Sarah Bloom Raskin has served both as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as a Governor of the Federal Reserve Board,” reads the White House’s official statement to announce the appointment. “At Treasury, she oversaw the Treasury Department and its various agencies and departments, pursuing innovative solutions to enhance American’s shared prosperity, the resilience of our country’s critical financial infrastructure, particularly as it related to climate risk and cybersecurity, and the defense of consumer safeguards in the financial marketplace.”
Raskin’s reputation as a regulatory hawk is interpreted as a sign of the Biden administration’s commitment to a tougher financial policy, which has elicited criticism from opponents of a more expansive regulatory regime.
“Sarah Bloom Raskin has specifically called for the Fed to pressure banks to choke off credit to traditional energy companies and to exclude those employers from any Fed emergency lending facilities,” said Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in a statement to Bloomberg on Thursday. “I have serious concerns that she would abuse the Fed’s narrow statutory mandates on monetary policy and banking supervision to have the central bank actively engaged in capital allocation.”
Additionally, Biden announced that Lisa Cook and Phillip Jefferson would serve on the board of governors for the Federal Reserve. Cook is a career academic whose work specializes in international economic policy, whereas Jefferson’s work focuses on labor markets and poverty studies.
In the coming weeks, all three candidates will face questions from the Senate Banking Committee as they prepare to assume their offices. They join the Federal Reserve at one of the most trying times of the institution’s history, as policymakers thread the needle of stymying inflation without obliterating the stock market.