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For Immediate Release

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Press Release

Open Markets Encourages President Biden to Name Former Federal Reserve Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, Economist Lisa Cook to Open Fed Seats

WASHINGTON -

In light of the Biden administration announcing its nomination of Jerome Powell for Chair of the Federal Reserve and Dr. Lael Brainard for Vice Chair, Open Markets urges the President to nominate strong candidates who will champion financial regulatory protections and economic equality to fill the remaining open seats on the Federal Reserve Board.

During the pandemic, the Federal Reserve extended tremendous flexibility to its corporate bond market rescue — flexibility that was not extended to its municipal lending program. Despite pressure from Congress, the Fed would not modify the Municipal Lending Facility so that Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and many cities in the U.S. with non-investment grade ratings could participate. This disparate treatment may have contributed to the way the pandemic has exacerbated inequality. This is why it’s extremely important to bring new voices and strong leaders to the remaining open seats.

Open Markets strongly encourages President Biden to nominate Dr. Lisa Cook, Michigan State University professor and leading economist, to join the Board of Governors Federal Reserve, and Sarah Bloom Raskin, former Deputy Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve Governor, to be the Fed’s Vice Chair for Supervision.

Lisa Cook is a demonstrated leader on how to tackle the racial wealth gap, protect low-wage workers, avoid dangerous financial deregulation, and address the underrepresentation of minorities in economics. As senior economist at President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, she documented the effects of foreclosures during the Great Recession.

Sarah Bloom Raskin brings deep regulatory expertise and a proven track record of consumer protection, as demonstrated by her tenure at the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department, and as the chief financial regulator for the state of Maryland. She’s a leading voice on the ways that climate risk imperils both financial institutions and the broader economy, and has advocated for economic recovery programs that don’t further exacerbate inequality. Bloom Raskin’s expertise includes on-site supervision, enforcement, and a credible and deep understanding of the financial sector. Bloom Raskin has been confirmed twice before with wide margins.

In response, Alexis Goldstein, Director of Financial Policy at Open Markets Institute, issued the following statement:

“It is more critical than ever that the Biden administration nominate candidates to the Federal Reserve Board with the ability to tackle the critical issues of our time: corporate concentration that harms working people, independent businesses, innovation, and growth, and that increases climate risk; racial economic inequality, unemployment, climate change, wasteful and dangerous speculation, and predatory lending. To ensure a fair recovery going forward, it’s extremely important to bring in strong champions of financial regulatory protections and economic equality to the remaining open seats. Bloom Raskin and Dr. Cook are the kind of leaders the Federal Reserve needs to guarantee that the economic recovery works for all people.”

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The Open Markets Institute works to address threats to our democracy, individual liberties, and our national security from today’s unprecedented levels of corporate concentration and monopoly power. By combining policy, legal, and market structure expertise with sophisticated communications and outreach efforts, Open Markets seeks not only to hold today’s monopolies accountable for abuse of power, but to rebuild an economic system where progress is easier to achieve, because power is far more widely and equitably distributed

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