Fed candidate Bloom Raskin pledges not to ‘direct lend’ | Business


WASHINGTON (AP) — Pushing back against criticism, a key nominee for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors said in testimony before a Senate panel that she won’t make it harder for an industry to get bank loans.

Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed governor and assistant secretary of the Treasury, has been appointed by President Joe Biden to serve as the Fed’s vice chair for oversight, the nation’s top banking regulator. Republicans have accused Bloom Raskin’s previous statements on climate change of suggesting she would use her position at the Fed, if confirmed, to discourage banks from lending to oil and gas companies.

The White House disputed that view, and in an address to the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, Bloom Raskin said she would not be able to take such action as vice president for oversight.

“The role does not involve ordering banks to lend only to specific sectors, or to avoid lending to particular sectors,” she said. “And the role exists in laws passed by Congress that govern the Federal Reserve and its responsibilities.”

The Senate panel is also considering nominations of Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson to the Fed board. If approved, they would vote on Fed interest rate policies and financial system oversight. Cook is the first black woman to be named to the Fed board, and Jefferson would be only the fourth black man on the board if confirmed.

Cook, an economist at Michigan State University and a former White House staffer for President Barack Obama, said she sees tackling inflation, which is currently at its highest level in four decades, as the top priority. Absolute Fed.

“I agree with President Powell that our most important job is to fight inflation,” Cook said. “High inflation is a grave threat to a long and sustained expansion, which we know raises the standard of living for all Americans and leads to shared, broad-based prosperity.”

Jefferson, an economist and dean of Davidson College in North Carolina, also said he sees rising inflation as a major risk to the economy.

“The Federal Reserve must remain alert to this risk and ensure that inflation declines to levels consistent with its objectives,” Jefferson said.

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