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US President Joe Biden announced the appointment of two people to key positions at the Federal Reserve, including a new Fed governor and economist Philip Jefferson as vice chairman.
In a May 12 White House notice, President Biden said he would nominate Fed chief Philip Jefferson as the next central bank vice chairman, replacing Lael Brainard, who resigned in February. The US president added that Adriana Coogler, a former chief economist at the US Department of Labor, was his candidate for one of the vacant seats on the Fed’s Board of Governors. He will also nominate Fed Chair Lisa Cook for a full term.
“These candidates understand that this is not a partisan job, but one that is critical to maximizing employment, maintaining price stability, and overseeing many of our country’s financial institutions,” President Biden said.
Nominations will move to Congress, where a full vote in the Senate is required before candidates take their Fed positions. While Democrats have a slim majority in the Senate, partisanship could still be a factor in moving Biden forward. In a May 12 statement, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Patrick McHenry — a Republican — called the candidates “experienced economists” and said lawmakers will hold them accountable when considering their positions.
If confirmed by the Senate, Jefferson will serve as Fed vice chairman for his current term as governor until 2036, and Coogler for a 14-year term likely to end in 2037. Cook’s current term is expected to end in 2024 unless she receives confirmation.
As I assume my duties as a Federal Reserve Board Governor, I am beyond grateful to my family, friends, colleagues, mentors, former students, Twitter?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" rel="nofollow">#EconTwitter friends, & many others for their love, encouragement, support, & prayers. (1/2)https://t.co/cWcKN0btJy pic.twitter.com/OiE0LVfB7P
— Dr. Lisa D Cook (@drlisadcook) May 31, 2022
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The leadership of the Federal Reserve is likely to influence how the US government considers the handling of cryptocurrencies and blockchain, especially regarding the possible issuance of digital currency by the central bank. While proponents of issuing a CBDC at the federal level suggest it could help bolster the US dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency, some criticize the digital dollar on privacy grounds.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a CBDC ban in the state, saying the technology is designed to “surveillance on Americans and control their behavior.” The North Carolina House of Representatives passed a similar bill on May 3, banning CBDC payments and preventing the Fed from including the state in any digital dollar pilot project.