Apr 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Senate confirms Biden pick Lael Brainard as Fed banking chief


Lael Brainard. Photo:Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Lael Brainard as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday in a 52-43 vote.

The big picture: Brainard, a Democrat, has served on the Fed board since 2014. She previously served in the Treasury Department during the Obama administration.

  • Brainard's confirmation is unlikely to change the Fed's interest-rate policy plans in the near future since she has already been serving as a top lieutenant to Fed chair Jerome Powell, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Details: Brainard, who served as the Treasury under secretary for international affairs from 2010 to 2013, often weighs geopolitics and international developments in her thinking on Fed policy.

  • She has advocated for federal regulators to increase surveillance of digital currency risks in the past and mentioned the possibility of developing a digital dollar issued through the Fed.
  • "It is essential that policymakers, including the Federal Reserve, plan for the future of the payment system and consider the full range of possible options to bring forward the potential benefits of new technologies, while safeguarding stability," she said in a February speech at the 2022 U.S. Monetary Policy Forum.
  • She also noted in an April speech that the Fed is prepared to take "stronger action" to bring down inflation in order to improve quality of life, especially for lower-income families.
  • Brainard previously served as former President Clinton's deputy national economic adviser and deputy assistant and taught applied economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management from 1990 to 1996.
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