It’s widely expected that U.S. President Joe Biden will name Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard to the White House’s top economic policy position this week. 📝
She will replace White House National Economic Council (NEC) Director Brian Deese, who recently resigned. Additionally, Jared Bernstein will likely replace Cecilia Rouse as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. And many expect the Labor Department’s chief economist, Joelle Gamble, to be made a deputy NEC director.
In her new position, Brainard will advise Biden on policy and personnel decisions and coordinate policy-making across executive branch agencies. Many speculate her long career in government could set her up to take Janet Yellen’s place as Treasury Secretary if Democrats win reelection in 2024. 🗳️
As a member of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), Brainard recently presented her colleagues with a marginally less aggressive monetary policy case. Her concerns are that if the Fed overtightened in its fight against inflation, it could lead to economic difficulties on the back end of that policy decision. She’s also known for consistently opposing various measures to ease financial regulations between 2018 and 2020.
Despite the position being all but officially confirmed, the market’s response was muted. This could suggest people are not rushing to speculate on what this means for future economic policy. There are bigger fish to fry at the moment. 🤷
While we’re on the subject of government officials, there were two more announcements today. 📰
First is that the last remaining Republican FTC Commissioner, Christine Wilson, resigned from her post. She stated that Democratic Chair Lina Khan’s “disregard for the rule of law and due process.” was her primary reason. The vacancy means President Biden can nominate two commissioners, though neither can be a Democrat.
Secondly, California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein says she will retire at the end of her current term. That opens the door for representatives Adam Schiff and Katie Porter, California Democrats, to fight for her seat. At 89, Feinstein is the oldest sitting U.S. senator and longest-serving California senator. ⚔️