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Jonathan Bernstein

Biden’s Likely Fed Picks Are Boring in a Good Way

The latest reported White House choices appear conventional enough to reassure financial markets and liberal enough to keep Democrats happy.

Surprisingly normal.

Surprisingly normal.

Photographer: Samuel Corum/Bloomberg

It appears that President Joe Biden will be finally be moving to fill key vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board. After a long delay, he announced in November that he would renominate Fed chair Jerome Powell and elevate Lael Brainard to vice chair; now he’s reportedly ready to fill the three remaining vacancies — including one that dates back to the beginning of his presidency. Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed board member, is a top contender to return as the chief regulator, joined by fellow economists Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson.

The Senate would have to confirm all five of the nominees. Powell and Brainard have hearings scheduled for next week; the schedule for the others won’t be set until they are formally nominated, but there’s some early indication that the nominations will encounter relatively little trouble. Nominations that look safe have gone bad before, and Biden can expect plenty of Republican opposition, but overall these seem like the kind of conventional picks that get confirmed without much attention.