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Opinion
Narayana Kocherlakota

One Crucial Question for Biden’s Fed Nominees

Would they be willing to destroy jobs to keep inflation under control?

Jobs or inflation? Discuss.

Jobs or inflation? Discuss.

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

President Joe Biden has put forth an impressive group of nominees to fill vacant positions at the Federal Reserve: the economists Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson to join the Board of Governors, and Sarah Bloom Raskin to the crucial position of vice chair of the Board for bank supervision and regulation. Yet there remains a key question that the Senate confirmation process needs to answer: To what length will they go to fight inflation?

All three nominees are immensely qualified. They have considerable experience wrestling with technical policy questions, and Raskin’s intimate knowledge of the Fed’s workings and the Dodd-Frank Act make her a superb choice to guide the central bank toward an appropriately stricter vision of financial regulation. Importantly, Jefferson and Cook — as the fourth Black man and the first Black woman to serve on the Board of Governors — would at long last make the Fed’s leadership more representative of the country’s racially diverse population.