Senate confirms Philip Jefferson as Fed governor

Philip N. Jefferson, college administrator and academic economist, was confirmed on Wednesday on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.

Senators approved him for the job with an overwhelming 91-7 bipartisan vote. He is President Biden’s third candidate to secure a seat on the Fed’s seven-person board: Lisa D. Cook was confirmed governor Tuesday and Lael Brainard has been confirmed as vice president last month.

Mr. Jefferson, that was it more recently vice president of academic affairs at Davidson College, he was born in Washington, DC and holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. He was an economist on the Fed Board and wrote about poverty and the effect of monetary policy on the labor market, among others.

The White House has also renamed Jerome H. Powell as Fed chair, although Powell is still awaiting a final confirmation vote. Senators said the vote was due as soon as Thursday.

The administration’s candidate for the Fed’s latest open job – the vice president for oversight – has yet to audition and vote in committee. Mr. Biden’s initial candidate for the position, Sarah Bloom Raskin, withdrew from consideration after it became clear that she was not going to make it to the Senate. Michael S Barr what accept the job more recently.

If these choices are confirmed, Mr. Biden will have appointed or renamed five of the Fed’s seven governors. The Fed is independent of policy, so those appointments are the primary way the White House can shape the future of monetary policy, which is used. to keep inflation stable and keep employment high.

Fed board governors in Washington constantly vote on monetary policy and control the nation’s largest banks. They set interest rates to drive the economy alongside 12 regional reserve bank presidents, five of whom hold a vote on monetary policy at any one time.

Jefferson and Ms. Cook are likely to support the Fed’s current plan: curbing rapid inflation. consumers prices rose 8.3%. in the year to April, data released Wednesday showed an uncomfortably rapid pace of increase. Fed officials are raising rates at the fastest pace in decades as they try to reduce price pressures and keep the situation under control.

“The spike in inflation we are seeing today threatens to raise expectations for future inflation,” Jefferson said during its confirmation hearing. “The Federal Reserve must remain alert to this risk and ensure that inflation falls to levels consistent with its targets.”