January 14, 2022

350.org Responds to Slate of Nominations for Federal Reserve Board

Washington, DC — President Biden will announce the nominations of Sarah Bloom Raskin for Vice Chair of Supervision, as well as Lisa Cook and Phillip Jefferson for the remaining  vacancies on the Federal Board of Governors.

Bloom Raskin has extensive experience in public policy and financial regulation, most recently as the first female Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department in the Obama administration. She is a consistent and vocal advocate of financial protection.  Bloom Raskin has been a leader in identifying climate change as a clear threat to financial stability.

Cook is a distinguished labor market economist with unparalleled expertise on racial disparities. As a member of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Cook played a leading role in  documenting racial wealth gaps and the effects of foreclosures during the Great Recession. Cook will be the first Black woman who has ever been appointed to the Federal Reserve Board.

Jefferson previously worked as an economist for the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, as well as for the New York Fed. His research has focused on inequality, how business cycles affect poverty rates, and the role of education as a shield against unemployment. If appointed, Mr. Jefferson would be the fourth Black man to hold the position in the central bank’s more than 100-year history. 

Activists have been calling for Biden to nominate a Federal Reserve Chair who will account for climate risk. In late November, Biden nominated Jerome Powell as Chair, against the demands of climate activists. Despite this, 350.org continues to push for a Federal Reserve that steers the economy away from high-risk fossil fuel investments, incorporate a climate stress test across policies and lending, and prioritizes racial justice, including through full employment

Brooke Harper, 350 U.S. Campaign Manager made the following statement on the nominations:

“After President Biden’s disappointing renomination of Chairman Powell who fueled the climate crisis with billions of bailouts for flailing gas and oil companies, we are pleased to see the nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin for Vice Chair for Supervision, Phillip Jefferson and Lisa Cook for the Board of Governors. Sarah Bloom Raskin has been ringing the alarm on climate risks and  calling on financial regulators to pave the way for a just transition. Lisa Cook and Phillip Jefferson’s appointments are a watershed moment for the Federal Reserve. It’s past due for the Federal Reserve to reflect the diversity of our nation, and the nominations of Cook and Jefferson, two Black economists who have essential skills in economic equity are needed. These nominations come at a critical time as the Federal Reserve’s decision on how to balance inflation and unemployment could have ripple effects on Black wealth for generations to come. 

“The Federal Reserve bailed out failing fossil fuel companies during the pandemic to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars. As President Biden tries to address climate across all agencies, the Federal Reserve will play a key role in transitioning to a just agenda by stopping the flow of funds to fossil fuels and investing in a just transition. We urge the Senate to confirm climate and social justice champions Sarah Bloom Raskin, Lisa Cook, and Phillip Jefferson.”