Lisa Cook becomes the first black woman on the Fed’s board

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Economist Lisa Cook was confirmed on Tuesday as the first black woman on the Federal Reserve Board in a historic moment for the central bank as it tries to stabilize an improvement that serves all Americans.

Cook was confirmed by one 51 against 50 votes in the Senate, with Vice President Harris issuing the tie. No Republicans voted for Cook, and the Democrats, who have a razor-sharp majority, had delayed proceeding with her nomination until they could gather all 50 of their members to vote for her.

With new nominees, Biden is trying to bring together the most diverse Fed in history

Cook is one of the nation’s foremost economists and teaches at Michigan State University. Her research has focused on macroeconomics, economic history, international finance and innovation, especially on how hate-related violence has damaged US economic growth. Her work has analyzed how patent documents show that the riots, lynchings and Jim Crow laws against African American societies in the late 1800s and early 1900s damaged blacks’ ability to pursue inventions and discoveries at the time.

“If there’s something stopping the coming of ideas, you’ll slow down the economy,” Cook said on the 2020 Planet Money podcast. “It’s not just for that period. And it’s not just for black people. This is a warning to all economies. “

Cook also served on the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers under the Obama administration and has had visitation agreements with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the University of Michigan and the Federal Reserve Banks of New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and Philadelphia.

Biden completes Fed slate with three new nominations

President Biden has sought to put together the most diverse Fed board in the agency’s 108-year history. And Fed experts say the package of nominees recently elected by the White House goes a long way to fulfilling Biden’s promise to make the Fed more reflective of the country it serves.

Meanwhile, Fed policy makers are fighting the highest inflation in 40 years, and the central bank is facing the crucial test of curbing inflation without jeopardizing the labor market and the general economic upturn. Fed officials must also use their broad-based tools to sustain an improvement that promises all Americans – without declaring victory until the economy’s most marginalized workers and households have a chance to join in that recovery.

Biden has also nominated economist Philip Jefferson, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the faculty at Davidson College, for a vacant seat on the Fed board. If he is also confirmed, it will mark the first time the Fed has included more than one Black governor at a time.

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