United States: Lisa Cook becomes the first black governor of the American central bank

His appointment comes in a context of high inflation, without weighing on economic growth and employment.

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She is the first black woman to hold this position. The US Senate confirmed, Tuesday, May 10, the appointment of economist Lisa Cook as governor of the US central bank (Fed), despite opposition from Republicans. Senators voted 51 to 50 in favor of the candidate chosen by US President Joe Biden. It was the vote of the Vice-President of the United States Kamala Harris which made it possible to achieve a majority. His term runs until January 2024.

His appointment had been met with strong opposition. The leader of the Republicans in the Senate, Mitch McConnell, had even criticized Lisa Cook for having “pushed conspiracy theories” around racism and the police. Lisa Cook was one of the economic advisers to the White House during the Barack Obama era, but also in Joe Biden’s transition team.

Lisa Cook should bring a fresh perspective to the Fed. His work focuses on the damage done to the economy by discrimination and the consequences of economic downturns for poor people. She speaks five languages, including French and Russian. “My beliefs were shaped by my childhood in Milledgeville, Georgia (southeastern United States, editor’s note). It was the desegregationist South”she explained on February 3, adding that Martin Luther King was “a friend of the family”. She also worked on Rwanda’s recovery from the 1994 genocide. His appointment comes as the central bank must fight against high inflation, without weighing on economic growth and employment.

The elected officials had already, in April, confirmed the Democratic governor of the Fed Lael Brainard as vice-president of the institution. Joe Biden had indeed several positions to fill at the Fed, giving him the opportunity to reshape the board of governors of the institution. The Senate plenum has yet to decide on the reappointment of President Jerome Powell, who Joe Biden has offered a second four-year term, as well as the gubernatorial appointment of Philip Jefferson, an African economics professor. -American.

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