Biden Reshapes Economic Team, Appoints Brainard & Bernstein to Lead NEC & CEA
President Joe Biden is reconfiguring his economic team, appointing veteran economic policy maker Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard as the director of the National Economic Council (NEC) and Jared Bernstein as the chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). Brainard replaces top White House economic adviser Brian Deese and Bernstein replaces Cecilia Rouse as the president's chief economist. The moves come as the administration is preparing for contentious talks with Republicans over raising the federal debt ceiling, and as the U.S. economy has sought to emerge from high inflation, rising interest rates and slowing growth.
In a statement, Biden said of Brainard: “Lael, one of the country’s leading macroeconomists, brings an extraordinary depth of domestic and international economic expertise, having previously served at CEA, NEC, the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve. She is a trusted veteran across our economic institutions, and understands how the economy affects everyday people.”
Biden also praised Bernstein, saying: “Jared is a brilliant thinker and one of my closest and longest-serving economic advisers. He is an expert on worker empowerment and a worker-centric economic policy, which has long been the heart of my economic vision.”
Brainard has supported research on a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC) and stablecoin regulation and could push the government in developing the Digital Dollar. She has also warned about the potential hazards of the Fed’s aggressive inflation fight, arguing that the economy might not have to slow so much that it harms job market.
The team reshuffle signals stability and continuity on the policy front ahead of Biden’s expected re-election campaign. President Trump is revamping his economic team, appointing Bharat Ramamurti as an adviser for strategic economic communications, transferring Heather Boushey to become chief economist of the Invest in America Cabinet, and appointing Joelle Gamble, the top economist at the Department of Labor, as the new deputy director of the National Economic Council.
Brainard’s departure from the Fed could give weight to more “hawkish” policymakers who lean toward keeping rates high to stomp out inflation, even if that means jeopardizing the labor market and pushing up unemployment to get there.
0. “Brainard Heads to the White House. What It Means for Economic Policy.” Barron's, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.barrons.com/articles/president-biden-fed-lael-brainard-economic-adviser-32a0a598
1. “Biden announces reshaped economic team, naming 2 new top advisers” CBS News, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/biden-economic-advisers-lael-brainard-jared-bernstein/
2. “Biden names two Washington policy veterans as key economic advisors” MercoPress, 15 Feb. 2023, https://en.mercopress.com/2023/02/15/biden-names-two-washington-policy-veterans-as-key-economic-advisors
3. “Biden appoints Lael Brainard, Jared Bernstein to key economic jobs” Axios, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.axios.com/2023/02/14/brainard-bernstein-biden-economic-team
4. “Brainard reportedly moving from the Fed to head National Economic Council” Cointelegraph, 14 Feb. 2023, https://cointelegraph.com/news/brainard-reportedly-moving-from-the-fed-to-head-national-economic-council
5. “Biden Reshapes Economic Team Ahead of Debt-Ceiling Fight, Re-Election Campaign” The Wall Street Journal, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-reshapes-economic-team-ahead-of-debt-ceiling-fight-re-election-campaign-badd76f8
6. “Biden reshuffles economic team midway through first term” CNN, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/14/politics/biden-economic-team/index.html
7. “Wall Street Breakfast: Fed Departure” Seeking Alpha, 15 Feb. 2023, https://seekingalpha.com/article/4578488-wall-street-breakfast-fed-departure
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