Lael Brainard Named NEC Director, Jared Bernstein to Replace Rouse as Biden’s Chief Economist
President Joe Biden has named Lael Brainard, the current Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, as the new director of the National Economic Council (NEC). Brainard has a wealth of economic expertise, having previously served at the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), the National Economic Council (NEC), the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve. Her appointment comes as the Biden administration prepares for contentious talks with Republicans over raising the federal debt ceiling and as the U.S. economy seeks to emerge from high inflation, rising interest rates, and slowing growth.
Brainard will be the second woman to ever head up the NEC and her appointment will leave a dovish void at the Fed as the war on inflation looks to drag on for some time. She has been known as one of the more “dovish” members of the Federal Open Market Committee, advocating for a somewhat less aggressive approach in the fight against inflation. Brainard has also been a strong advocate for examining the ways climate change could threaten financial stability or the overall economy.
Jared Bernstein, who served as Biden's top economist during his time as vice president, will take Brainard's place as chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. He will be replacing Cecilia Rouse as the president's chief economist. The White House's internal economic analysis and policy development are the responsibility of the two councils.
Brainard has a long history of high-level economic policy experience and was confirmed to a four-year term as vice chairwoman in April 2022. She has also served as a member of the board since June 2014, and has chaired four out of the eight subcommittees on the Fed's Board of Governors.
In a statement announcing the appointment, President Biden said that Brainard is “a trusted veteran across our economic institutions, and understands how the economy affects everyday people.” The President also praised Brainard and Bernstein as a team who will “bring a seriousness of purpose to the task of building a strong, inclusive, and more resilient economy for the future.”
Brainard's departure from the Fed will leave a mark and could give weight to more “hawkish” policymakers who lean towards keeping rates high to stomp out inflation, even if that means jeopardizing the labor market and pushing up unemployment to get there.
0. “Biden appoints Fed's Lael Brainard as his top economic adviser By Investing.com” Investing.com, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.investing.com/news/economy/biden-appoints-feds-lael-brainard-as-his-top-economic-adviser-3003423
1. “Fed’s Lael Brainard moves to White House” The Washington Post, 14 Feb. 2023, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2023/02/13/brainard-fed-white-house
2. “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/
3. “Fed's Lael Brainard named Biden's top economic adviser” Pensions & Investments, 15 Feb. 2023, https://www.pionline.com/washington/feds-lael-brainard-named-bidens-top-economic-adviser
4. “Wall Street Breakfast: Fed Departure” Seeking Alpha, 15 Feb. 2023, https://seekingalpha.com/article/4578488-wall-street-breakfast-fed-departure
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