Politics & Money

Fed’s Brainard for Treasury Secretary?

She served in the Treasury Department during the Obama administration

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard, who started her public career in the 1990s as an economic advisor to President Bill Clinton, is the leading candidate for Treasury secretary if former Vice President Joe Biden usurps President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election, according to Bloomberg.

“Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s search for a Treasury secretary is widely seen as focusing on Lael Brainard of the Federal Reserve, a choice that would keep both Wall Street and progressives in line,” the Bloomberg story said on Thursday, citing nine unnamed sources.

“The more provocative choice of Sen. Elizabeth Warren hasn’t been ruled out but is far less likely, and other possible names are being discussed for the top finance job if Biden wins November’s election,” the story said.

If Brainard moves from the central bank’s Washington D.C. headquarters to the Treasury building a mile away, it would put her back in familiar surroundings. She was Treasury’s under secretary for international affairs from 2010 to 2013 and a counselor to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner in 2009 as he grappled with the financial crisis in the early years of the Obama administration.

Brainard, if Biden chooses her, would be the first woman to lead the Treasury.

The former vice president wants to make a historic choice for the job that has always been held by a White man,” the Bloomberg story said. “But he also wants a Treasury pick who would be universally accepted and Brainard, a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors, could fit that bill. She wouldn’t upset Wall Street or progressives.”

Brainard was an economics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management from 1990 to 1996. She received a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in economics in 1989 from Harvard University.

Brainard started her career in the private sector at McKinsey & Co., providing strategic guidance to companies.

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