Fed running mate Lael Brainard calls inflation "too high"

Lael Brainard, a Federal Reserve governor whom President Biden has appointed as the new central bank vice president, told lawmakers the ...


Lael Brainard, a Federal Reserve governor whom President Biden has appointed as the new central bank vice president, told lawmakers the central bank would use its policies to fight inflation in remarks prepared for its confirmation hearing Thursday.

Ms Brainard, who is being audited by the Senate Banking Committee, is expected to garner considerable support among Democrats and could garner a few Republican votes, although their number is unclear at this point.

His appointment – and his new role at the Fed if the Senate confirms it – comes at a difficult economic time. Although unemployment is falling rapidly, inflation took off, with a report released on Wednesday showing that a key price index rose in December at the fastest rate since 1982.

“We are seeing the strongest rebound in growth and falling unemployment of any recovery over the past five decades,” said Ms. Brainard. “But inflation is too high and workers across the country are worried about how far their paychecks will go.”

Ms Brainard also told lawmakers that the Fed’s policies are “focused on reducing inflation to 2% while maintaining a recovery that includes everyone,” calling this the “most important task” of the bank central.

After nearly two years of propping up a virus-stricken economy by keeping interest rates low and buying government-guaranteed debt, Fed officials have started to slow down their big bond purchases at the end of last year. This program is expected to end in March. Officials have signaled in recent weeks that they also plan to raise interest rates to make borrowing more expensive, slow demand and help cool the economy.

Markets increasingly expect four rate hikes in 2022, which would put the Fed’s short-term policy interest rate just above 1%.

“Today, the economy is making welcome progress, but the pandemic continues to pose challenges,” Ms. Brainard said. “Our priority is to protect the gains we have made and to support a full recovery. “

Ms. Brainard has been with the Fed since 2014, spanning the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations. Prior to that, she was a senior international civil servant in the Treasury Department. Economist and democrat, she had been considered a potential candidate being Secretary of the Treasury or Chairman of the Fed during the Biden administration.

She has a good working relationship with Jerome H. Powell, the chairman of the Fed, whom Biden has reappointed for a second term. She used her prepared statement to point out that she has worked for many administrations in Washington – Democrats and Republicans – while also pledging to take seriously the Fed’s mission to fight inflation and its independence from it. -visits partisan quarrels.

“I will bring a thoughtful and independent voice to our deliberations,” she said.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Fed running mate Lael Brainard calls inflation "too high"
Fed running mate Lael Brainard calls inflation "too high"
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