By CultureBanx Team
- Lisa Cook is the first Black woman to be appointed to the Federal Reserve board of governors
- The Fed raised interest rates twice this year so far, with the most recent hike being 50 basis points
The first Black woman, Lisa Cook, has been appointed to the Federal Reserve board of governors. Cook, who has a doctorate in economics, is a professor, and has had advisory roles in the U.S. government, will now help the country’s central bankers with monetary policy decisions. As the country continues to battle inflation, Cook will be a major decision maker in guiding the Fed in not raising rates too quickly, which are currently hovering around 40-year highs, and could possibly send the economy into a recession.
Why This Matters: Governors at the Fed’s board in Washington hold constant votes on monetary policy and oversee the nation’s largest banks. They set interest rates to guide the economy, alongside 12 regional reserve bank presidents, five of whom hold a vote at any given time.
Only one of the 12 Federal Reserve presidents is Black, Raphael Bostic, who oversees the Atlanta branch, and is on the policy setting committee. Bostic insists all options are on the table at the central bank’s remaining meetings this year. However, he is sticking to his call for three quarter-point interest rate increases.
By making money more expensive to borrow, the Fed is trying to slow down spending and hiring, which could allow inflation to moderate over time as supply catches up with demand. They have raised interest rates twice this year so far, with the most recent hike being 50 basis points.
“High inflation is a grave threat to a long, sustained expansion, which we know raises the standard of living for all Americans and leads to broad-based, shared prosperity,” Cook said during her testimony on Capitol Hill.
Situational Awareness: Senate Republicans argued that she is unqualified for the position, saying she doesn’t have sufficient experience with interest rate policy. However, Cook Cook has a doctorate in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and has been a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State since 2005. She was also a staff economist on the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2011 to 2012 and was an adviser to President Joe Biden’s transition team on the Fed and bank regulatory policy. Not to mention, Cook has on done great research on the impact of racial violence and terror lynchings on African American innovation.
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