facebook linkedin twitter

Biden Picks Michael Barr for Fed’s Bank Regulation Post

April 15, 2022by Josh Boak and Paul Wiseman, Associated Press
Biden Picks Michael Barr for Fed’s Bank Regulation Post
President Joe Biden speaks at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, in Greensboro, N.C., on April 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Friday he plans to nominate Michael Barr, the dean of the University of Michigan’s public policy school, to be the Federal Reserve’s vice chairman of supervision.

The selection of Barr comes after Biden’s first choice for the Fed post, Sarah Bloom Raskin, withdrew her nomination a month ago in the face of opposition from Republicans and one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Raskin’s critics had argued that she would apply the Fed’s regulatory authority to climate change and possibly discourage banks from lending to energy companies.

But with Barr, Biden noted the importance of politics in a Friday statement that said his nominee had previously cleared the Senate on a bipartisan basis.

“Michael brings the expertise and experience necessary for this important position at a critical time for our economy and families across the country,” Biden said.


The Democratic president said that Barr “has spent his career protecting consumers, and during his time at Treasury, played a critical role in creating both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the position for which I am nominating him.”

Barr is the dean of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He was an assistant Treasury secretary for financial institutions during the Obama administration who helped design the 2010 Dodd-Frank regulations after the devastating 2008 financial crisis.

Barr, a Rhodes Scholar who clerked for Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court, also served during the Clinton administration at the White House, the Treasury Department and the State Department.


Despite those credentials, some liberal critics last year blocked Barr’s candidacy to become the Biden administration’s comptroller of the currency, a position that is responsible for regulating national banks. These critics viewed with suspicion Barr’s role on the advisory boards of the financial firms Lending Club and Ripple Labs. They also asserted that he had helped dilute proposals for stricter bank regulations during the Obama administration.

But Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democratic chairman of the Banking Committee, voiced full support for Barr.

“Michael Barr understands the importance of this role at this critical time in our economic recovery,” Brown said. “I strongly urge my Republican colleagues to abandon their old playbook of personal attacks and demagoguery and put Americans and their pocketbooks first.”

Others offer strong praise for Barr and say he appears well suited for the Fed position.

David Dworkin, president of the National Housing Conference, which advocates for affordable housing, suggested that Barr’s understanding of Wall Street gives him the right mix of “centrist expertise and progressive policy views’’ to win confirmation in a closely divided Senate.

Barr would be joining the Fed at an especially challenging and high-risk period for the central bank and the economy.


The Fed is set to raise interest rates aggressively in the coming months to try to reduce persistently high inflation. Yet it will be extraordinarily difficult for Fed Chair Jerome Powell — who is awaiting Senate confirmation for a second term — to slow inflation by raising borrowing costs without also weakening the economy and perhaps even causing a recession.

“This is about landing a very complicated plane on the runway smoothly,” Dworkin said. “It’s very hard to do.”

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Federal Reserve

US Added 428,000 Jobs in April Despite Surging Inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers added 428,000 jobs in April, extending a streak of solid hiring that has defied punishing... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s employers added 428,000 jobs in April, extending a streak of solid hiring that has defied punishing inflation, chronic supply shortages, the Russian war against Ukraine and much higher borrowing costs. Friday’s jobs report from the Labor Department showed that last month’s hiring... Read More

US, World Markets Retreat After Powell's Hawkish Rate Stance

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street was pointed toward losses before markets opened on Friday, following global shares lower after... Read More

NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street was pointed toward losses before markets opened on Friday, following global shares lower after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated aggressive increases in interest rates were needed to fight inflation. The futures for the Dow industrials fell 0.3% while the same for... Read More

Biden Picks Michael Barr for Fed's Bank Regulation Post

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Friday he plans to nominate Michael Barr, the dean of the University of... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden said Friday he plans to nominate Michael Barr, the dean of the University of Michigan's public policy school, to be the Federal Reserve's vice chairman of supervision. The selection of Barr comes after Biden’s first choice for the Fed post,... Read More

US Added 431,000 Jobs in March in Sign of Economic Health

America’s employers extended a streak of robust hiring in March, adding 431,000 jobs in a sign of the economy’s resilience... Read More

America’s employers extended a streak of robust hiring in March, adding 431,000 jobs in a sign of the economy’s resilience in the face of a still-destructive pandemic, Russia's war against Ukraine and the highest inflation in 40 years. The government’s report Friday showed that last month’s... Read More

US Growth in Q4 Revised Lower to 6.9%, Slower Growth to Come

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy ended 2021 by expanding at a healthy 6.9% annual pace from October through December,... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. economy ended 2021 by expanding at a healthy 6.9% annual pace from October through December, the government reported Wednesday, a slight downgrade from its previous estimates. For all of 2021, the nation’s gross domestic product — its total output of goods and... Read More

Fed Begins Inflation Fight With Key Rate Hike, More to Come

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve launched a high-risk effort Wednesday to tame the worst inflation since the early 1980s,... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve launched a high-risk effort Wednesday to tame the worst inflation since the early 1980s, raising its benchmark short-term interest rate and signaling up to six additional rate hikes this year. The Fed's quarter-point hike in its key rate, which it... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top