Leading Senator Wants New Fed Governors Committed To Full Transparency, Consumer Protection

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Leading Senator Wants New Fed Governors Committed To Full Transparency, Consumer Protection

Huffington Post – The chair of a Senate panel overseeing the Federal Reserve wants the Obama administration to appoint Fed officials committed to transparency, consumer protection and lowering the unemployment rate — three critical areas that the Fed needs to beef up.

In a Wednesday letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and top White House economic adviser Lawrence Summers, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) expresses his concern about the two current vacancies on the Fed's seven-member Board of Governors and the impending vacancy to be created with the June departure of vice chairman Donald L. Kohn.

With the three vacancies, President Obama can shape the direction of the Fed for years to come. Brown, acutely aware of the opportunity — he refers to the openings as the equivalent of openings on the U.S. Supreme Court — is pushing for nominees who will fill gaps in areas he feels have been ignored.

"The evidence presented to the Committee about the role that Fed policy decisions played in the financial crisis and the economic downturn has led me to conclude that the Fed's monetary policy has focused almost entirely on controlling inflation rather than maximizing employment," Brown, the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee's Subcommittee on Economic Policy, writes. "And that the Fed has too often put banks' soundness ahead of its other responsibilities."

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