February 9, 2022
Conservatives are strongly opposed to the nominations of Sarah Bloom Raskin and Lisa Cook, both nominated by President Biden to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.
The nomination of Sarah Bloom Raskin presents troubling issues that raise questions about the nominee’s ethical fitness. Bloom Raskin, who previously served on both the Federal Reserve Board and in a senior post at the Department of Treasury, appears to have benefited financially from her positions in ways neither she nor her husband, Rep. Jamie Raskin, disclosed.
Specifically, Bloom Raskin took a position on the board of Reserve Trust, a financial technology company in the process of getting approval for a Master Account at the Federal Reserve. Bloom Raskin lobbied her connections at the Federal Reserve to help Reserve Trust get their account, while acquiring over 190,000 shares of the company.
The Master Account designation led Reserve Trust to receive more than $30 million in venture capital funds from QED investors – a fund led by Bloom Raskin’s former Treasury Department colleague, Amais Gerety. Following the infusion, Bloom Raskin cashed in her shares of Reserve Trust for $1.4 million.
This windfall was not disclosed by Rep. Jamie Raskin, who was ethically required to disclose his family’s significant interest in a private company doing business with the government, nor was it initially disclosed by Bloom Raskin.
In addition to her ethical concerns, Bloom Raskin has previously engaged in campaigns to use the Federal Reserve as a means to get around Congress in areas like climate change – specifically by using the Federal Reserve to pressure banks into choking off credit to traditional energy companies.
Dr. Lisa Cook is a professor of economics and international relations at Michigan State University and served on the Biden-Harris transition team. Concerningly, however, she also has a long history of promoting theories to remake the American economy around Cook’s belief that racism is pervasive and structural. Cook actively supports reparations as a national policy, which would tax certain Americans based solely on the color of their skin. She has also argued for the Federal Reserve to examine the black unemployment rate separate from the national unemployment rate.
Cook’s academic work reveals her belief that it is systemic racism which exclusively drives the economy. This suggests that her work on the Federal Reserve would apply Joe Biden’s divisive racial agenda to the financial sector, where she would like to see economic policy – and perhaps access to financial markets — become segregated and race-based.
This approach is starkly at odds with a country whose free markets are intended to equalize opportunities for all, not to privilege them for a few based on skin color. Cook’s outlandish theories, combined with her history of notably partisan rhetoric around issues like Black Lives Matter, police brutality, and the Republican Party– should disqualify her from any position of caretaking the American economy, but particularly from the independent and non-partisan Federal Reserve.
Both Lisa Cook and Sarah Bloom Raskin seem intent to use their positions on the Federal Reserve not for neutral economic management, but to advance overtly partisan, racist, prejudicial, and political agendas. The Federal Reserve should not be politicized. This, combined with Bloom Raskin’s ethically questionable revolving door, should disqualify both nominees from appointment to the Board of Governors. We urge the Senate to reject their nominations.