Fed Nominee Faces GOP Opposition
The president nominated economist Nellie Liang to fill the final open seat at the Federal Reserve. The 60-year-old is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. The 1979 University of Notre Dame grad, who earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 1986, spent three decades at the Fed as a Research Economist and then as Director of the Fed’s Office of Financial Stability. She worked closely with the Barack Obama administration on stabilizing the financial system and helped administer the first bank “stress tests” in 2009 to test whether large banks could handle another severe downturn. But her nomination has sparked a rare show of public opposition from some Senate Republicans, who want the Fed to loosen its grip on large banks. The NYT reports that a spokesperson for Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) said on Tuesday that he had “serious concerns about Nellie Liang due to several policy positions she laid out during her time” at the Brookings Institution. Corey Lewandowski penned an op-ed encouraging Trump to pull her nomination. And representatives of the banking industry almost immediately began to quietly make the case to Senate Republicans that it would be a mistake to confirm Liang, arguing she might seek to impede congressional efforts to reduce the burden of post-crisis regulations. One issue is Republicans want the Fed to provide banks with advanced information about the details of its annual stress test, which requires banks to demonstrate they have the strength to weather a financial crisis. Liang has cautioned that providing too much information could undermine the tests by allowing banks to essentially game the system. Liang will need Senate confirmation to become a Fed Governor, a process that could be contentious and take months. Liang is Trump’s sixth nominee to serve on the Fed Board. The Fed is made up of seven Governors, based in Washington, who are nominated by the president, and 12 regional Fed bank Presidents from around the country who are chosen by boards in each region. More here.