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6 December, 2017 00:00 00 AM
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Richmond Fed selects financial consultant as new president

AFP

AFP, WASHINGTON: The Federal Reserve’s regional branch in Richmond has selected a Harvard-educated lawyer and financial consultant as its new president, the bank announced yesterday, a move that could have immediate implications for interest rates.

Thomas I. Barkin, 56, will take on his new post as president of the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank on January 1 and take a seat on the Fed’s policy-setting Federal Open Markets Committee in January.

Recent Richmond Fed presidents have tended to be more aggressive about raising interest rates to head off any threat of inflation.   

The presidents of the 12 regional Fed banks rotate onto the committee with the Fed governors, although New York has a permanent seat.

With several openings on the Fed’s board, the bank presidents will have more influence on monetary policy and could push for faster rate increases.  The FOMC is widely expected to raise rates in December for the third time this year, even in the absence of inflation pressures.

Barkin is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, a worldwide management consulting firm, based in Atlanta, and he also served on the Atlanta Fed’s board of directors.

Though not an economist, he earned an undergraduate degree in economics, a law degree and MBA from Harvard University. He replaces Jeffrey Lacker, who resigned in disgrace in April after admitting he leaked confidential information about central bank policy to analysts in 2012.

The selection could renew complaints from critics who want to see more diversity in the senior posts at the Fed. Of the 12 bank presidents, two are women and eight are white men. The other two are non-white men, one black and the other of Indian ancestry.

President Donald Trump decided to replace Fed Chair Janet Yellen, the first woman to lead the central bank, the first time in decades a president has failed to reappointed the sitting Fed chief nominated by his predecessor.

Shawn Sebastian, co-director of the Fed Up campaign to press the Fed to keep interest rates low and add diverse voices to the decision-making, lambasted the Richmond Fed’s choice in a tweet:

“A white male specializing in speeding corporate concentration and monopoly, harming consumers, to replace another white male booted out for sharing inside information with Wall Street. Heckuva job, @RichmondFed.”

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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