President Biden Announces Former Ripple Advisor as Fed Vice-Chairman Choice for Oversight

Following the resignation of former Federal Reserve Board Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin, US President Joe Biden has announced his intention to appoint former Obama administration official and law professor Michael Barr as vice chairman for central bank oversight.

In an announcement Friday, the White House said Barr was Biden’s choice to oversee the Federal Reserve and set the regulatory agenda for its leadership. Barr served on the Ripple Labs Advisory Board from 2015-2017, served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Department for Financial Institutions under former President Barack Obama, and taught financial regulation courses at the University of Michigan. According to the White House, he was “a key architect” of the Dodd-Frank Act — legislation that continues to influence fiscal policy in the United States.

“Barr has strong support across the political spectrum — and was confirmed by the Senate on a bipartisan basis,” President Biden said. “He understands that this job is not a partisan one, but one that plays a critical role in regulating our nation’s financial institutions, to ensure Americans are treated fairly and to protect the stability of our economy.”

According to the US president, he wanted to “promptly move forward with Barr’s nomination,” likely given that the vice chairman for the oversight position had been vacant since Fed Governor Randal Quarles’ term ended in October 2021. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee, said he would support the nomination, citing the need for a “full Fed board.”

“The Vice Chairman plays a critical role in protecting our financial system and must prioritize strong financial regulation and identify and stay ahead of risks to our economy.” called Brown. “I will support this key candidate, and I urge my fellow Republicans to abandon their old playbook of personal attacks and demagogy and to put Americans and their wallets first.”

It’s unclear whether partisanship might play a role in moving Barr’s potential nomination through the committee and a full Senate vote. Raskin, Biden’s top pick for vice chairman for oversight, withdrew her name from consideration in March, citing “relentless attacks from special interests” and referring to Republican lawmakers who have “held her nomination hostage” since February. At the time, Republican members of the Senate Banking Committee boycotted a meeting aimed at bringing Biden’s nominations forward for a Senate ballot.

Related: Biden’s pick for Fed Vice Chair for Oversight backs down amid Republican objections

The Senate has yet to confirm Biden’s selections for the Fed chair, vice chair and two governors: Jerome Powell, Lael Brainard, Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson. Powell has served as chairman pro tempore since Feb. 4 in the absence of a full Senate vote, while Brainard continues to serve as a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors.