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World

Biden says has picked treasury secretary, announcement soon

  • "We made that decision and you'll hear that just before or just after Thanksgiving," Biden told reporters, referring to the November 26 holiday.
20 Nov 2020

WILMINGTON, UNITED STATES: US President-elect Joe Biden said Thursday he has selected a treasury secretary who will be accepted across his Democratic Party, and will publicly announce the candidate soon.

"We made that decision and you'll hear that just before or just after Thanksgiving," Biden told reporters, referring to the November 26 holiday.

Financial sources close to Biden have named Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard as a frontrunner among people the president-elect is considering.

As the lone Democrat remaining on the Fed Board of Governors, she has often staked out minority positions that draw attention, such as opposing moves that ease rules governing big banks.

Black lawmakers have signalled they would want a person of color heading Treasury, like investor Mellody Hobson, one of the most powerful Black women on Wall Street.

Former Fed chair Janet Yellen, former deputy treasury secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin and TIAA chief executive Roger Ferguson are also said to be under consideration.

Biden's candidate would take over from Steven Mnuchin, who has presided over the White House's response to the devastating economic downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mnuchin worked with lawmakers in Congress to pass the $2.2 trillion CARES Act earlier in the year, which helped the economy recover from the mass layoffs and sharp contraction in growth caused by the pandemic.

However key provisions of that act -- such as a program of loans and grants to small businesses as well as expanded unemployment payments -- expired over the summer, raising fears that the United States will endure a new slowdown in growth as virus cases spike nationwide.

Negotiations between Democrats and Republicans in Congress along with Mnuchin on passing another stimulus measure have been deadlocked for months.