The Federal Reserve of New York is close to selecting its next President, a position which holds great responsibility and influence over economic policy, especially with this role’s permanent seat on the committee that votes on interest rates. The selection process has been unacceptably opaque, without the transparency and public accountability that Americans deserve. Community groups, labor unions, and elected officials at local, state, and federal levels were clear about the importance of an open process with public involvement.
Paulina Gonzalez, Executive Director of the California Reinvestment Coalition stated, “Having the public involved in this process is critical to ensure that the President of the Federal Reserve of New York represents community needs. I urge the Federal Reserve to restart this process, with full opportunity for public comment, in order to makes sure the next President can address our country’s economic issues in a way that serves low- and middle-income communities and communities of color.”
The stunning lack of diversity in senior leadership throughout the Federal Reserve System is also problematic; representation of important perspectives and experiences is critical in ensuring that those who affect critical US economic policy are able to represent all Americans. This is particularly true with regard to Latino communities: Latinos make up more than 28% of the population of the Second District, yet there is only a single Latino on the nine-member board of directors, and no Latinos in senior leadership represented on the Management Committee.
The New York Federal Reserve Board still has time to restart this process and listen to the wishes of the public. The Federal Reserve of New York faces enormous challenges in addressing the economic disparity in wealth, income, and opportunity that strongly correlate to race, ethnicity, and geography and needs a President who can address these issues in order to maintain a strong US economy.