Tillis, GOP Senate banking members send letter of concern over Fed nominee – Carolina Journal
Members of the GOP Senate Banking Committee, including U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, R.C., sent a letter to President Biden on Thursday, March 3, with lingering concerns over the president’s selection of Duke University law professor Sarah Bloom Raskin for vice chairman of Fed Reserve Board oversight.
Raskin, a Duke professor since 2017, served in the Obama administration for seven years, first as Fed governor and then as assistant secretary of the Treasury. After leaving the Treasury, she joined the board of directors of Reserve Trust, a non-bank FinTech company, in 2017, the same year she was denied access to a main Fed account by the Fed. of Kansas City.
Raskin called Kansas City Fed President Esther George on behalf of the Reserve Trust a few months later, according to a Press release to bankingsenate.gov. Raskin served with George on the Fed’s Open Market Committee. The Kansas City Fed reversed its decision and granted Reserve Trust a main Fed account in 2018.
In 2020, Raskin received nearly $1.5 million by selling his shares in Reserve Trust to investors in QED, a company co-managed by Amias Gerety, one of Raskin’s subordinates at Treasury.
The senators say their opposition to Raskin was not due to his “radical public comments and beliefs about using federal financial oversight powers to advance climate change policy.” Rather, it was the continued evasion and lack of candor about her tenure on the board of Reserve Trust, a FinTech trust company, where Ms. Raskin served as a director from 2017 to 2019.”
Raskin either refused to answer or answered “I don’t know” to several questions about whether she had contacted the Fed or the Kansas City Fed about Reserve Trust. She also replied “I don’t remember” or “I’m not aware” in response to more than 35 questions for US Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania’s file, regarding his work for Reserve Trust, including the actions she has taken to assist Reserve Trust in obtaining a Fed Master account and any communication between Ms. Raskin and the Kansas City Fed or the Fed regarding the Reserve Trust application.
Raskin signed an ethics pledge while serving in the Obama administration to prevent “revolving door” lobbying. The senators noted the Biden administration’s similar commitment and how they share the same values of honesty and transparency in government when it comes to senior appointments.
“You rightly recognize the need to ensure that ‘revolving door’ influence peddlers are not appointed to senior government positions,” the letter reads. “However, without a better understanding of Ms. Raskin’s past activities, we cannot, in good faith, support the advancement of her nomination process.”
Raskin’s supporters say she is an expert in cybersecurity and that her experience would be most needed right now with possible Russian cyberattacks.
The White House has not commented on the senators’ letter.