Democratic US Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard has broken from the central bank’s practice of consensus decision-making, casting multiple dissents in the past year that push back against Trump appointees’ deregulatory agenda.
Brainard has dissented four times since last April, including twice this month, breaking a streak of 337 unanimous Fed votes on regulatory and enforcement matters dating to 2011.
“The old regime of no dissent was unhealthy,” Darrell Duffie, a Stanford University finance professor, said in an interview. “In those days, a dissent was so unprecedented that a governor might have avoided a valid dissent merely in order to avoid the appearance of a big change in the character of the Board.”
A difference of opinions is nothing new for the Fed, according to Karen Shaw Petrou, a banking consultant at Federal Financial Analytics. Post-financial-crisis rules were hotly debated, she said, but issues were typically resolved prior to board votes, which allowed the decisions to appear unanimous.
Brainard's multiple dissents break from Fed's nearly decade-old practice
15 March 2019 9:11pm