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Fed chair search: Biden administration interviews Obama appointee Lael Brainard

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Yahoo Finance's Brian Cheung details the potential for Federal Reserve Board member Lael Brainard to replace Fed chair Jerome Powell, after Biden's first round of candidate interviews.

Video Transcript

BRIAN SOZZI: A new level of intrigue on who will lead the Federal Reserve is swirling around after President Biden reportedly interviewed Lael Brainard for the top job. Yahoo Finance Fed correspondent Brian Cheung is here with the latest. Brian.

BRIAN CHEUNG: Yeah, Brian. Well, this report coming from Bloomberg saying that Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard did visit the White House last week and was interviewing for the Fed chair job. That does suggest that she's seriously in the running for the top spot as the White House continues to weigh through who they want serving at the top of the Fed.

Now of course, this doesn't mean that Fed Chair Jay Powell who is the incumbent, is out of the running. He also reportedly, as originally reported by "The Wall Street Journal", stopped by the White House last week as well. It's not clear if there are any other candidates for the time being, so it seems like the horse race for the top job could be between just Brainard and Powell.

Now, for what it's worth, Brainard is a governor at the Federal Reserve already right now. She's been serving there since 2014 as an Obama appointee. She's the only Democrat serving on the Fed board but also important to note that she has been particularly vocal over the last four years specifically over financial stability and financial regulation. She notably opposed a lot of the Powell era regulatory changes. Although to be fair, a lot of those were spearheaded by Randal Quarles, who was the Vice Chairman of Supervision who was tapped by Trump to head the regulatory portfolio.

Now, Brainard also been very vocal about climate related risks. That could be something that if she is appointed by the White House could face fire when she does face any sort of Senate confirmation, again, if she is picked. Of course, we don't have a timeline quite yet on when the White House will announce something. But also keep in mind the news that we got yesterday of Randal Quarles, who's currently the Fed Vice Chairman of Supervision stepping down in his spot as governor effective by the end of next month. That means that the Biden administration, at least as of January next year, will have up to three vacancies, possibly a fourth if Powell isn't picked and then he steps down, to round out the board with more Democratic appointees.

So very interesting musical chairs happening at the Federal Reserve. We'll see when the Biden administration wants to have the music stopped playing.

BRIAN SOZZI: Indeed, we will. Brian Cheung, thanks so much.