McRae: Americans don’t need an unchecked activist on the Federal Reserve

The last time inflation was this high, Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical” topped the Billboard Music Chart, M*A*S*H was a hit show, and I was a mere toddler. It took strong leadership – that of President Ronald Reagan – to correct the economy then, and it will take strong leadership to correct it today. But I am concerned those in power now are choosing a partisan agenda over any real solution.

Earlier this year, President Biden nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin to serve as the Federal Reserve’s Vice Chair of Supervision, a position that has tremendous influence over America’s economy. If the Federal Reserve moves carefully, they can stabilize our economy. If not, inflation could skyrocket or the market could crash. The situation is delicate and requires a singular focus on making the best decision for our economy.

But Raskin’s focus seems far from the economy. For years, she has advocated to use fossil fuels – a critical and legal sector of our economy – as a scapegoat to advance a radicalized climate change agenda. In fact, she has gone so far as to say that it would be fine for oil and gas employers to go broke and for banks to be penalized if they serve such companies. This is egregious and dangerous.

The fact of the matter is that fossil fuel companies are legal entities. They employ thousands of Americans, including many here in Mississippi. And perhaps most importantly, they promote energy security, lessening our reliance on Russian and Middle Eastern oil.

Especially when the economy and geopolitics are as fragile as they are today, financial decisions must be made based on risk and reward, not political talking points. As such, I joined two dozen state financial officers this month in urging the Biden administration to withdraw Raskin’s nomination.

In the letter to the White House, we wrote: “The role of the Federal Reserve … is to promote ‘a safe, sound, and efficient banking and financial system that supports the growth and stability of the U.S. economy.’ …It is clear that Ms. Raskin is willing to place the growth and stability of the U.S. economy at risk to achieve her preferred social outcomes.”

The truth is Raskin is not alone. Her radicalized view on financial policy is often referred to as ESG criteria – or Environmental, Social, and Governance criteria. The movement is pushing more and more investors to prioritize feel-good philosophies over jobs and economic growth. That’s a dangerous reality for those trying to work and thrive in the American economy.

If Raskin’s nomination succeeds, this movement will be given one of the most prominent seats at America’s financial table. And if their policies take hold, inflation will worsen. Already high energy costs will skyrocket. And the American people will suffer. Her nomination to the Federal Reserve must be withdrawn.