February 10, 2022

In Response to Senator Warren, Federal Reserve Nominees Make Historic Ethics Commitments

Washington, D.C. — United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has secured significant ethics commitments from Professor Sarah Bloom Raskin, nominee to serve as Vice Chair for Supervision on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and Drs. Lisa Cook and Philip Jefferson, nominees to serve as members of the Board of Governors. The nominees agreed to a four year recusal period from matters which they oversee on the Board of Governors, not to seek a waiver from these recusals, and not to seek employment or compensation from financial services companies for four year after leaving government service. 

“These are the strongest ethics standards ever agreed to by Federal Reserve Board nominees. U.S. Senators and the American people can be confident that these public servants will make sound economic policy decisions in the public’s best interest. I’ve fought for years to secure ethics commitments above and beyond current law from nominees of both Republican and Democratic administrations, and these commitments represent a historic agreement to prevent conflicts of interest and lock the revolving door,” said Senator Warren. 

At last week’s Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs hearing for the nominees, Senator Warren called on the nominees to commit to higher ethical standards to prevent conflicts of interest and close the revolving door. In letters of response to Senator Warren, the three nominees committed to go beyond the Biden-Harris administration’s Ethics Pledge and recuse themselves from matters involving former employers and clients for four years. They also indicated they did not intend to seek a waiver from these recusals. Finally, Professor Raskin and Drs. Cook and Jefferson agreed not to seek employment or compensation from, including as a result of board service, any company with any party matter pending before the Federal Reserve Board or any financial services company for a period of four years after leaving government service. These commitments demonstrate the strongest-ever ethics commitments by Fed officials to avoid conflicts of interest and close the revolving door between the Fed and the industries it regulates.

Following a scandal involving trading of stock and other securities at the Fed last year, Senator Warren called out the culture of corruption brewing at the Fed and raised concerns over conflicts of interest that have undermined public trust. Senator Warren has urged Chair Powell and Fed leaders to adopt robust and comprehensive ethics guidelines, and has sought transparency related to Fed officials’ trades and changes to the Fed’s ethics policy . Senator Warren is a leader in the effort to impose strict ethics standards on senior government officials. Her Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act is the most ambitious anti-corruption legislation since Watergate. She has also worked to secure commitments from nominees — including FDA Commissioner nominee Dr. Robert Califf, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and other Department of Defense nominees — on ethics standards.