The Fed’s Pivotal Moment

August 20, 2021

How the Fed should prioritize equity and sustainability in the next term.

The Roosevelt Rundown features our top stories of the week.

Priorities for the Next Federal Reserve Chair

The next four-year Federal Reserve (Fed) chair term will begin in February 2022, and whoever President Biden nominates (or renominates) for the position will play a pivotal role in shaping a more equitable and sustainable economy. The next Fed chair will be tasked with continuing to shepherd the economic recovery from the pandemic as well as combatting the intertwined crises of climate change and racial inequality our country faces. 

In a series of new blog posts, Roosevelt Institute experts from across the think tank explain how the Fed can do that in the next term. 

They describe how the Fed can and should prioritize workers and families over corporations, cement the shifts in macroeconomic policy that the Fed has already begun, and proactively address climate-related risk

“Over the next four years, [the Fed] should prioritize making our banking system more inclusive, reining in corporate profiteering, and, crucially, curbing investments in fossil fuels,” Suzanne Kahn writes in an introduction to the series. “It can do this not only by continuing to prioritize full employment, but also by using its regulatory powers (in normal times and, especially, in times of crisis) to reshape how corporations do business over the long term.”

Read “The Roosevelt Institute’s Priorities for the Next Federal Reserve Chair.”


The Racial Inequities of Student Debt

“The Biden administration has committed to creating more equitable access to higher education for future generations, but words without action ring hollow,” Kyle Veazie writes for the blog. “If President Biden is truly committed to racial justice and to creating an economy that leaves no one behind, he should seize this opportunity and act now to finally ease the long-lasting burden created by student debt.”

Read more in “How the Student Debt Crisis Disproportionately Harms Black Borrowers,” and catch up on our recent issue brief “Student Debt Cancellation IS Progressive: Correcting Empirical and Conceptual Errors.”


What We’re Reading

The Bad Economics of Fossil Fuel DefendersNew York Times

Heat Is Killing Workers in the US—and There Are No Federal Rules to Protect Them – NPR

“Everyone Wants a Good Job”: The Texas Unions Fighting for a Green New Deal – Gizmodo

US to Eliminate Student Debt for Borrowers with Permanent DisabilitiesWall Street Journal