The Fed’s striking lack of diversity and why it matters

By Aaron Klein, Brookings Institution

There is strong data to support the claim that the regional Federal Reserve Banks have structural problems in generating diverse leadership and that the lack of diverse leaders has negative repercussions.

Federal Regional Bank Presidents are important: they vote to determine the nation’s monetary policy, have significant authority over bank regulation, and lead on-the-ground teams of regulators and supervisors for our nation’s banks, bank holding companies, and systemically important financial institutions. Their banks have a combined $3 billion operating budget, and together oversee the largest economics research program in America.

Numerous empirical studies have proven the obvious: the background of senior leaders impacts their decision-making process and influences their interests.

While geographic diversity is important, so too are gender, race, educational background, and occupation.

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