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Joe Biden made finance minister of choice; Yellen, Brainard are top contenders

WASHINGTON – President-elect Joe Biden said on Thursday that he has decided who he will appoint as finance minister and that he will announce this in the coming weeks.

“You will soon hear of my election to Treasury, just before or immediately after Thanksgiving,” Biden told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware.

“This is someone who will be accepted by all elements of the Democratic Party, from progressive to moderate coalitions,”

; he added.

Entering Thursday, Biden’s team had signaled to allies in the business community that it had reduced its list of finance minister opportunities to at least three names, according to people familiar with the matter.

The biggest contenders are economist Lael Brainard, a member of the Federal Reserve’s Board of Directors; Roger Ferguson, CEO of TIAA; and Janet Yellen, former chairman of the Federal Reserve.

Yellen seems to have the approval of both sides of the party. Ferguson, who announced his intention to step down from the TIAA in March, wants to return to the federal government. He has experience as Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Federal Reserve.

Either Brainard or Yellen will be the first female secretary of the Treasury. Ferguson will be the first black man to occupy the office.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a progressive who was mentioned as a possible contender for the Treasury, does not appear to be in the running.

Biden also praised the performance of current Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.

“The way the Federal Reserve is approaching dealing with the dollar, I think, has been in a positive direction,” Biden said.

“Interest rates are as low as they have been in modern history, and I think that’s a positive thing. It gives faith in the ability to be able to spend money, to deficit, so that we can generate economic growth right away. And so, I think that so far it has been positive. “

Powell’s four-year term as chairman of the Fed expires in February 2022, a year after Biden’s first term. Biden could choose to nominate him for the position.

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