50 percent women, 50 percent minority representatives, 50 percent supporters of an active state – if Joe Biden wanted to set an example with the selection of six leading economic advisors, then he has probably succeeded. If the Senate approves his plans, the future US president’s economics team will be more feminine, diverse and progressive than ever. And a change of course is looming in terms of content: A key point of economic policy in the future is likely to be the promotion of low-wage earners, especially African-Americans – those groups who have lost their jobs, their homes and their few savings particularly often due to the corona pandemic.
But the self-confessed centrist Biden wouldn’t be Biden if he hadn’t built a counterweight to the more left-leaning candidates on his shortlist. Two of the six top positions he is now assigning are to be taken over by men who in the past worked, among other things, for the investment company Blackrock – at the epicenter of American financial capitalism, so to speak. Here controversies are likely to be programmed, especially with young, progressive members of the Democratic Party.
Specifically, it is about the candidates Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo and Brian Deese. Adeyemo, 39, who is to become vice chief of the Treasury under Minister Janet Yellen, worked for the government under former President Barack Obama, including as deputy chief of staff to Democratic Finance Minister Jacob Lew. In 2017, however, the Nigerian-born lawyer moved to Blackrock as business advisor and chief of staff from CEO Larry Fink, before he was appointed founding president of the Obama Foundation in 2019.
To this day, Deese heads a department at Blackrock that is looking for financially lucrative, but at the same time ecologically and socially sustainable investment opportunities. Like Adeyemo, the 42-year-old from the Obama era also has a lot of government experience. As director of the National Economic Council (NEC), he is to become Biden’s chief economic policy advisor, replacing Larry Kudlow, who, as Trump’s henchman, defended his tax and trade policy against manifold criticism, although he occasionally let his own doubts slip through.
According to unanimous statements, Cecilia Rouse, previously dean at the renowned Princeton University, will head the CEA Economic Advisory Board. She was a member of the President’s economic policy advisory staff under Bill Clinton and Obama and, as a researcher, has empirically proven that the US economy as a whole would benefit if the immense educational gaps between black and white children and adults could be eliminated. The appointment of the 56-year-old is proof that Biden wants to anchor the principle of “ethnic justice” in all areas of his government, said Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman of the Sadie Collective, which is fighting to increase the number of African American women in economics to increase.
Heather Boushey and Jared Bernstein, among others, whose nominations are likely to please the left wing of the Democrats in particular, will assist Rouse at CEA. Boushey, 50, heads the Center for Gender Equitable Growth in Washington, which campaigns, among other things, for paid parental leave and a higher minimum wage. Bernstein, 64, already acted as economic advisor to the former Vice President Biden.
The politically important Office for Administration and Budgetary Affairs (OMB) should lead Neera Tanden, 50. Whether the daughter of Indian immigrants will make it to the post is open: In the past she had incurred the anger of left-wing Democrats and right-wing Republicans – it is questionable whether there will be enough for a majority in the Senate.
And there will be another change in the White House: The head of the US telecommunications regulator FCC, Ajit Pai, will vacate his post. The FCC is independent, but it’s tradition for its chairman to leave when the president’s party affiliation changes. This gives the Democrats the chance of an FCC majority. He would retire on January 20, Pai announced on Monday.