Brainard pledges to use Fed's full arsenal to combat surging inflation

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard, President Biden's nominee for the central bank's No. 2 spot, said Thursday that combating red-hot inflation is the Fed's top priority, suggesting that policymakers could raise interest rates as soon as March to quell soaring prices.

Testifying at her confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Brainard acknowledged that inflation is "too high," and is hurting working-class Americans.

"We are taking actions that I have confidence will be bringing inflation down, while continuing to allow the labor market to return to full strength over time," she said. Fighting inflation, she added, is the Fed's "most important task." 

Brainard's comments are notable given that she is the lone Democrat who sits on the Fed's board of governors and has a reputation as a policy dove who played a key role in keeping monetary policy ultra-easy over the past year. But on Thursday, she endorsed a more aggressive path toward normalizing policy. 
Lael Brainard by Federalreserve is licensed under flickr Public Domain Mark 1.0

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