Neel Kashkari tapped to succeed Kocherlakota as head of Minneapolis Fed bank

by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Nov 10, 2015 10:11 am MDT Last Updated Nov 10, 2015 at 1:39 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Neel Kashkari tapped to succeed Kocherlakota as head of Minneapolis Fed bank FILE – In this July 21, 2014 file photo, Neel Kashkari speaks in Sacramento, Calif. Kashkari, a prominent business executive and one-time candidate for governor of California, has been chosen to be the head of the Federal Reserve’s regional bank in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater, File) WASHINGTON – Neel Kashkari, a prominent business executive and unsuccessful candidate for California governor, has been chosen as head of the Federal Reserve’s regional bank in Minneapolis.Kashkari will succeed Narayana Kocherlakota, who will step down from the job of Minneapolis Fed president on Dec. 31. Kocherlakota has held the position since 2009 and announced last December that he would not seek re-appointment once his current term ends.Kashkari was chosen by the regional bank’s board of directors. He most recently served as managing director of PIMCO. A Republican, he ran for governor of California in 2014, losing to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown.Kashkari, 42, worked at the Treasury Department from 2006 to 2009. During the height of the financial crisis in 2009, he was tapped by then-Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson to oversee the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion bailout program created by Congress.Before joining the Treasury Department, Kashkari was a vice-president at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco. Previously, he was an aerospace engineer at TRW Corp.In Minnesota, Kashkari will succeed one of the Fed’s leading doves, the group of Fed officials who favour keeping interest rates low as a way to fight unemployment.Kashkari’s views on monetary policy are not well known, but he is believed to be less dovish than Kocherlakota. He has expressed admiration for former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, describing him on Twitter as “the right leader when our country really needed it.”However, he has also colorfully highlighted the issue of persistently low inflation.“Maybe Fed should just admit: ‘We will keep rates at zero until inflation is staring us in the face (and then we will freak out),” he tweeted in May 2014.In August 2013, he suggested President Barack Obama should choose someone other than Yellen or former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers as Fed chairman, tweeting that he hoped Obama picked “someone unexpected.” Obama ended up nominating Yellen for the post.In his long-shot race for governor against Brown, Kashkari emphasized the need to address income inequality and said he was running an untraditional campaign.“The issues I’m focused on, they’re not Democrat or Republican,” Kashkari said in an AP interview in 2014.Kashkari at one point posed as a homeless man looking for work in Fresno, California to underscore his message on inequality.Jordan Haedtler, campaign manager for the Fed Up coalition, which is seeking to reform the Fed’s appointment process for regional bank presidents, said it was disappointing that Kashkari will be the third regional Fed bank president selected this year with ties to Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs.The selection is handled by the board of directors for each regional bank. Haedtler called it a process that “is dominated by corporate and financial elites.”___AP Economics writer Josh Boak contributed to this report. read more

UNbacked international forum delivers roadmap for Somalias future

“We commend the commitments made at the High-Level Partnership Forum to deliver a transparent and inclusive electoral process in 2016, to strengthen security and to accelerate the delivery of concrete results to the people of Somalia,” they said in a joint press statement issued today.The statement by the UN, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the European Union (EU), the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), and the Governments of the United States and the United Kingdom, follows the two-day forum held in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, last week.Co-hosted by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, the forum reviewed the country’s progress in political, security and economic sectors.The press statement noted that the commitment to immediately start a national consultation to agree on an electoral process for a timely transfer of public office in 2016 is a positive step.“We also agree that the 2016 electoral process, based on inclusive consultations in the coming months, must represent an improvement on the 2012 process and be a steppingstone toward universal ‘one person, one vote’ elections,” it added.Somalia’s international partners will follow progress closely and will make decisive efforts to help the people of the country meet these deadlines.“Most immediately, we welcome the commitment to finalise by 15 August a detailed action plan for the national consultations on the 2016 electoral process,” said the statement, adding that such a plan should reflect the views of all stakeholders, in particular the Federal Parliament and the authorities in all the regional administrations.“We urge all parties to engage seriously and urgently in finalizing this work and then to play a full role in the national consultative process.”“Somalia’s international partners stated their resolve to the timely implementation of the commitments taken and agreements reached and to continue to support the goal of a united, federal and democratic Somalia, at peace with itself and the rest of the world,” said the statement.Last week, the Security Council authorized the Member States of the African Union to maintain the deployment of AMISOM until 30 May 2016, and extended the mandate of the UN Special Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) until 30 March 2016, underlining the importance of both missions strengthening their relationship to ensure support for the country’s political process. read more