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Seat at the Table: NC Groups Join Fed Monetary Discussion

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Consumer groups are urging the Federal Reserve to be more transparent in its decision-making, and to take working people into account in those decisions. (Nikolay F/Pixabay)
Consumer groups are urging the Federal Reserve to be more transparent in its decision-making, and to take working people into account in those decisions. (Nikolay F/Pixabay)
 By Stephanie Carson/Mary Kuhlman, Contact
August 25, 2016

RALEIGH, N.C. – Wall Street is collectively holding its breath for Friday's speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at the Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo. That’s because what she says could indicate the direction of interest rates and the market for the near future.

Action NC, a North Carolina organization, will be one of a handful of groups that have a rare seat at the table with members of the Reserve on Thursday. Michael De Los Santos, director of operations at Action NC, said a lot is at stake for North Carolinians.

"As they continue to make these decisions that impact lives of everyday people and how much we pay for our debt and how much the economy is going to fluctuate,” De Los Santos said, "they need to make sure that community voices that are supposed to be on these boards are on these boards, so that way the people whose lives have been impacted have a voice."

Action NC was invited because of its participation in the Fed Up campaign, a two-year campaign urging the Federal Reserve to be more transparent in its goal-setting and decision-making. Action NC asked the Fed to consider working people when making decisions.

The Federal Reserve Board of Governors is made up of seven members selected by the President, and the leadership of the 12 regional Reserve Banks, who are currently selected internally. De Los Santos said he and others would like to see the Federal Reserve operate in a more open manner.

"The problem with the way it works now is, there's nothing open and clear about how folks are getting appointed to these boards and so, everything is done behind closed doors,” De Los Santos said. “And it's still not 100 percent clear how folks are selected to serve on these boards."

For the last two years, the Fed Up Coalition has also worked to make members of the Federal Reserve aware that their leadership is not reflective of racial and gender diversity in the country.

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