Lael Brainard: Celebrating excellence in community development

Speech by Ms Lael Brainard, Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at the Inaugural Janet L. Yellen Award for Excellence in Community Development, Washington DC, 3 December 2018.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
06 December 2018

Thank you, Chairman Powell. It is my honor to introduce Chair Yellen.

When I first arrived at the Board, Chair Yellen offered me the opportunity to lead the Committee on Consumer and Community Affairs--even though I had little experience in this area. I greatly appreciate the opportunity she gave me. After visits to 16 communities across the country--both rural and urban--I can attest to the richness of our community development work. It helps us see the economy as it is experienced by Americans in their communities. It provides a valuable perspective on our monetary policy goals by putting names and faces on the aggregate unemployment statistics. It helps us spot problems in consumer credit in overstretched communities well before they show up in national statistics. And it is essential in helping our banks meet their affirmative obligations to the low- and moderate-income communities they serve and to understand what is likely to be most effective in lifting up the lives of people in challenged communities.