April 23, 2024

New St. Louis Fed President Alberto Musalem adds fresh voice to interest rate debate

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis announced Thursday that Alberto Musalem will be its next president, giving him a seat on the committee that decides the direction of US interest rates.

The 55-year-old Musalem, who will start his role April 2, has previously worked as executive vice president and senior adviser to the president of the New York Federal Reserve and as an economist for the IMF.

Most recently he was CEO and co-chief investment officer of Evince Asset Management, a quantitative investment technology company he co-founded in 2018.

Alberto Musalem

Alberto Musalem. (St. Louis Federal Reserve) (St. Louis Fed)

As president of the St. Louis Fed, Musalem will rotate with other regional Fed presidents as a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee, which decides whether rates go up or down. He will become a voting member of that committee starting in 2025.

This year he will participate in discussions but won’t have a final say on monetary policy.

The FOMC raised rates last year to a 22-year high but has signaled that rates are likely at their peak and that cuts will likely happen in 2024. The median projection from Fed officials is that there will be three cuts this year.

The St. Louis Fed is not the only regional Fed bank going through a leadership transition this year. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is due to retire mid-year on account of the Fed’s mandatory age and length-of-service policies, leaving another opening to fill.

Musalem succeeds Jim Bullard, who announced last July he was stepping down after 15 years to become dean of the business school at Purdue University.

President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis James Bullard speaks during an interview with AFP in Washington, DC, on August 6, 2019. - The Federal Reserve has set US interest rates

James Bullard, the outgoing president of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. (ALASTAIR PIKE/AFP via Getty Images) (ALASTAIR PIKE via Getty Images)

Musalem holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

“I am deeply honored to serve as the next president of the St. Louis Fed and grateful for the opportunity to promote a strong, resilient, and inclusive economy,” Musalem said.

“I look forward to engaging with the people and communities of the Eighth Federal Reserve District to represent this part of the country at the monetary policy table. I am eager to get started.”

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