It’s hardly a secret that the halls of government are filled with graduates of Goldman Sachs, the controversial Wall Street investment bank. But the revolving door between Washington and Goldman has been spinning a little faster of late, depositing three of the bank’s alumni into top slots at the Federal Reserve in recent months. This should concern anyone with a commitment to democracy, transparency, and a government free of corporate influence—and it should prompt swift action from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, who has the power to stop dubious appointments and can exercise her authority to reform how Fed leaders are selected.
During the last year, three vacancies have opened up to head regional Federal Reserve banks around the country. One by one, all three of the spots have gone to former insiders from Goldman Sachs. First, Goldman Sachs trustee Patrick Harker essentially picked himself to lead the Philadelphia Fed, stepping down as chair of the Philadelphia Fed Board of Directors to allow for his own selection. In August, former Goldman Sachs Vice Chair Robert Kaplan was chosen to head the Dallas Fed despite sitting on the board of directors for the headhunting firm tasked with finding a new Dallas Fed president.