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Outgoing Fed Member Slams Staff in Paper

From Associated Press

The Federal Reserve Board is run by a staff with little practical experience and some sexist attitudes toward women, departing member Martha R. Seger was quoted as saying in remarks published Wednesday.

Seger, 58, is a former Michigan banking commissioner and economist for the Bank of the Commonwealth in Detroit. Her criticism of the Fed appeared in an interview from Washington with the Detroit News.

Then-President Ronald Reagan named her as a Federal Reserve Board governor in 1984. Last week she announced that she would leave the board in April.

The board helps regulate the economy by controlling the nation’s money supply and is the equivalent of a central bank.

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The board doesn’t welcome a variety of views, Seger said in the interview.

“If you have different views and say, ‘Hey, maybe there’s a different way to look at this,'--and especially if you challenge the staff, it’s like, ‘Well, let’s ignore that person,’ ” she was quoted as saying.

Of the professional staff members, she was quoted as saying, most are academically trained with little real-world experience and little feeling for the effects of their decisions.

Seger was the only woman on the board and said she found sexism among her colleagues and the staff.

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“I think there are people here who are sexist and do not feel comfortable working with women,” she was quoted as saying.

When told Wednesday of Seger’s published remarks, Federal Reserve Board spokesman Joseph R. Coyne said: “We’d have no comment on any of that.”


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