Only 3% of all US financial regulators over the past 90 years have been Black Americans, study finds

  • Just 10 out of 327 people who've been appointed to financial regulatory agencies in the US have been Black Americans, a study from the Brookings Institution found.
  • There has yet to be a single Black comissioner at the Securities and Exchange Comission or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, for example.
  • The study concludes that Black Americans only entail 11% of new directors serving on the boards of S&P 500 corporations.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

 

As Black Americans push for change and more diversity in corporate America, it turns out that they're underrepresented among the leadership ranks of financial regulatory agencies in a big way.

Just 10 out of 327 people who've been appointed to US financial regulatory agencies, or 3% of all financial regulators, have been Black Americans over the past 90 years, a research paper released on Wednesday by the Brookings Institution said. 

This includes federal financial regulatory agencies such as the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Though Black Americans make up 13.4% of the population, there have only been 141 Black members of Congress dating back to 1900, with 98 of them being voted into office over the past two decades. In comparison, according to the study, 140 Black American judges serve across all levels of U.S. federal courts.

The paper showed that there has yet to be a single Black commissioner at the SEC or the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, for example. The paper's author also pointed out that there has never been a Black chairman at the FDIC, SEC or the CFTC.

"This in effect means that African Americans have been, for the most part, shut out in any given year from representation on any given financial regulatory body," said Chris Brummer, the paper's author and faculty director at Georgetown University's Institute of International Economic Law. "The consequence is that African Americans have had little, and usually no direct say in the very shape and operation of finance, the lifeblood of capitalism and the U.S. economy."

One policy that Brummer refers to as an example of Black Americans largely missing out on having an equal voice in corporate America is the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act enacted in July 2010. As the study concludes, Black Americans only entail 11% of new directors serving on the boards of S&P 500 corporations.

Brummer added that the lack of diversity in financial regulation isn't necessarily a partisan problem, indicating that both Democrats and Republicans haven't done the best job at attracting diverse talent given the fact that neither party in the US Senate "has sponsored an African American appointment in the absence of Executive political action since the first term of the Reagan administration."

The paper's publication comes after Jacob Blake, a 29 year-old Black man, was shot 7 seven times by police in Wisconsin, leaving him with serious injuries, sparking further civil unrest and protests across the US. 

Gbenga Ajilore, a senior economist at Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., tweeted on Friday that the Black-White unemployment ratio increased in August to a record-high since the coronavirus pandemic began. 

Also on Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the US economy added 1.37 million jobs in August, the fourth consecutive month of gains. Additionally, the US unemployment rate declined to 8.4% in August after reaching an historic high 14.7% back in April.

Source: Read Full Article