Saturday, June 28, 2008

No Apparent Inflation Concerns Displayed In Newest Fed Member's Significant Stock Portfolio

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed former Virginia bank executive Elizabeth "Betsy" Duke to the Federal Reserve Board.

Duke began her banking career as a part-time teller, helped organize a Virginia Beach community bank and later served as its chief executive officer. She also worked on mergers while an executive vice president of Wachovia Bank and was the first woman to chair the American Bankers Association. She was also at one time a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Her disclosure statement for 2007 suggests that she didn't have any inflation fears, given the stock positions she held.

Although she maintained a number of money market funds, checking accounts, savings accounts and mutual funds, she also held over 50 stocks in her portfolio, 8 were banks stocks, including Wells Fargo, Wachovia, Bank America and Bank of Hawaii. She was apparently bullish on the overall market as she held a position worth more than $1 million in the Vanguard Index Trust 500 Fund.

Her total net worth is somewhere between $8 million and $35 million, according to the filing. Other stocks in her portfolio included Harley-Davidson, Harrah's Entertainment, Nike Class B, and Sirius Satellite Radio. She apparently had no major inflation concerns. Outside of a minor position in Exxon-Mobil, she held no stocks that would be clear beneficiaries of inflation. No gold stocks for this new Fed member.

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