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Brad DeLong's Grasping Reality 2019-07-10 15:27:12

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Comment of the Day: Charles Steindel: "Nothing at all wrong with Weller, really. The truly odd point appears to be how he got nominated. It seems that Trump was pleased that Jim Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Fed, voted to cut the funds rate at the last meeting, and offered Jim the slot. Bullard turned it down (no regional president would ever be included to accept a Board post other than Chair or Vice Chair; no more real power, combined with less pay and no staff) and suggested Weller. That's not the usual way these things get done. The only 'hasty' Board nomination I can recall was Paul Volcker being named chair in the immediate wake of Bill Miller becoming Treasury Secretary. But in 1979 there was a clear need to have that slot filled as quickly as possible by a person of

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Comment of the Day: Charles Steindel: "Nothing at all wrong with Weller, really. The truly odd point appears to be how he got nominated. It seems that Trump was pleased that Jim Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Fed, voted to cut the funds rate at the last meeting, and offered Jim the slot. Bullard turned it down (no regional president would ever be included to accept a Board post other than Chair or Vice Chair; no more real power, combined with less pay and no staff) and suggested Weller. That's not the usual way these things get done. The only 'hasty' Board nomination I can recall was Paul Volcker being named chair in the immediate wake of Bill Miller becoming Treasury Secretary. But in 1979 there was a clear need to have that slot filled as quickly as possible by a person of Volcker's (dare I say...) stature (groan). Update: Whoops—it slipped my mind that Martin replacing McCabe in 1951 was rushed. But the circumstances were also pretty extraordinary, even more so than 1979: the FOMC had pretty openly defied the President in the middle of a major shooting war. McCable (and Eccles) had to go as part of the Accord. Truman thought he got his guy in at the Fed, but learned otherwise...

Bradford DeLong
J. Bradford DeLong is Professor of Economics at the University of California at Berkeley and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. He was Deputy Assistant US Treasury Secretary during the Clinton Administration, where he was heavily involved in budget and trade negotiations. His role in designing the bailout of Mexico during the 1994 peso crisis placed him at the forefront of Latin America’s transformation into a region of open economies, and cemented his stature as a leading voice in economic-policy debates.

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