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Fed Members Needed!

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"Fed Members Needed!"

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The Eccles Building (wikimedia)

The Eccles Building (wikimedia)

I guess the Fed actually needs a Vice Chair, so Donald Kohn’s retirement is leading to some suggests that Barack Obama might actually trouble himself to appoint a successor:

Possible Kohn successors, according to Fed watchers and former officials, include Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo, 57, who’s backed tougher bank regulation; Christina Romer, 51, an architect of the administration’s 2009 fiscal stimulus; and San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen, 63, one of the central bank’s top advocates of lower interest rates.

The article, however, is oddly unclear about the fact that there are already two vacancies on the Fed’s Board of Governors. You could add Romer and Yellen and you’d still need a Vice Chair. Or you could promote Tarullo to Vice Chair, and add Romer and Yellen, and still be left with one vacancy to fill. The Fed is incredibly non-transparent, so nobody is ever quite sure how much of a difference the non-Chair members of the board really make, but the Fed as an institution is arguably the most important element of the government. It’s absurd that we have all these politicians and political journalists and operatives running around Washington yelling “jobs” while nobody is talking about the decision-making body with the largest influence on the employment level in the United States.

At any rate, those three all sound like fine choices, but what I’d really like to see is a Fed Board slot given to Joe Gagnon who’s articulated a serious plan for central bank-led job-creation. I also think this would count as a demotion for Christina Romer, so it might make more sense to consider her husband David.

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