Thursday, October 27, 2005

Why Bush Picked Bernanke

Fred Barnes has an outstanding piece of reporting on how the new Fed chairman was chosen; worth reading in full. Ben Bernanke seems, by all accounts, to a be a solid choice. But there are lots of telling, and unflattering, details about why the other candidates were rejected:
Kohn was appointed to the Fed board by President Bush at Greenspan's urging. He had spent his entire career as a Fed economist and was the candidate of the Fed bureaucracy. Since the White House views the Fed staff as unfriendly to President Bush's fiscal policy, that ruled out Kohn. He also is an environmentalist who rides a bike to work, thus not a Bush type of guy.

Bernanke's chief rival was Martin Feldstein, 66, a Harvard professor and CEO of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Far more than Bernanke, he's an economic star. . . .

But he had many critics, notably James A. Baker II, who was White House chief of staff in the early 1980s when Feldstein was CEA chairman. They clashed when Feldstein spoke negatively, on and off the record, about Reagan's tax cuts. Baker thought Feldstein was disloyal and warned the current White House not to nominate him.

The other two candidates, Glenn Hubbard, 47, and Larry Lindsey, 51, worked for President Bush in his first term. Hubbard, now dean of Columbia Business School, was CEA chief. He favored the Bush policies of tax cuts and partial privatization of Social Security, but the president felt Hubbard sometimes talked down to him. . . .

Interesting, if not surprising.


Anonymous said...

Remember -- if you ride a bike to work, you aren't a good Republican. Get a Hummer for your mile and a half urban commute, and show support for the good 'ol US of A.

Anonymous said...

I find W's poor or indifferent judgement in nominating Miers an interesting contrast to his nomination of Bernanke.

The guy seems genuinely qualified.

Must be that was handled by the adults in the administration! ;-)