Friday, March 11, 2011

Fed Nominee Blocked

"Peter Diamond," said Senator Shelby,
"A talented theorist may well be,
But his Keynsian views
I'll flatly refuse,
However deserved his Nobel be."    

If you were a conservative Republican trying to derail the confirmation of a Democratic president's nominee to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, you could not have done a better job of it than Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Alabama).  After graciously praising Dr. Diamond's accomplishments, and arguing that they lack relevance for the Fed, Sen. Shelby got down to brass tacks: his opposition to "an old-fashioned, big government Keynesian" on policy grounds.


  1. While the good Senator has arguably placed more than his share of "holds" on the President's nominees, it is worth recalling here that such abuse of "advise and consent" started in earnest under the previous administration. Nominees, even for the arguably irrelevant UN, were placed on indefinite hold for little more than spite. At least in the case of a Fed Governorship, there are legitimate policy implications at stake.

    The President should not be surprised in the least at such things. This was, after all, the man that said:

    "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind Judge Roberts is qualified to sit on the highest court in the land. Moreover, he seems to have the comportment and the temperament that makes for a good judge."

    ......yet voted against him anyway.

  2. Thank you for that thoughtful comment.
    It is certainly true that the gentleman from Alabama is neither unique nor original in his use of this tactic.

  3. True, though my point was the President, as a Senator, himself abused this tactic for strictly political purposes. At least in this case, a sound argument can be made against another Keynesian who would have real influence on monetary policy.

  4. There's no question that Sen. Shelby had all his ducks in a row, which Dr. Goose can only admire.


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