Bush Federal Reserve Appointments
From the invariably excellent Greg Ip and John MacKinnon of the Wall Street Journal news pages. As one keen observer said to me yesterday, "If it's not in the Financial Times or the news pages of the Wall Street Journal, it's probably wrong:
WSJ.com - Bush Is Moving To Fill Two Slots At Federal Reserve : By GREG IP and JOHN D. MCKINNON: Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL January 27, 2006; Page A2: WASHINGTON -- With leadership at the Federal Reserve about to change, the White House is moving to fill two vacancies on the central bank's seven-member board of governors. The White House announced that President Bush will nominate Kevin M. Warsh, a White House adviser on domestic finance and capital markets, and Randall S. Kroszner, who teaches at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business.
Mr. Warsh declined to comment. Mr. Kroszner couldn't be reached.
The nominations come as Alan Greenspan prepares to step down Tuesday after 181/2 years as chairman. Ben Bernanke, a monetary economist who is chairman of Mr. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers, is scheduled to succeed him Wednesday. He awaits Senate confirmation, tentatively expected Tuesday.
Mr. Bernanke created one of the vacancies when he quit as a Fed governor to go to the White House last summer. Edward Gramlich, appointed by President Clinton, stepped down as a Fed governor in August.
The nominations would tilt the board's composition toward financial-industry expertise rather than macroeconomics. Mr. Warsh, a lawyer by training, was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley before joining the White House National Economic Council. He has been the White House's point person on financial-industry issues.
Randy Kroszner is eminently qualified to be a Fed Governor. (But one of him is enough: two people who think like him on the Fed would be too many.) Does anybody know whether Kevin Marsh is qualified? The Bush administration's track record suggests that there is a presumption that the answer is, "Hell no!" But I don't know about the guy.