Political Nutz

Observations on the pathetic state of American politics

Nobel Prize not good enough

M.I.T. economist Peter Diamond shared the Nobel Prize for economics but that’s not good enough for Republicans to appove his nomination for a spot on the Federal Reserve.  Richard Shelby, the senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, says Mr. Diamond lacks expertise in monetary policy. This judgement comes from a career politician whose expertise in banking matters comes —I surmise from his biography— from his experience as city prosecutor in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Oh, and I suppose he has also learned a lot from his major campaign contributors: JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of New York Mellon.

The Nobel Prize isn’t Mr. Diamond’s only accomplishment. He  served as president of the American Economic Association in 2003, and has been a visiting scholar at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Harvard University, among other institutions. Diamond has received Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships; he is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

This record offers an interesting contrast to Mr. Bush’s Fed appointees several of whom were bank exectutives and had personal portflios valued in the tens of millions.

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