VIEWPOINT: How Much Scrutiny for Fed Governors?

By Walters, William | American Banker, June 5, 2009 | Go to article overview

VIEWPOINT: How Much Scrutiny for Fed Governors?


Walters, William, American Banker


Byline: William Walters

With the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, Washington now whips itself into the usual confirmation frenzy. By contrast, when a president offers nominees to the Federal Reserve Board, there is little, if any, recognition and debate.

I predict Fed nominees will soon face bruising confirmation battles similar to those of judicial nominees. The battles won't be as intense; a spirited debate about whether a Fed nominee is a Keynesian or a monetarist will never capture public interest in the same way that a debate about a judge's stance on affirmative action does. But there will be more scrutiny.

A Fed nominee's thinking about the economy surely influences the lives of more Americans than a judicial nominee's thinking about the narrow, hot-button legal issues in the headlines.

And remember that court nominations did not become protracted battles until the judiciary took center stage in a number of controversial issues in the early 20th century. As the Fed projects itself into uncharted waters, it too can expect to draw more public interest. After some of the regulatory shortcomings of the Greenspan regime, the era of complete deference to the Fed is over.

Why have the nominations of the seven Fed governors merited so little attention thus far in our history?

First, part of the frenzy around Supreme Court nominations is due to the fact that these federal judiciary posts involve rare, lifetime appointments. Conversely, Fed governors are appointed for 14-year terms and many choose not to serve their entire term.

Second, many decisions by the Federal Open Market Committee are made unanimously and quietly, whereas Supreme Court decisions are often bitter 5-4 affairs. The Fed is meant to be a less argumentative arena, where the near unanimity of decisions supposedly carries more weight with markets.

Also, Fed governors are generally overshadowed by the Fed chairman. The only checks on the chairman are a shorter term (four years, rather than 14) and the remote possibility that colleagues could deny him or her the chairmanship of the Federal Open Market Committee. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

VIEWPOINT: How Much Scrutiny for Fed Governors?
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.