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Friday, November 18, 2005

Nonpartisan Monetary and Fiscal Policy Brokers

It would be nice to have this written about the outgoing Fed chair:

Straight With the Numbers, Editorial, Washington Post: When Douglas Holtz-Eakin was named to head the Congressional Budget Office almost three years ago, we were ... a bit jittery. Mr. Holtz-Eakin was going to the nonpartisan budget office from a stint as the White House chief economist, ... Now Mr. Holtz-Eakin is leaving ... and we're sorry to see him go. He has been an honest and clear-thinking director who has resisted political pressures to skew or sugarcoat the difficult policy choices confronting Congress; he's maintained the office's credibility and independence. ... Mr. Holtz-Eakin ...  insisted that the president's proposed personal Social Security accounts had a cost that had to be reflected on the books; he disputed administration claims that limiting medical malpractice lawsuits would curb health care costs. When the administration started to crow about falling deficits, Mr. Holtz-Eakin urged that the improvement be taken "with a grain of salt," noting the continuing grimness of the long-term outlook. Mr. Holtz-Eakin's record underlined the value of maintaining at least one nonpartisan broker of budget information in an increasingly partisan town.

I haven't yet figured out exactly how many years Ben Bernanke will have as Fed chair, but when he does retire I hope similar things are written. With regard to the length of his term, does Bernanke's previous time on the Board count against his new term, or will he have a full fourteen years? How does it work legally given that he resigned and Board members cannot be reappointed (unless, like Olson, you are filling an unexpired term for someone else, see here)? Does Bernanke have to resume his previous term? Can a Board member resign after 13 years and 364 days and then be reappointed to a new fourteen year term? Can you take a time-out by resigning and then go back and finish your term later? It's probably all very simple - does anyone know how this will work? Will he have a full fourteen years?

    Posted by on Friday, November 18, 2005 at 12:32 AM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Monetary Policy, Politics | Permalink  TrackBack (0)  Comments (9)


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