From Cassandra Does Tokyo:
I do not believe there has ever been such a fuss – coming from all sides – regarding the appointment of a new chairman of the FRB. Markets swooned when PV exited, but I cannot recall in all my observation and readings the attention lavished upon this appointment.
Much is stereotypical of the political divide. Without effort, one could conjure most of the rhetoric verbatim and attribute it accordingly. Like most things macro these days, the nexus with politics is omnipresent, bringing shills of all persuasion to champion their view.
Wishing to stay above the fray, and, at the same time hoping to contribute to the discussion in a constructive way, I have some out-of-the-box suggestions that I believe are worthy of consideration for the next Chairman of the FRB.
1. Leonard Nimoy.
Objectivity. Logic. Fortitude. Strength. An ability to act. Years of training as “Spock” are the ideal preparation for the next Chairman. Dispassionate obstinence based upon logic derived from Vulcan training and being the smartest guy in the room.. Mind-melding with the market. Need we ask for more?
2. Sully (a.k.a. Chesley Burnett Sullenberger, III)
Volatile times, uncertainty, a global economy at stall speed trying to navigate European storms Chinese typhoons, could there possibly be anyone more qualified than than the guy who landed his crippled passenger plane mid-Hudson, without a single injury. Even better, this guy has a name that sounds like a patrician central banker of old.
3. Sir Alex Ferguson
Running the world’s largest central bank is almost certainly child’s play in comparison to managing a group of whinging overpaid primadona footballers, like Manchester United. The similarities are striking: one must deftly manage multiple constituencies, construct a longer-term strategy for winning, manage the press and PR of mistakes which the macroeconomy is bound to ecounter, and leave the world with a gaggle of timeless quotations one can wheel out in any situation.
4. “B-9 Environmental Control Robot”
No one ever knew his name in “Lost in Space”, and he has a problem gboing up or down steps, but with the proliferation of handicap access ramps in all federal buildings, he might be the solution, since the Fed’s fiercest critics are perennially concerned about it blowing, or not recognizing bubbles, and this early AI prototype is unique equiped to spot “Danger!! Will Robinson…..Danger!! Will Robinson”. No chance of the punch-bowl hanging around too long with B-9 in charge.
5. A Large Advanced Computer
While B-9 is technically a computer, Fed critics like Stanford Prof John Taylor would undoubtedly likely to see a computer as Fed Chairman (so long as he was involved in coding the policy inputs). “HAL” (from 2001) springs to mind – easily capable of running an economy. Powever, logical, a sotto voce, and independent-minded (maybe a tad too much so) qualify him for consideration. For those of us who believe there is too much earnestness in government, I would suggesty “Holly” (who was the ship’s sarcastic, moody, computer in Red Dwarf). She is undoubtably capable, and with her moodiness will keep the market on its toes whilst keeping HF macro terrorists in their box. A final AI candidate is “Rybka”, the world’s greatest chess computer. With a game as complex as the macroeconomy, and the largest players all fancying themselves as chess grandmasters, who better to manage the game than Rybka??!? Oh, and the biggest bonus: since Rybka is an accomplished cheater, it is well equipped to beat macro-terrorists at their own game.
6. Paul Volcker
There is still a role for a highly-qualified 6ft 7inch brutally-honest cigar-chomping bad-ass in government. He makes all other financially-qualified candidates look like weenies.
7. Someone from GS
Conspiracy theorists will be rooting for Bill Dudley to complete the GS CB Grand Slam in order to confirm their belief that GS controls everything.
8. Jim Bunning
Good pitcher. Abortion-of-a-Congressman. (Errr surely some mistake here including him….)
9. Bill Gross
This would be sweet payback. It always looks easier from the other side, eh Bill?