Monday, June 6, 2011

The Washington Lobotomy Factory Moves into High Gear

From Bloomberg:

Nobel laureate Peter Diamond, nominated three times by President Barack Obama to serve on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, will ask the White House to withdraw his nomination in the face of Republican opposition.

Diamond announced he won’t seek the position in an opinion article posted yesterday on the New York Times website, saying his opponents failed to appreciate that analysis of unemployment is essential to effective monetary policy. A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, Diamond won the Nobel Prize in economics in October for his work on the labor market.

“The Republicans on the committee voted in lockstep against my appointment, making it extremely unlikely that the opposition to a full Senate vote can be overcome,” Diamond said. “It is time for me to withdraw, as I plan to inform the White House.”

The withdrawal ends a 14-month nomination effort resisted by Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, who with party colleagues repeatedly criticized Diamond for supporting the central bank’s record monetary stimulus.

Shelby and the other nine Republicans on the banking panel voted last month against the advance of Diamond’s nomination to the full Senate, while the 12 Democrats backed Diamond for the post.

“It is my hope that President Obama will now nominate someone capable of garnering bipartisan support in the Senate,” Shelby said yesterday in a statement. “It would be my hope that the President will not seek to pack the Fed with those who will use the institution to finance his profligate spending and agenda.”

His NY Times editorial is here.

The man won a Noble Prize for a paper that studies unemployment -- not that it's a major issue right now or anything. The Noble Prize means he's really smart -- he's probably forgotten more about econ than Shelby or his cohorts ever knew.

This is pure, partisan garbage, plain and simple. There is no reason for this. It is another example of the abject stupidity of Washington.

And an inside joke to NDD -- I couldn't get 24 hours.