The “race” between Larry Summers and Janet Yellen to succeed Ben Bernanke is becoming more and more like a political battle every day.
The latest example: A STRONG endorsement of Janet Yellen in the New York Times, that reads a lot like a paper endorsing a politician.
Not only is it a strong endorsement of Yellen, it’s pretty brutal towards Larry Summers, whom the paper ties to bad economic decisions, bad regulatory decisions, and even sexism.
First on the differences in their economic pasts:
A Yale educated economist and professor emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, she was first nominated and confirmed to the Fed board in the 1990s; from 2004 to 2010, she served as the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. She has been vice chairwoman since 2010, a trying time in which the Fed’s largely successful efforts to steer the economy have been made all the more difficult by poor fiscal policy decisions, including the White House’s premature pivot from stimulus to deficit reduction, which happened while Mr. Summers was a top adviser to Mr. Obama.
And on the matter of gender:
…she is reminiscent of other accomplished women with whom Mr. Summers, or his supporters, or both have tangled in the past.
In 1998, Mr. Rubin and Mr. Summers opposed Brooksley Born, then the chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, for correctly calling for the regulation of derivatives; in 2009, Mr. Summers squelched the sound recommendation of Christina Romer, then an economic adviser to Mr. Obama, for a larger stimulus. In the first Obama term, Mr. Geithner clashed unhelpfully with Sheila Bair, then the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and with Elizabeth Warren, then the chairwoman of the Congressional panel overseeing the bailouts.
The final line:
In the end, the choice rests with Mr. Obama. The facts are entirely on Ms. Yellen’s side. Is the president?
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