IS THE CHOICE FOR THE NEXT FED CHIEF A SEXIST ONE?

The term of the current Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board (FED), Ben Bernanke, expires at Year-End.  President Barack Obama could re-appoint Mr. Bernanke and, then, it would be the FED Chief’s choice, whether to leave or stay.  Given the fact that he has basically saved the World Financial System, as well as the flack from some members of Congress, the assumption is that Mr. Bernanke will return to Academia.

Among the number of renowned economists who are assumed to be in the running, two names stand out.  Current FED Vice-Chairman, Janet Yellin, who was formerly the President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  And, Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Secretary and President of Harvard Univ. (where sexist remarks caused his resignation).  If Bernanke leaves, the ultimate decision belongs to President Obama.

Ezra Klein brings-up the sexism issue in the linked column, from the Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/31/funny-how-gender-never-came-up-during-bernankes-nomination-or-greenspans-or-volckers/?print=1.  Mr. Klein forthrightly questions why the Gender Issue has never come up when selecting previous FED Chiefs.  Or Treasury Secretaries, for that matter.

Mr. Klein cites Andrew Ross-Sorkin, a CNBC anchor and NY Times columnist, who interviewed Mr. Richard Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas regarding the FED Chief position.  Mr. Fisher praised the success that Mr. Bernanke has had during the past five years.  Then, the conversation shifted to who the next FED Chief might be.  Mr. Fisher said that Janet Yellin was quite capable and, then, brought-up the point that it might be a gender-driven appointment.  Why did he bring that up?

Mr. Ross-Sorkin did not pursue which other candidate Mr. Fisher might prefer.  The point is: there has simply never been a Female FED Chief or Secretary of the Treasury.  So far, they have been good ole boys clubs.  But, that tells us only that a Woman has not been nominated for either post–at least, not so far.

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