Meet the #Fed’s new intellectual powerhouse

Janet Yellen led her first monetary policy meeting as chair last week. But with Yellen’s emphasis so far on consensus and continuity, the key news from the Fed last week wasn’t anything Janet Yellen said, but what Federal Reserve Board Governor Jeremy Stein said at the International Research Forum on Monetary Policy on Mar. 21.


Jeremy Stein is currently the junior member of the Federal Reserve Board, having served only since May 30, 2012. (Several recent nominees to the Federal Reserve Board have yet to be approved.) But with Ben Bernanke’s departure, Stein now has the most distinguished academic record of anyone currently making decisions about US monetary policy. His background as a Harvard Professor of Economics and former President of the American Finance Association shows. He holds office hours for staff at the Federal Reserve Board, and from the half hour that I once spent with him, I can say that he stands ready to debate the fine points of economic models with anyone. In his speech last Friday, Governor Stein showed how much genuine light an academic approach can shed on practical monetary policy questions in the right hands.

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