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Peter Diamond wins the Nobel Prize, continues being blocked by the Senate

For months now, Sen. Richard Shelby has been blocking the nomination of economist Peter Diamond to join the board of the Federal Reserve. "I do not believe he’s ready to be a member of the Federal Reserve Board," Shelby said, "I do not believe that the current environment of uncertainty would benefit from monetary policy decisions made by board members who are learning on the job.”

Today, Diamond won the Nobel Prize in economics. Of course, Shelby never said he wasn't a "skilled economist." He said he didn't know monetary economics. But that's foolish: Before serving on the Federal Reserve Board, Elizabeth Duke worked at a bank. Kevin Warsh worked for George W. Bush. Sarah Bloom Raskin was a financial regulator in Maryland. Ben Bernanke was an economist, and prior to that, one of Diamond's students. They all learned on the job.

And there's really no other choice. You can't serve on the Federal Reserve Board before you serve on the Federal Reserve Board. Shelby's argument against Diamond is cover for his actual objections against Diamond. One of those objections is simple partisan politics. But another, I've heard, is odder: Shelby hates behavioral economics.

This White House, as has been endlessly pointed out, is big on behavioral economics. See Peter Orszag, Jeff Liebman and Cass Sunstein for more on that. But the administration's embrace of the discipline has provoked a response that the White House never anticipated. Republicans have grown suspicious of behavioral economics. And Diamond, it turns out, has done a fair amount of work in the field (for instance, here). Insofar as Shelby's got an actual objection to Diamond, that's it, and one of the things he wants is another hearing focusing on Diamond's behavioral work.

Ah well. For those actually interested in Diamond's work, here's a post from Tyler Cowen on Diamond's academic papers and influence. Diamond has published in many areas, but two particular points of expertise are labor markets and entitlement programs, both of which the Federal Reserve will need considerable knowledge of over the next few years. Without Diamond -- or someone like him -- on the Board, it's no exaggeration to say they'll be learning on the job.

By Ezra Klein  | October 11, 2010; 9:13 AM ET
 
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Comments

So now (more than ever) Senate confirmations need 100% approval?

Posted by: stonedone | October 11, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

No, but it'd be nice if the approval of 60 senators could get a nominee confirmed, rather than giving each and every one of them a personal license to hold up the government for whatever idiosyncratic reasons they choose.

It'd be even better to allow democratic rule and have the requirement be 50 senators, but hey, let's not get carried away.

Posted by: CarlosXL | October 11, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Did you mean to write Larry Diamond in the title?

Posted by: Dana20 | October 11, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

and anyone on the Board who's learning on the job will be learning in part from the work of Diamond. This stall by Shelby and the GOP is more than an outrage, it's a national embarrassment. And they will continue to get away with it, will receive applause for having done it, and just may win control of the legislature for such stunts. What's the next step after "boggles the mind?"

Posted by: bdballard | October 11, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Good lord, have you been drinking on Columbus Day? It took a while to sort this thing out, but Larry and Peter Diamond, while both scholars, are actually two different people. Apparently only one of them, Peter, won the prize in economics. Hope this helps.

Posted by: truck1 | October 11, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Did you mean to say Austin Goolsbee instead of Cass Sunstein, or did Sunstein also study behavioural economics at Chicago?

Posted by: KathyF | October 11, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

It is sad that Shelby thinks himself capable of deciding who possesses the necessary skills to be helpful.

I am also wondering if Shelby's objection is not also based on Diamond's papers showing there is no basis for claiming benefits for the privatization of social security?

Posted by: erichwwk1 | October 11, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Well, when you look at some recent winners -- Carter, Gore and Obama -- can understand why Sen Shelby has a hold on him!!

Posted by: wheeljc | October 11, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Obama also won a nobel prize and he is clueless when it comes to anything...this guy seems to be no different, just another Obamite who will have NO chance of being confirmed after the midterms.

Posted by: Realist201 | October 11, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Ah. Democracy at work.

Posted by: ravensfan20008 | October 11, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Time to put a hold on emergency federal aid to areas of Oklahoma hit by twisters.

Posted by: Garak | October 11, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Why do people like Ezra Klein waste our time trying to figure out why Republicans take obstructive action. HELLLLOOOOO! It's a calculated, partisan, political ploy to prevent the Democrats from being able to do anything. You might just as well ask why a dog licks his BLEEP. Because he can.

Posted by: ejs2 | October 11, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Just additional proof that the republicans will block anyone and anything, regardless of common sense, capabilities.
They have put their irresponsible goals, unAmerican activities above the welfare of our country.
They are making our political system the laughing stock of the world.

Posted by: kathlenec | October 11, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

And the irrational anti-intellectual march by Republicans continues.

For all their easily-demolished bashing of "intellectuals" and "ivory tower" types, I have a feeling every single one of these willfully, and boastful about it, ignorant hypocrites like Sen. Shelby would want the most elite of the elite doctors if they needed surgery.

Posted by: kingcranky | October 11, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Oh-no! The Nobel committee is in the tank for Obama, again.

Have those Nobels no shame!?

Posted by: battleground51 | October 11, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Obama won the same prize. That in itself means he shouldn't be confirmed. Big deal! Who cares about this stupid award. We don't need this jerk!

Posted by: georges2 | October 11, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from the party of Sarah Palin where igonorance and stupidity is considered a virtue? So a Nobel prize winner in economics is not qualified to be a member of the Fed?!

Geezus H f'ing christ!

The Republican party is a joke! Shame on you who are voting Republican this November!

Posted by: montana123 | October 11, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

and people wonder why the economy crashed on repuglicans...

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld1 | October 11, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Shelby has always been an ignorant dolt. This is just further proof, especially his quoted comment about not being ready.

Posted by: jibe | October 11, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

lets remember that they gave that reward to obama as a bribe...
that award doesn't guarantee thay are the right people for the job...
another wannabe shoving socialism down our throats...

Posted by: DwightCollins | October 11, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Obama won the same prize. That in itself means he shouldn't be confirmed. Big deal! Who cares about this stupid award. We don't need this jerk!

Posted by: georges2 | October 11, 2010 1:14 PM
------------------------------------------
Actually, we do need this "jerk" as you call him. He has developed some very useful explanations of how the free market works in real life. Of course, Shelby and his ilk don't care about making the free market work. They're intent on reducing the American middle class to compliant serfs, in thrall to large corporations. Down there in Alabama where Shelby is from, they know a thing or two about keeping people on the plantation.

Posted by: Bob22003 | October 11, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I was looking in my son's history book and was dismayed to see the FDR's policies are credited with pulling the US out of the depression. When I was growing up, I was taught it was WWII. Maybe I was taught wrong, but WWII makes more sense to me than the socialist policies of FDR and the progressive movement of that era.
While I freely admit that I am not an economist, I can tell from personal observations that the economic policies that Obama has put in place are resulting in horrible outcomes. (Can I get a 10% Unemployment rate? Yes, I can!) So I stand behind Mr. Shelby. No actions is 1000 times better than more of the same.

Posted by: cothink2 | October 11, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I guess one question I would ask is: Why would we elect a French citizen to our Federal Reserve Board? Isn't there a qualified American with a vested interest available? Also it appears that virtually everything Professor Diamond has written has the word "theorem" somewhere in the title. How about someone that has a document called "What I learned actually doing the job."?

Posted by: staterighter | October 11, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Remember the good old days when Republican mantra was that "presidential nominees are entitled to an up or down vote?"

I guess that doesn't apply to Nobel laureates.

Posted by: jbentley4 | October 11, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I was looking in my son's history book and was dismayed to see the FDR's policies are credited with pulling the US out of the depression. When I was growing up, I was taught it was WWII. Maybe I was taught wrong, but WWII makes more sense to me than the socialist policies of FDR and the progressive movement of that era.
Posted by: cothink2 | October 11, 2010 1:25 PM |
-------------------------------------------
FDR's policies did go a long way toward recharging the economy, until 1937, when he cut government spending and nearly sent the economy back down where it came from. And it wasn't WWII itself that ended the Great Depression, it was the UNPRECEDENTED HIGH LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING that continued, despite huge deficits, right up until the allied powers won the war. Following that came about two decades of the largest peacetime economic expansion in our history.

Posted by: Bob22003 | October 11, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

KathyF writes, "Did you mean to say Austin Goolsbee instead of Cass Sunstein, or did Sunstein also study behavioural economics at Chicago?"

Goolsbee is an economist but not a behavioral economist; his work has focused on applied microeconomics and public economics. Sunstein is a law professor, but he co-authored a book on behavioral economics called "Nudge" with Richard Thaler, who many people feel is a favorite to win a Nobel at some point.

Posted by: jeffwacker | October 11, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

So, in which country's economy has Diamond's theories been put to the test to prove them out?

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Shelby, what a dolt!

Posted by: pelohoki | October 11, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Next up: Sen Coburn (R-Delusion) blocks all nominees who say 2 + 2 = 4.

Sen. Coburn explained that arithmetic could threaten tax cuts for the rich because the nominee might add up the revenue losses.

Posted by: Garak | October 11, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone noticed which of our states ranked near the bottom in education, economics, management, etc? Shelsby's state of Alabama is two notches short of being the worst. Almost all of the southern states ranked low, low, low, with Arizona and New Mexica being armpits.
Are the citizens in those states so intimidated and fearful that they allow the worst kinds of people to represent them? If your state remains in the bottom ten year after year, wouldn't you think about changing who represents you in Congress? Why do they keep voting for these ignorant fools who see education as a minus? Shelsby and his ilk are all alike. They don't give a darn about the people in their states and why should they? As long as they can keep their jobs by bamboozling their foolish followers, they'll keep earning big bucks while their followers wallow at the bottom. Maybe some of Shelsby's supporters should give thought to moving north, way north to the states who made the top, Wyoming and Montana where the living is good and they don't suffer fools.

Posted by: papafritz571 | October 11, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Increasingly it is becoming obvious that we must have strict laws against allowing any Nobel prize winner to serve in the US government in any capacity.

But seriously, the Nobel committee's recent actions do make it quite apparent that the prize is being awarded as a means to "reward" leftist US politicos.

Posted by: ELF2 | October 11, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

It seems suspect that Republicans NEVER want to use Nobel Prize Winning Economists, Phds, or anyone of a highly educated background yet the Republicans ALWAYS want to be in charge of our economy, having no experience themselves of ever backing a successful economy.

Oh the GOP will gladly take credit for President Bill Clinton's work, but as for the work they do, they always seem to leave the experts out of it all together.

It would seem that leaving the experts out would insure mistakes will be made, and I think Republicans look forward to those mistakes because it gives them the opportunity to misappropriate million and billions of dollars.


Posted by: lindalovejones | October 11, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Just how pompous can Shelby get?
He never made it beyond undergraduate economics but he wants the people of Alabama - no one else is that dumb, to believe he's competent to judge the capability of a Nobel Prize Economist.

They apparently can't do much in Alabama - besides play football, and they surely can't chose competent senators

Posted by: wjholloway | October 11, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I'm beginning to think that there is not a sane reasonable person in the Reppublican Party.

Posted by: msjn1 | October 11, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Stupid, stupid Republicans!

Posted by: angie12106 | October 11, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Stupid, stupid Republicans!

Posted by: angie12106 | October 11, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

FDR's policies did go a long way toward recharging the economy, until 1937, when he cut government spending and nearly sent the economy back down where it came from. And it wasn't WWII itself that ended the Great Depression, it was the UNPRECEDENTED HIGH LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT SPENDING that continued, despite huge deficits, right up until the allied powers won the war. Following that came about two decades of the largest peacetime economic expansion in our history.
___________________________________________"But what really stands out when you step back form the 1930's picture is not how much the New Deal public works achieved. It is how little. Notwithstanding the largest peacetime appropration in the history of the world, the New Deal recovery remained incomplete right through the 1930's. From 1934 on - the period when the spending ramped up - monetary troubles remained...The story of the mid-1930's is the story of a heroic economy struggling to recuperate but failing to do so because of perverse federal policy. (Excerpt from "The Forgotten Man A new History of the Great Depression" by Amity Shlaes.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who is mistaken?

Posted by: cothink2 | October 11, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Just look at what the state of the country is in under the Presidency of another Nobel Prize winner. Economics is NOT a science just because , to gain credibility, the Ivy League Universities have pretended that it is. The Nobel committee has been known to use the Nobel prize as a political statement, why not this one, since it comes at an opportune time for their last Laureate expressing the certainty that HE would be doing something to better the world before actually having even tried!!!

Posted by: wpcdias | October 11, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

You have to love the Republicans....Shelby has effectively blocked Diamond's nomination (up to this point) to the Federal Reserve. If that isn't ignorance, what is? I believe that the Republican Party is actually imtimidated by graduates of Ivy League universities (remember, W. probably got into Yale and Harvard based upon his family money, not his intelligence). Once again, the Republicans have shown their incredible stupidity.

Posted by: LWRose | October 11, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Shelby is an idiot. Period. Have you listened to him when he is talking? I don't know how he became a senator--oh! he was a democrat house of representative and he switched during Regan era to the republican party and got a promotion to the senate. That explains it.

Posted by: ere591 | October 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse


The Senate is not in session.

Harry the horse's asp Reid adjourned the Senate to focus on his failing re-election campaign.

Posted by: screwjob21 | October 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Many commenters seem to equate Nobel prizes with use and or accomplishment. Sometimes, when they name a winner they do relate what it is of value to mankind the winner has acccmplished- and then- there are the people who write with a very low level of consideration for Mr.G Bush's intllligence. One wonders if they think that his earning a Business degree, which is not given with each packet of Crackerjack is an indication of stupidity.

Posted by: sashaneedles | October 11, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

What more could be expected of Senator Shelby. In a Senate full of dummies he stands out as being not very bright.

Posted by: jimeglrd8 | October 11, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse


Klein much would prefer that appointees be approved by the Norwegian government instead of the United States Senate.

Posted by: screwjob21 | October 11, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Obama won the Nobel Prize........which tells everyone how worthless the Nobel Prize has become.

Posted by: Realist201 | October 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

It's curious how these holds have strayed so far from their original intent, which was to allow for absent senators to return from their travels home to their constituents.
This business of placing holds on nominees because a senator disagrees with the other party's approach to governing is threatening to shut down the appointments process altogether.
When just one of these Tea Party candidates gets wind of this privilege, they will decide to bring the whole process to a grinding halt, and we'll have to have some kind of constitutional standoff to get things moving forward again - but maybe that's what some of these republicans actually want...

Posted by: thanksforfish | October 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

"I guess one question I would ask is: Why would we elect a French citizen to our Federal Reserve Board? "

Wha'??? First of all, Diamond isn't a French citizen; he's American. Second, it's not an elected position; it's an appointment.

Posted by: thrh | October 11, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

It would seem that the headline is wrong: Klein is not be blocked by the Senate, he is apparently) being blocked by a single blockhead Senator. It is ridiculous that Senate rules allow such irresponsible behavior.

Posted by: aberens44 | October 11, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, the GOP - Greedy Obstructionist Pharts who won't stop until they've run the country into the next Great Depression. May each and every one of these arrogant, terminally greedy, ethically bankrupt pond scum rot in hell come November. And that's as nicely as I can say THAT.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | October 11, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Good lord, people seem to be getting stupider by the day. Someone with actual knowledge of economics (enough to win the Nobel prize) has been nominated to the Federal Reserve? "Durrhurrhurr, a president I don't like nominated him, let's not confirm him!" Forget that he actually knows something about economics, Obama nominated him! He can't possibly be any good!

Posted by: VarmintOfDarkness | October 11, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

so what we have appointed for consumer affairs someone entirely anti business and for medical affairs someone who get off on the failing and soon to be scrapped British health care system Being that the Nobel committee gave awards to warmongerers like the former head of the PLA, fools and liars like Jimmy Carter, and President Obama for the hope that he may do something he promised like remove troops from Iraq, having a Nobel laureate tied to your name is not the strongest endorsement. How about a Bill Gates or a Warren Buffet to advise on the economy not some large headed, idealist, professorial fool who never created a job or paid employees. Oops, I guess I just described Obama

Posted by: drjeffkunkes | October 11, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Not experienced...

"But that's foolish: Before serving on the Federal Reserve Board, Elizabeth Duke worked at a bank. Kevin Warsh worked for George W. Bush. Sarah Bloom Raskin was a financial regulator in Maryland. Ben Bernanke was an economist, and prior to that, one of Diamond's students. They all learned on the job."

Ezra - your partisanship overwhelms your naivete. Perhaps the problem is Learning on the Job! People appointed to a position involving specific experience and or knowledge, should have the experience or knowledge. You'd have us all believe that learning on the job when the nation is under severe economic stress is fine and dandy Because prior appointees did the same. EZRA we are a nation in trouble because of the low standards of our political class!

You should also keep in mind that the Nobel prizes have become little more than a political event designed to create specific political appearances. Many unqualified persons have been blessed with such prizes.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | October 11, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Republikans frothing to get back to the trough again...now that Obama appears to be cleaning up the bulk of Bush/Cheney's mess during their 8 years of total incompetency.

Posted by: Jerryvov | October 11, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

"Federal Reserve will need considerable knowledge of over the next few years. Without Diamond -- or someone like him -- on the Board, it's no exaggeration to say they'll be learning on the job."

Ezra, surely if only one board member has the requisite specific knowledge, the rest will be learning on the job in any event. So your point is lost.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | October 11, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

"Shelby has always been an ignorant dolt. This is just further proof, especially his quoted comment about not being ready".

This is a comment made earlier and as a constituent of Richard Shelby in Alabama, I concur!

Posted by: janetal2004gmailcom | October 11, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Shelby has always been an ignorant dolt. This is just further proof, especially his quoted comment about not being ready.

This is a comment made earlier, as a constituent of Richard Shelby in Alabama,
I concur!

Posted by: janetal2004gmailcom | October 11, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

People, people, people...republicans don't want the best and the brightest, they want someone just like them, someone they'd like to have a beer with. It makes them feel better, heaven forbid their feelings are hurt. That whole "regular guy" concept worked out so well for us all, right, so why not continue the tradition - like by electing total anti-government crackpots like angle, paul or miller.

We don't need nobel prize winning economists in the midst of the biggest economic disaster since the 1930's - we need more clowns like Shelby running the show. Yeah, that's the ticket!

Posted by: JilliB | October 11, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If the Republicans win control of Congress, watch the Democrats gridlock everything for the next two years. Any legislation that gets through that Obama doesn't like in the least, he'll be able to veto without any risk of it being overridden.

I look forward to hearing Mitch the *itch McConnell and John Bonerhead (p)iss and moan.

Posted by: angelos_peter | October 11, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

ejs2 ... while I didn't research it, I'm sure that Democrats, being the sneaks they are, are well versed in the use of the HOLD technique.

As a point of information, Senator Shelby was a DEMOCRAT and was elected as such to the Senate in 1986. He switched parties on November 9, 1994 .... So that might explain why he is so familiar with the HOLD process........... The odd thing is that when he was a Democrat, no leftist questioned his intellect.

Posted by: Hazmat77 | October 11, 2010 4:50 PM | Report abuse

You know, with that kind of logic, how did Shelby get into office? I mean, he had no experience as a Senator. He had to learn on the job, just like everyone else. There's no college courses for that office.

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | October 11, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

STUPID DEMO-RATS

Posted by: akeegan2 | October 11, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

The complete lunacy of the right-wing Obama haters commenting here is simply mind boggling. Obama and the Democrats saved our country from the severe depression we were headed into because of Republican economic policy over the past thirty years and these morons are completely blind to fact in their partisan hatred and plain old fashioned stupidity.

Posted by: trbajaz | October 11, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The last thing Shelby, or the rest of his Republican band of thugs wants or needs is a Nobel laureate at the Fed. They would be there to tell Bernacke that continuation of trickle down, tax cut driven, economic policy is a total failure, and that banks need some regulation. In other words, Republican owners oxen get gored!

But it is typical of the modern Republican party, block anyone, regardless of qualifications, in the hopes of the glorious restoration of their rule by, of and for the corporations, the secret police, and the billionaires!

Posted by: pblotto | October 11, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Shelby's just afraid that Diamond will take the other bozos on the Federal Reserve to task and give them lessons in economics that they're too stupid to comprehend. But then every republican seems to think they're smarter than people with college degrees, or Nobel Prizes.

Posted by: Byrd3 | October 11, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"...See Peter Orszag, Jeff Liebman and Cass Sunstein for more on that." Names like those radicals is enough for me to reject this candidate. While the TARP might have been crucial in steadying the ship, the only accomplishment this administration and the feds have made so far is to lead us toward a state of bankruptsy. The direction is anything but steadying or suggesting of a recovery ahead.

Posted by: awunsch | October 11, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Aside from being obstructive, Shelby could just be plain STUPID. No, wait, this would put two Nobel Prize winners on the same team in the Obama administration and no Republican as dense as Shelby could stomach that, in view of the fact that Bush put raw trainees on the board. They could be put to shame on the new guy's first day.

Posted by: ronjeske | October 11, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

As I thought. This guy is just another untested academic. NONE of his ideas have EVER been successfully implemented in an economy. Ergo, NOT an expert.

Posted by: illogicbuster | October 11, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The fact that numerous of the posts from the Right talk about THE Nobel prize and talk about how Obama (Carter and Gore) has won it, speak volumes. Seriously guys, the Nobel Peace Prize and the prize for Economics are not the same thing. They are not awarded by the same committee. They are not awarded using a remotely similar criteria. They are not even awarded in the same country.

If you want to say that behavioral economics is not consistent with your particular world view, go ahead. However, if your argument is literally that one of the preeminent economists alive today (which he was prior to the award) is not qualified to serve on the Federal Reserve Board, please tell me more about a neutral criterion (not your particular partisan preference) for choosing Reserve Board members or admit your lack of cogent argument and go away.

Posted by: orgbluspider | October 11, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

God forbid that a Mad Hatter EVER confirm a qualified (Who could be MORE qualified than a Nobel Prize Winner?)candidate set before him for consideration by a, Heaven Fore-Fend, Egad!) Democrat? It just speaks to the reality that the regressive Republi-WON'T Party of NO! would deny Christ himself, if he were put forth by the Democrats. Of course they would HAVE to repudiate HIM because HE stands for everything they hate and vilify.

Posted by: billnbillieskid | October 11, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Hey HAZMAT77, It's one thing to use a "technique" Like "Holding" a nomination in abeyance but when it works AGAINST the common good of our Country it smacks of something else, I'd call it TREASON! The regressive Republi-WON'Ts have used it again and again to block NEEDFUL appointments and then have the AUDACITY to blame our President! A POX on ALL regressives who would rather see our Country FAIL than for this President to get an ounce of credit for all the good he would like to do for the poor working stiff!

Posted by: billnbillieskid | October 11, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

After giving a Nobel Prize to Paul Krugman I am not surprised by the current winner, Diamond, another leftist by the Nobel Prize leftists. Good for Senator Shelby!

Posted by: ravitchn | October 11, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

The Nobel prizes have been forever tainted by giving one to President Obama for being elected president. He did not accomplish one thing in the year before receiving it. Well, he did undermine the foreign policy of Bush and he did break fund raising records, other than that what did he do?

Posted by: thelaw1 | October 11, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Like this is a bad thing?

Posted by: georges2 | October 11, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

obama winning the Nobel prize last year has diminished the award to such an extent that merely winning it holds no cache and offers no reason for immediate clearance for any position of authority.

Posted by: danl3 | October 11, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Ah science ... if it doesn't support one's pre-existing beliefs and values, then it must be wrong!

All those experiments and tests of ideas in both real world and controlled settings, publications reviewed & critiqued by hundreds of scientists... well if they don't reach my beloved conclusuion it must because they are the enemy. Trust no one who thinks differently than you.

Posted by: MIndfulPerson | October 11, 2010 6:07 PM | Report abuse

To clarify, Peter Diamond is NOT a political choice for the Nobel. Unfortunately, Republicans here seem to be responding to this award by confusing the Nobel Peace Prize (which is *cleary* political) with every other Nobel Prize. Diamond is a past president of the American Economic Association, which I would characterize as the third-highest honor in economics after winning the Nobel and winning the John Bates Clark Medal. Republicans will also point to Krugman, who won the JBC a decade before he started writing columns about politics. Both Krugman and Diamond had been identified by economists as likely winners of the Nobel based on the quality and importance of their research. That both of them are associated in some way with the Democratic Party largely just reflects the fact that economists tend to be involved in politics due to the nature of the job.

I'm also annoyed by the dismissal of academics by conservatives in this thread. You may claim that Diamond has "never run something", but the job of the Fed is to understand the economy and make choices which are appropriate for it, which is not really similar to most other kinds of "running something". In fact, people who run businesses (for example) often have very half-baked notions of how the economy works, because (a) they tend to overgeneralize the applicability of their own experiences, (b) they lack broad background knowledge of public policy, and (c) they've often risen through the ranks by virtue of skills with little or no relevance to the task at hand -- social smoothness, industry-specific knowledge, delegation of decision-making. Hiring such a person for a Fed position would be akin to hiring an NFL player to start on your NHL team; yes, he's a "good athlete", but we're really talking about entirely different tasks.

Posted by: jeffwacker | October 11, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Demonstrating yet again that anyone with an IQ over 65 is not in the Tea Party or the Republican Party

Posted by: lemondog | October 11, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Ah science ... if it doesn't support one's pre-existing beliefs and values, then it must be wrong!

All those experiments and tests of ideas in both real world and controlled settings, publications reviewed & critiqued by hundreds of scientists... well if they don't reach my beloved conclusuion it must because they are the enemy. Trust no one who thinks differently than you.

Posted by: MIndfulPerson

---------------------

This post really captures the essence, doesn't it?

Posted by: jeffwacker | October 11, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Shelby is a joke. Of course, he comes Alabama, but that is only a part of it. He is a bigger joke than anybody from Alabama is by default.

I wish someone puts a hold on Shelby.

Posted by: ashrink | October 11, 2010 6:21 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be some confusion over the word "Nobel Prize". There are several categories; Peace is one of the oldest ones, going back to Teddy Roosevelt for his mediation of the Russo-Japanese War through the Treaty of Portsmouth. Economics, on the other hand, is one of the newest ones, post WWII. The Peace Prize is often political, awarded by the Storting, the Norwegian Parliament. The Swedes award the others, including I believe the Economic one. The ones for medicine, physics, etc., which seem to be based on contributions to knowledge, are awarded often long after the determining criteria have been published, and do not seem to have much political influence in the selection. The Economics Prize has been awarded for a wide range of theories, and yes, unlike mathematical formulae, the field of economics remains contested and largely theoretical and subject to changing "fashions.".

Posted by: vapiet | October 11, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

So this guy and the President, who has not cared to create jobs, but has installed economic policies that keep millions of us ordinary-American-citizen-trash out of jobs. This elitest should join the President, another elitest, by proclamation of elitest Ezra Klein, to join the Fed? How many "average" Americans will the cabal put out of work for the pleasure of their elitest principles? 20 percent? 30?

Posted by: llrllr | October 11, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

I would love to see some Robert Byrd/Lyndon Johnson style tactics used to get some of this nominations off the ground. Bottom line, its time to change to rules of the United States Senate such that Senators no longer have anymore power to withhold nominations or major legislation. It time to get rid of supermajorities like the rule of 60. You have 50 plus one, you have a majority and that's it!!!!! We have a president we don't need 100 other ones!

Posted by: wcellerbe | October 11, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Shelby's bush talk is sadly par for the course among Republicans these days. They have established themselves as our new Know Nothing Party.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | October 11, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

It is always funny to read these comments from up here in Canada. We have the most conservative prime minister ever, who happens to be a very smart and successful economist.
That would make him an "elitist" and probably a socialist since he has not proposed to privatise our health care system.
Good grief.Since when was ignorance a virtue,and knowledge a curse?

Posted by: marioliggi | October 11, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

We don't live in a democracy, we live in a dictatorship where, as our economy crumbles, one Republican senator, Richard Shelby, who is more like Kim Jong-Il than any American, does everything he can to make sure our economy stays in shamble.

Posted by: jjedif | October 11, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

"...in Canada. We have the most conservative prime minister ...(who is) probably a socialist since he has not proposed to privatise our health care system..."

You Canucks are all redder than Lenin or Marx according to the loonies like Sarah Palin and the Tee Party (yes, there are loons in Alaska too).

Posted by: jjedif | October 11, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Who cares. Most of the Nobel prizes are tinged with politics.

Posted by: Dodgers1 | October 11, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I think that as soon as the Republicans finish approving Paul Krugman, they can work on Diamond. :)

(Note to those who might not remember, Krugman simply hates Republicans and he won the Nobel last year.)

Seriously, a Nobel is definitely a positive consideration. But does the US really want to hand over its political decision making to Sweden?

And will Sweden then start awarding Nobels every time the Senate holds up a confirmation? :)

Posted by: rjpal | October 11, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Yet another example of Shelby claiming that a thoroughly qualified candidate is not up to the job. He must have utter contempt for the American people if he thinks these hyper-partisan moves are fooling anyone.

Posted by: privacy5 | October 11, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Shelbey is nothing more than an Alabama Dixiecrat turned Reepublican in '94. If Re@publicans understood economics (and trickle down worked) then we'd be in our second economic boom, both of which should have happened after both Bush fiascos. Buth as it turns out both Bushes leave us in economic ruins and our government in debt.

If I lived in Alabama I'd vote Democrat. Shelbey never learned anything on the job, except how to get in the way.

Posted by: glenglish | October 11, 2010 7:21 PM | Report abuse

Demonstrating yet again that anyone with an IQ over 65 is not in the Tea Party or the Republican Party

Posted by: lemondog
================================
I am not quite sure are right. Here are facts about Joe Miller of Alaska.

Miller was born and raised in Osborne, Kansas. His father was a minister and his parents owned a bookstore.[6] He attended Salina Central High School in Salina, Kansas, graduating in 1985.

He went on to the United States Military Academy at West Point in New York, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with honors in 1989.[6] While at West Point, he was a member of the Christian Fellowship, Hunting and Fishing and Survival Games clubs.[6]

As a United States Army officer, he served in the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment within the 1st Infantry Division, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his leadership in combat during the First Gulf War. [7] Miller was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army on September 1, 1992[8] and from the United States Army Reserve on May 30, 1997.[9]

In 1995, Miller earned a law degree from Yale Law School and moved to Alaska when accepted a position with Condon Partnow & Sharrock, a law firm in Anchorage.[10] Three years later, he was appointed a state court magistrate in the small, remote village of Tok,[10] as well as a superior court master for the Fourth Judicial District. Four years later, Miller was appointed Acting State District Court Judge and, shortly thereafter, U.S. Magistrate Judge in Fairbanks.

Miller spent seven years as a part-time assistant attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough, while maintaining a private law practice from which he earned the bulk of his income.[6] One of his major cases as borough assistant attorney involved successfully defending the borough's levy of a tax increase on the companies that own the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.[6]

He ran for a seat in the Alaska House of Representatives in 2004, winning the Republican primary, but losing to the Democratic incumbent David Guttenberg in the general election. In the race, he ran as a moderate republican. [11] [12]

In 2009, he received a master's degree in economics from the University of Alaska. Miller currently lives in Fairbanks, where he owns a law practice.
========================

My guess is that his IQ is at least 66 :), perhaps higher. Lemondog, what is yours??

I just do not understand why Democrats who used to be a very nice party have now become no better than dogs.

Doesn't it ever occur to you to win an election honestly instead of filling the political atmosphere with saliva?

Posted by: rjpal | October 11, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Would be quite funny, if it did not make one want to cry for one's country.

Posted by: washpost29 | October 11, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Dems need to go ahead with the "nuclear option" during the next session of Congress. It's the only way to end Repub nonsense.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | October 11, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Do-nothing, obstructionist Republicons!

Posted by: gce1356 | October 11, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Klein presents one point of view, that the FRB needs someone like Diamond. On the other hand, maybe it really needs the very best bankers and not necessarily the best professors. The board of governors can always ask for the opinions of the top economics professors -- but when was the last time professors like Diamond ever consulted with leading bankers?

Posted by: JBaustian | October 11, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, the GOP now is behaving exactly like the Chinese Communists! They both have their political heads up their a s s e s and refuse to allow a Nobel Prize winner to see the light of day!

Posted by: larry9 | October 11, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Klein presents one point of view, that the FRB needs someone like Diamond. On the other hand, maybe it really needs the very best bankers and not necessarily the best professors. The board of governors can always ask for the opinions of the top economics professors -- but when was the last time professors like Diamond ever consulted with leading bankers? Diamond may be the greatest ever, but Obama is trying to get him confirmed for the wrong job.

Posted by: JBaustian | October 11, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

rjpal asked: "I just do not understand why Democrats who used to be a very nice party have now become no better than dogs." That is a very terrible thing to say about dogs.

Posted by: JBaustian | October 11, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

The same-old same-old. Republican won't vote for so-and-so because___________; you fill in the blank.

But when it comes to their candadates, well then it's OK. . . . . . . . Every party, yes, holds up nominations, but with the Republicans it is worse than anything . . . proving that for sure they are the party of "NO." No way but their way.

Republican Sen. Richard Shelby has told Americans so many lies, that I wish for him nothing but Perdition.

Posted by: Here2day | October 11, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Republicans and Senator Shelby are an example of why the US is ranked so low in education. The mission given by Rush Limbaugh is being followed as one of the smartest men in the world Mr. Diamond is turned down for the Fed Board because ignorant idiot Republican law makers want Obama and the American people to fail. What's sad is so many Americans sit back and watch this and support these idiots. China is still laughing and they thought we learned from allowing idiot Hank Paulson set as US Treasury Secretary as Hank couldn't count the change in his pocket.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | October 11, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

The Nobel prizes have been of late an exercise in political correctness at the hands of Scandanavian Socialists. I'm sure Shelby will view Diamond's prize in much the same light as that of Obama or Gore.

Posted by: CincinnatiRIck | October 11, 2010 9:13 PM | Report abuse

Obviously, a Nobel prize winner isn't as smart as Richard Shelby, who has won...nothing. I'm sure the teabaggers are behind this 100%. After all, book-learnin' & Nobel prizes cain't hold a candle to the good ol' common sense economics of the teabaggers & Southern rednecks.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | October 11, 2010 9:40 PM | Report abuse

If Diamond was nominated by Obama the Kenyan socialist that is more than sufficient reason to block his confirmation. As for Diamond’s Nobel Prize well Gore, Obama, Krugman and Carter all have one as well and what exactly has any of them done for America?

Posted by: gun313 | October 11, 2010 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Surprised to see that Shelby has the time to block anything, given his habit of stealing classified documents and selling them to his pals over at Fox...

"In 2004, a federal investigation concluded that Shelby sold classified information to the media when he was a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Specifically, Shelby sold classified information on June 19, 2002 to Carl Cameron, the chief political correspondent on Fox News."

Posted by: FriendofKeyserSoze | October 12, 2010 12:05 AM | Report abuse

This job doesn't necessarily require any skill or knowledge of economics. As long as they know how to print money and make straw man arguments about deflation amidst rising prices, they'll fit in just fine.

Posted by: bp2104 | October 12, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

lindlovejones: "It seems suspect that Republicans NEVER want to use Nobel Prize Winning Economists, Phds, or anyone of a highly educated background "

Not so - the Republicans and many conservative - moderate Democrats worshiped the Gospel of Milton Friedman. It was the oversimplification of Dr. Friedman's ideas that brought us market fanaticism and the Second Great Depressions.

Posted by: kirtu | October 12, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

What else would we expect from the PARTY of NO NO and NO...

The Repubs did very thing possible to block the successful election of the first black President, once they lost the election, they have tried to try to block every other he has attempted to pass to help and protect the American people.

So why would we expect them to actually "work together" to dig us out of the hole that the Repubs dug from 2001 to Jan 20, 2009.

As far as Sen. Shelby, a man so tied to the banking industry that every office he has in his home state is located....IN A BANK, follows the marching orders the his bosses..the bankers.

Sen. Shelby has blocked a number of appointments and legisation for no reason other than it works for his personal benefit.

With his history why would we expect anything less of him.

Posted by: meyer390 | October 12, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

What else would we expect from the PARTY of NO NO and NO...

The Repubs did very thing possible to block the successful election of the first black President, once they lost the election, they have tried to try to block every other he has attempted to pass to help and protect the American people.

So why would we expect them to actually "work together" to dig us out of the hole that the Repubs dug from 2001 to Jan 20, 2009.

As far as Sen. Shelby, a man so tied to the banking industry that every office he has in his home state is located....IN A BANK, follows the marching orders the his bosses..the bankers.

Sen. Shelby has blocked a number of appointments and legisation for no reason other than it works for his personal benefit.

With his history why would we expect anything less of him.

Posted by: meyer390 | October 12, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

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