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The Federal Reserve Succession: Noah Smith Watches Tyler Cowen Engage in Hippie-Punching

Via twitter, Noah Smith directs us to Tyler Cowen:

Larry Summers vs. Janet Yellen: Read Paul Krugman, Scott Sumner, Ezra Klein, and others on this.  My thinking is simple.  Public choice considerations constrain a looser monetary policy with either candidate.  Otherwise, it is easier for me to imagine Summers having credibility with a Republican administration, and having a real voice, relative to Yellen.  He simply has more right-wing street cred, keeping in mind that Yellen is a former Professor from Berkeley who has never really taken heat from the left, unlike Summers.  I think that overall the voice of the Fed within government is a clear positive.  The chance of a Republican administration, come the next election, is probably at least forty percent.  Thus I would prefer Summers.

Get me a whip count of twenty Republican senators who would vote to confirm Summers even if McConnell tells them not to, and I would agree with Tyler--but I don't think there is such a whip count, and I don't think Larry would be any better able (or worse able) to work with the current crop of Republican officeholders than Ben has been or than Janet would be.

If the choice is between Summers and Yellen, I own to a slight preference for Larry--but I'm not sure that preference is completely rational. Both are, I think, among the very best candidates.

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