Monday Hoisted from Comments: Why Didn't the Obama Administration Make Fed Governors a High Appointment Priority?
An even bigger mistake of Summers than the one with the inadequate stimulus was his failure as head of the economic council to see to it that the vacancies on the Board of Governors be promptly filled with people who would take the Fed's mandate to seek maximum employment seriously. Several positions were left vacant for over a year. And most of the people Obama has appointed, other than Yellen, have shown little sign of wanting to use nonstandard monetary policy aggressively enough to restore the economy to full employment.
As I said, when somebody is trying hard to make something larger it is simply silly to say that its small size is his fault rather than the fault of the people who kept it small.
But the failure in 2009 to nominate Fed governors who would give Bernanke a left wing on the FMOC to balance out the bank presidents and thus give him freedom of maneuver was a huge unforced error. It is, I think, a powerful reason not to nominate senators--or, indeed, anybody other than a successful governor--for the presidency. I do know that Summers's staff was regularly beating up on the Treasury and on White House personnel to try to get Fed appointment decisions made…