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October 07, 2005

Don Kohn

The case for Don Kohn for Fed Chief:

Bloomberg Printer-Friendly Page: Kohn, Long Shot for Fed Chief, Helped Shape Greenspan's Views Oct. 3 (Bloomberg): During his 30 years at the Board of Governors, Kohn, 62, has attended more policy meetings than any current Fed member. He served as Greenspan's top strategist for 15 years before Bush promoted him to governor in 2002. He embraces much of Greenspan's thinking.... "After the chairman, at least in my opinion, Don has had a greater impact on the Fed's monetary policy process than any other single person," says Robert Parry, former San Francisco Fed Bank president. "He was very close to the chairman, and they discussed issues frequently. He and this chairman were really a team."

Kohn shows up as a long-odds candidate to replace Greenspan in surveys and on betting sites, well behind leader Ben S. Bernanke, a former Fed governor and now chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. One drawback: Kohn has few visible alliances on Capitol Hill, analysts say. Kohn says he has no party affiliation and declined to be interviewed for this story, according to a Federal Reserve spokesman.... "If you talk to the Fed staff in private and ask them who would Greenspan like to replace him, the answer would be Don Kohn," says Roger Kubarych, economic adviser to HVB America Inc. and a former deputy director of research at the New York Fed. A Fed spokeswoman declined to comment....

"The staff and Don Kohn together are important sources of continuity," says Laurence Meyer, a Fed governor from 1996 to 2002. Without Greenspan, "Kohn becomes more important."... Kohn ranked fourth with 7.6 percent of the votes in a survey of 104 Wall Street professionals this month conducted by Stone & McCarthy asking who would be the "best, most qualified" successor to Greenspan. The top three picks were Bernanke, 51; former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, 67, now chairman of the executive committee of Citigroup Inc.; and Harvard University economist Martin Feldstein, 65, a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan. Kohn tied for fifth place with R. Glenn Hubbard, 47, Columbia University business school dean, in response to a question about who Bush was most likely to choose....

Posted by DeLong at October 7, 2005 01:14 PM