Author Archives: Peter Conti-Brown

The Fed’s Governance Crisis

by Peter Conti-Brown — Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017

I’ve written about the relatively new problem of chronic Fed vacancies before (see here), but we’re setting new records. With the just-announced resignation of Vice Chair Stanley Fischer 18 months before his leadership term expired, we face another potential milestone: the first time in the Fed’s history that we have only three sitting Governors. I’ll […]

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Is there a Duty to Serve an Immoral President? A Taxonomy

by Peter Conti-Brown — Friday, Aug. 18, 2017

A few weeks ago, in those bygone days when Sean Spicer reigned in the White House pressroom and Reince Priebus was White House Chief of Staff, I wrote an op-ed called the Case for Janet Yellen. In it, I explained why Janet Yellen should be her own successor at the Fed, for a variety of […]

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Health Care, the Congressional Budget Office, and “Audit the Fed”

by Peter Conti-Brown — Monday, July 31, 2017

There’s no shortage of colorful players in the last round of health care debates. Senators battling kidney and brain cancer, the parliamentarian’s star turn, presidential surrogates and their sideshows, all preceded the ultimately fruitless (until now) effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act. One of the most intriguing institutional players in the debate was the […]

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The Future of Financial Regulation Just Got Much More Interesting

by Peter Conti-Brown — Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Last week brought news of two major appointments at the Fed: Mark Van Der Weide, a long-time lawyer in the Fed’s supervision and regulation division, will be the new general counsel, and Randy Quarles has been nominated (and is expected to be confirmed) as the first Vice Chair for Supervision and member of the Fed’s […]

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George Mason Law Review–essays from the Transatlantic Forum

by Peter Conti-Brown — Monday, Apr. 10, 2017

The inimitable Michael Greve hosts a stimulating conference with scholars and practitioners from both sides of the Atlantic, called (appropriately) the Transatlantic Law Forum. The George Mason Law Review just published some of the essays from the 8th of these conferences, with a intellectual and substantive diversity reflected in the essays. They include Mike’s introduction, […]

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new preface for The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve

by Peter Conti-Brown — Wednesday, Mar. 29, 2017

I’ve reached the happy milestone of republishing my book, The Power and Independence of the Federal Reserve, in paperback. This means a new preface, copied below. It’s long, but because I spend a lot of time in it discussing some of the themes and ideas that first found their home in these digital pages, I thought I […]

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Donald Trump’s most important Fed appointment (Hint: It’s not the Fed Chair)

by Peter Conti-Brown — Friday, Feb. 10, 2017

Given the tumult of the opening weeks of the Trump Administration, the public is forgiven for not realizing that the Administration is woefully understaffed. But even in the flurry of personnel announcements from first the transition team and now the Administration, on the Federal Reserve—perhaps the most powerful of governmental agencies—we have had near radio silence. Of […]

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Republicans and the Russians: What Sen. McConnell’s inquiry has to do with Fed independence

by Peter Conti-Brown — Monday, Dec. 12, 2016

Today Senator Mitch McConnell, in an apparent reversal, launched what he described as a bipartisan inquiry into whether the Russian government sought to interfere with the US election. Given that President-elect Trump hasn’t been too fond of this theory of the election, and that Sen. McConnell forcefully defended the CIA and intelligence community while the […]

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The Fed’s “nuclear option” for checking the Trump Administration (Trump versus the Federal Reserve, part III)

by Peter Conti-Brown — Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016

Yesterday, I discussed why the Fed’s political power is something that both it and the Trump Administration should consider in the coming confrontations that one can expect between them. Today, I want to focus on the Fed’s legal strategy by resurrecting statutorily permissible but largely discarded patterns of Fed governance that could require Trump to […]

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Trump versus the Federal Reserve, part II: Reports of the Fed’s demise are greatly exaggerated

by Peter Conti-Brown — Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

[This post is drawn in part from a forthcoming policy brief co-authored with Simon Johnson] Last week, I said that we should not expect the Trump-Republican coalition to have the same hawkish posture toward monetary policy that we saw within the Republican coalition during its anti-Obama years from 2009-2017. There are coalitional tactics and there […]

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