Peter Diamond, a professor at MIT whose nomination to the Federal Reserve has been blocked by Senate Republicans who say he lacks the needed expertise, announced last week he was withdrawing his nomination for the post on the board of the nation’s central bank.
In a New York Times op-ed article, he wrote that "we should all worry about how distorted the confirmation process has become and how little understanding of monetary policy there is among some of those responsible for its congressional oversight. We need to preserve the independence of the Fed from efforts to politicize monetary policy and to limit the Fed’s ability to regulate financial firms."
Diamond, who was awarded the Nobel Prize last year with two other economists for their work developing studies that examined the ways markets function over a period of time, was nominated by President Obama to the Fed board three times.
However, Senate Republicans said he didn’t have adequate experience in crisis management or knowledge of monetary policymaking.
Sen. Richard Shelby, the top Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, also said that Diamond’s liberal philosophy wasn’t what the Fed needed at this time.
The Republican efforts to block his nomination could only have been overcome if the Democrats could have rounded up 60 votes, which they weren’t able to do.
Although Senate Republicans never said it, their opposition to Diamond’s appointment mirrors a similar move by Senate Democrats toward the end of President Bush’s term.