Bush taps GSB professor for Federal Reserve Board

By Sara Jerome

President Bush announced on January 27 that Randall Kroszner, an economics professor at the Graduate School of Business (GSB), would fill a vacancy on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Kroszner’s nomination would satisfy one of two vacancies on the seven-member board, with his term to expire in 2008.

If approved by the Senate, Kroszner would vote on changes in the federal funds target interest rate and sit on the Federal Open Market Committee.

“Randy Kroszner is exceptionally well qualified to serve as a Federal Reserve Governor,” said fellow GSB economics professor Anil Kashyap. “He is one of the world’s leading banking scholars and his work has focused on financial history and regulation. He will bring a new set of expertise and skills to the Board of Governors.”

“We’re on different sides of the aisle, but he’s extremely intelligent,” GSB economics professor and reportedly “avowed Democrat” Austan Goolsbee told the Chicago Tribune.

“He’s one of the two or three people in the world you’d turn to on banking regulation,” he added. “I think any economist who knows Randy would say, ‘Wow, what a good choice.’”

Kroszner’s past government work includes serving as a member of President Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) from 2001 to 2003, a position that required Senate approval. Kroszner’s time at the CEA yielded what Kashyap described as “extensive experience representing the U.S. in various international meetings.”

Kashyap characterized Kroszner’s work as “mainstream” and “similar to most all of the macroeconomists at the University.”

He added that Kroszner’s prior work for President Bush might also spur political scrutiny. “I’m sure some people who have not actually read any of his work will criticize him on purely partisan grounds,” Kashyap said.

Kroszner intends to take a leave of absence from the University while working at the Federal Reserve, according to a Chicago Sun-Times report.

“His colleagues will miss him, but hopefully he will come back at some point,” Kashyap said. “In the meantime, our loss is the nation’s gain.”

Kroszner serves as editor of the Journal of Law & Economics and director of the George J. Stiegler Center for the Study of Economy and the State.

A New Jersey native, Kroszner graduated from Brown University in 1984 and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, joining the GSB in 1990. In a 2004 Chicago Tribune interview, Kroszner cited Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek as the economists who made the greatest impact on him.

“We appreciate Mr. Kroszner’s many contributions to the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business,” said GSB Dean Edward Snyder in GSB News. “My colleagues and I recognize that he is a superb choice for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors given his intellectual ability, his scholarship, and his deep commitment to good public policy.”