Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Who succeeded Alan Greenspan as Head of the Fed?


If you know the answer then you are more qualified to run Poland’s Central Bank than the one we are stuck with for the next six years...…

In interviews with parliamentarians yesterday, President Lech Kaczynski’s nomination for the post of Chief of the National Bank – the little known, or respected Slawomir Skrzypek, was asked what he thought of Alan Greenspan’s successor at the Federal Bank?

Unfortunately, Skrzypek didn’t seem to know who Greenspan’s successor is.

Ooops!

This confirms the opinion of many that poor old Skrzypek has neither the experience or talent to run a local bank, let alone the Central one. The only reason he has been given the job, say the many critics, is that he is old pals with Lech Kaczynski.

Cronyism in a government at war with cronysim? Surly not…

So if you do know who is the man standing in between Bush and Greenspan in the photo above then let me know quickly and I will put your name forward as a possible substitute for the job of top Polish Banker...

27 comments:

Martin said...

Ben Berwanke-Bernanke, of course.

Why are you beating up on Lech? Never heard of Charlie Falconer?

Boy, would I love to be Poland's central banker...just for a day...

Martin said...

Beatroot,

In all seriousness, anyone can be a central banker.

1. If they don't know one end of a Phillips Curve or Laffer Curve from another, they should read James Hamilton's 'Econbrowser' blog. It will tell them everything theyr need to know about economics, because it deals with NUMBERS - dirty, big bad numbers, not the economics of how to find a good latte in Chicago, or the economics of how many toilet rolls British tourists use when they travel to Egypt.

NUMBERS are the key!

NUMBERS are everything!

2. They should be extremely bearish by temperament. I crap myself whenever I hear Gordon brown bragging about how great the British economy is - central bankers and chancellors are most certainly NOT hired to be fiscal Pollyannas.

Guns and Butter said...

The system runs itself. The EU explicitly tries to exclude any democratic decision making from the central banks. The name on the brass plate on the door is just a name.

Skryzpek represents a more hands on politician so he might differ from Balcerowicz. On the other hand on, Kacyznski knows nothing and cares less about economics.

polishpenguin said...

Who cares if he doesn't know, he's going to be chief of the central bank in Poland, not the U.S. America's economy isn't all that great either lately...

Podroznik said...

Frankly speaking, I don't know as well, but I don't think I need that knowledge for my daily portion of happiness.

And I think... the same applies to Skrzypek :-)

Kewenay said...

Skrzypek means fiddler in Polish - as in violinist. Utterly irrelevant I know, but I just felt it worth pointing out.

jannovak57 said...

Beatroot said:” poor old Skrzypek has neither the experience or talent to run a local bank, let alone the Central one.”

So far your analysis on why Slawomir Skrzypek shouldn’t be head of the Central Bank is his failure to answer a Trivial Pursuit question in a high-pressure setting. This analysis could be sufficient for the peasant masses. Lets pretend we all have at least a modest education, so lets focus on his education and work experience.

What in his educational background and experience do you find inadequate for assuming this role? Also how does his background stack up against other European Central Bank leaders?

Gussie Fink-Nottle said...

If I were the duck twins, I'd think twice before giving this job to someone called Skrzypek ("Fiddler", as pointed above).
What if he does turn out to be independent and the bank monetary policies influence the budget, etc? Headlines like "Ducks dance to Fiddler's tune" can do a lot of damage to government's popularity.

beatroot said...

So far your analysis on why Slawomir Skrzypek shouldn’t be head of the Central Bank is his failure to answer a Trivial Pursuit question in a high-pressure setting.

I don't think anyone is pretending that what I wrote is an 'analysis'. It just points to the criticisms that have been coming his way since he was nominated - that he is not qualified for the job. And I do think that if he knew who was the new boss at the Fed he would give a little bit of confidemnce to his critics in the finance sector here.

What all the other comments here show is the de-politicizing of economics.

And that is a real sign of the post-ideological, de-politicized times.

I remember when New Labour came to power in 1997 in UK. The first thing Gordon Brown did was gave away the powers he had to set interest rates etc away to an independent Monetary Policy Council.

Everyone seemed to be delighted, but I wasn’t so sure.

How many of you can name anyone in your equivalent of the MPC? I can’t name a single person on either the Polish or British MPC. Who are these guys? They don’t seem very accountable to me.

And that is bad. Economic decisions are political decisions. That includes setting interest rates.

But there seems to be a consensus now that inflation is the number one enemy…ABOVE EVERYTHING ELSE…

This is the neo-liberal consensus that masquerades as ‘apolitical’ economic decisions. Neo-liberalism has become ‘common sense’. Most of the EU has interest rates set by a very distant, anonymous character in Brussels. Is that soooo great?

I think there is a case for governments deciding these matters…that’s what we elect them for – so if we don’t like what they are doing we can kick them out!

Renegade Eye said...

Cronyism in Poland? Shocking!

Lynn said...

Ben Bernanke. However, I decline the position, or at least have to think about it.

Brad said...

"Greenspan" was memorable. Ben Bernanke? That doesn't sound like a banker's name at all. :)

To "Guns and Butter": The EU perhaps wishes that it had more control of everything. In Poland's case it is but a dream, seeing how confrontational and argumentative Poland's current government can be when it isn't getting what it wants.

I for one would be happy to see the EU exert more control over the central bank and thus the PiS-led government but I just like seeing the twins pissed off. :P

At any rate, the Greenspan thing is important because it so nicely illustrates that Skrzypek doesn't know jack about his new job. Seeing as how he obviously doesn't know anything about his job one would hope that he would examine the work of his contemporaries. It appears doubtful that he has done so which is what beatroot is getting at: Skrzypek is worryingly unqualified and quite possibly straight-up incompetent at his new job as one of the main people who steer our somewhat fragile and tenuous economy.

We can only hope that he turns out to have an independent streak and tends to listen more to his central bank colleagues and fellow economists rather than to our politicians who tend to be exceedingly myopic.

beatroot said...

Politicians will be myopic - of course. But there would also be a competing vision of what to do with economics.

For instance, in the EU you have economies in which interest rates are too high – like Germany – and maybe Ireland where the rates are too low. Both economies are suffering because of technocratic, apolitical central banking.

And maybe a government decides that fast economic growth – in the short and mid term – is more important than keeping inflation very low? Why not sacrifice a bit of inflation for faster growth?

But no. Ultimately, that decision is taken out of the hands of elected politicians, and given to unelected Bankocrats!

Anonymous said...

nasikaj mi do buzi

geez said...

For a different thread I know, but this is significant, albeit a bit late:

Now the Polish bishops have decided to create an independent commission to investigate themselves for past collaboration with the security services. According to the Zenit Daily Dispatch for January 14, 2007, local investigative commissions will be formed across Poland, and a “National Ecclesiastical Historical Commission will be set up in March in which historians and jurists, among others, will take part. The Institute of National Remembrance [a pre-existing body created by the Polish government], established to investigate and document cases of Communist collaboration, has been entrusted with the files of the secret police, and will aid in the investigation of the bishops. The results will be sent to the Holy See, which will have the last word.”

Anonymous said...

to poglaskaj mnie po cyckach

Anonymous said...

nie wierze w matke boska

beatroot said...

nasikaj mi do buzi …and
to poglaskaj mnie po cyckach
mean ‘piss In my mouth’ and ‘stroke my tits’ respectively.
Either this is the post-Simon Mol hangover, or I am starting to get porny comments in Polish!!!!!!!!!!!!

And then the third one is..."I don't believe in the Virgin Mary...'

Grrrreat! WE have a psycho in the blog...

Go away...this blog is not for morons like you...

beatroot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beatroot said...

By the way, who ever is doing the Polish grafiti - I have a stat counter. I know your hostname....it's not clever what you are doing....

...if you have not got anything intelligent to say then I think this blog is not for you....

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