As you’ve probably noticed over the past couple of days, the novelty/comedic value attached to Stephen Moore’s Fed nomination has worn off and given way to incredulity, irritation, frustration and, in some circles, outright disgust.
Initially, Trump’s decision to (potentially) nominate Moore was seen as just the latest manifestation of the president’s penchant for simple-mindedness and vulnerability to being duped by flattery into giving laughably unqualified people important jobs.
Gradually, though, folks have come around to the peril inherent in letting Moore’s nomination proceed. Stephen is famously idiotic. There is no sense in which he is qualified to be on the Fed board, something even he seems to realize. For instance, on a number of occasions over the past two weeks, he’s confessed he doesn’t really know all that much about monetary policy, an admission that stands in stark contrast to his unswerving criticism of the December rate hike which, at the time, he suggested was grounds for Jerome Powell to be fired.
More on Moore
In a testament to just how far afield we are, Trump’s other recent Fed pick, Herman Cain, is actually more qualified than Moore despite being a legendary buffoon himself (Moore actually advised Cain at one point, thus completing the circle of idiocy).
We haven’t talked as much about Cain’s potential nomination because, frankly, we said everything there was to say about it in terms of jokes back when the news first broke in January and also because we thought it unlikely that Cain would ultimately be confirmed. As of Thursday evening, Cain was said to be on the verge of withdrawing his name from consideration after four Republican Senators virtually doomed his nomination by indicating they’d likely oppose it.
The GOP should do the same for Moore.
Cain’s nomination was always ridiculous (as you’ll see if you read the linked post above, the punchlines literally write themselves), but Moore’s is flat-out dangerous.
It is by no means clear that Stephen possesses the intellectual capacity to function on the board even if he were to somehow manage to extricate himself from the president’s ass, which he clearly isn’t inclined to do. Point being: Stephen Moore is famously stupid. Cain has a lot of calling cards, some of which are decidedly dubious, but “outright imbecile” isn’t really one of them or if it is, it’s not the only one, whereas Stephen’s entire claim to fame is that he isn’t smart.
Erin Burnett underscored all of the above in one fell swoop on Thursday evening when she interviewed Moore. Very much unlike her former CNBC colleague Maria Bartiromo, Burnett didn’t let Stephen off the hook. Watch this rather painful clip:
That, right there, is why Stephen Moore cannot be allowed anywhere near the Fed and on Friday, he got an earful from one of the last people you want to hear from if you’re a moron – Elizabeth Warren.
In an 8-page letter containing some 40 citations, Warren absolutely shreds Stephen. Here’s an example:
For one, you have repeatedly made substantive, inaccurate claims about important aspects of the economy, which would be under your purview if confirmed to the Board of Governors… I am concerned that some of your public statements demonstrate a carelessness with economic facts that could negatively affect the economy if you were confirmed….But politics seems to be the primary basis of many of your confident, if inaccurate, pronouncements about the economy and economic policy.
Ultimately, Warren demands that Moore produce answers to 9 questions “no later than April 26”. This is necessary because, to quote Warren, Congress needs to “better understand [Moore’s] long history of false, contradictory, and apparently politically motivated statements, as well other statements that call into question [his] economic expertise and judgment.” Here are those questions:
- On November 28, 2018, you stated that Federal Reserve “should not have the mandate of getting to full employment. “37 a. Do you maintain this view today? b. If so, how will it affect your actions and statements if you are confirmed as a member of the Board of Governors? c. Which economists share this view?
- In August 2016, you stated, “I am not an expert on monetary policy.”38 a. Do you hold the same view today? b. If not, how do you account for this shift in your views? c. Do you believe that the country is best served by having someone who is an expert on monetary policy, or someone who is not an expert on monetary policy, on the Board of Governors?
- In September 2015-less than five years ago-you stated, “we have got to get rid of the Federal Reserve and move towards a gold standard in this country.”39 a. Do you still hold this view? b. If not, why did you change your mind? c. If so, which economists share this view?
- You have recently expressed strong support for the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates. At any point during the Obama administration, which started just months into one of the worst financial crises in American history, did you advocate for lower interest rates or expansionary monetary policy in any other form? a. If not, why not?
- Do you believe that the United States economy is experiencing deflation, or has within the last two years? a. If so, what data supports this view? b. Which economists share this view?
- Do you believe that the 2012 Kansas tax cuts provided an “immediate and lasting boost” to the Kansas economy? a. If not, how have you revised your prior assumptions about the effects of similar policies? b. What was the basis for the statement you made in May 2013, less than six months after the tax cuts were implemented, that they had resulted in economic growth?40
- Do you believe that the Federal Reserve should link monetary policy to commodity prices? Why or why not?
- Do you believe that the Federal Reserve should pursue full employment? Why or why not?
- Do you believe that the President of the United States should fire a Federal Reserve Chairman due to disagreements over policy?
Having seen how Stephen held up under questioning from Erin Burnett, how do you imagine he’s going to do if/when he finds himself staring up at Elizabeth Warren on Capitol Hill? The answer is: About like everyone else does when placed in that same situation, only far worse because this is Stephen Moore.
Read Warren’s full, blistering letter to Moore below and we dare you get through it without laughing at the prospect of Moore trying to respond to her in person.WarrenMooreLetter