January 11, 2014

Is there any precedent for Stanley Fischer?

To get some sense of how revolutionary is President Obama's nomination of Stanley Fischer, the head central banker for the Israeli government from 2005 to 2013, to the number two role at America's central bank, I've been trying to look up American government officials who were previously high government officials for other governments. I haven't yet been able to find a Wikipedia category for such a thing.

In particular, I'm looking for American citizens who at a fully mature age took up citizenship in a foreign country, served in a very high position in the foreign government, then attempted to take up a high role in the U.S. government.

Wikipedia does offer a list of 20 U.S. cabinet officers and 4 other cabinet-equivalent level officials who were foreign-born. Most arrived in the United States as children. A few arrived as students in their early twenties. Not one of them appears to have been a foreign government official of the slightest importance before arriving in America, much less the top official in their fields for any foreign government.

Indeed, none of them appear to have started the post-educational phase of their adult political careers abroad, with the exception of Carl Schurz, a German student radical who rebelled against Prussian repression in 1848-49 when he was in his late teens. Fleeing for his life, Schurz arrived in the U.S. at about age 23. As the most dynamic figure in the German-American community, Lincoln made the orator a general in Union Army, in which he served bravely but ineptly at three major battles.

The high-ranking officials to have arrived at the oldest age include Zbigniew Brzezinski, who arrived in the U.S. to get a doctorate at Harvard after obtaining a bachelor's and master's at McGill in Canada. Zalmay Khalilzad's career is similar. Some others arrived around age 21, such as refugee Michael Blumenthal who then went to Berkeley as an undergraduate.

But none of these appointed officials had been important government officials in other countries. (You could claim that Douglas MacArthur's title of Field Marshall of the Philippines in the later 1930s was similar to Fischer's excursion to Israel, but, obviously, the Philippines were still an American colony only being prepped for independence.)

As an analog to the Fischer case, I guess you could name Werner von Braun:
Don't say that he's hypocritical,
Say rather that he's apolitical.
"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department," says Wernher von Braun.

Of course, von Braun was brought to the U.S. essentially as a prisoner of war and kept under guard at a military base in El Paso for five years as a sort of "prisoner of peace."

Another example would be Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a gay pederast courtier who had to flee Germany due to scandal and wound up being the inspector-general of the rebel army during the Revolutionary War due to his being just about the only man in America with Prussian staff training. (The early U.S. tended to attract raffish adventurers fleeing their own reputations in Europe -- my favorite is Mozart's librettist Lorenzo da Ponte.) Of course, America in the 1700s was a small, not terribly well-educated country.

But those aren't good examples because von Braun didn't leave America in his sixties and, say, run France's rocket program for eight years, then try to come back to the U.S. at 70 and be #2 man in the American space program. 

The more you think about the specifics of the Fischer case, the more bizarre it becomes, and more far-ranging the precedent it sets.

The point is not that Fischer arrived in the U.S. at age 23, but that he left the U.S. at age 61 to head up a key department of a foreign power but now he wants to come back at age 70 to take a crucial position in the U.S. government.

Fischer's defenders (to the minor extent that they feel the need to defend him) tend to treat his eight years running Israel's central bank as if he were engaged in rocket science rather than statecraft. They emphasize that, well, sure, it's kind of hard to tell whose side Fischer is on, but, you see, he has a very high IQ and that ordinary Americans can't begin to understand what all he has in his bag of economic tricks. So, why aren't you reassured?

In reality, the key to Fischer's success at keeping up the Israeli economy was his decision to boost Israeli exports at the expense of Israel's trading partners (of which the U.S. is the largest) by massively devaluing the shekel. It wasn't really complicated: Fischer's big decision was good for Israeli exporters and it was bad for American exporters.

Undoubtedly, it didn't come as a surprise to Fischer that as head of the Bank of Israel he would  he would have the opportunity to do things that would be bad for America, such as competitively devaluing the shekel during an American economic crisis. He's a smart, experienced guy, and he no doubt realized that he was choosing to put himself in a position where he might decide to hurt America. 

Fischer was free to make his choice to spend most of his 60s as an Israeli citizen and high Israeli government official. He made his choice. And he should live with the consequences, not get some giant do-over in his 70s that establishes a precedent, especially when nobody is talking about the implications of that precedent.

The single most fundamental question of political life is: Whose side are you on? There is a lot of talent available to the United States government, so why it should be necessary to appoint to high position a man who carefully chose to make that question unanswerable?

Of course, the real question is bigger than Fischer. The true issue is: What's wrong with Americans these days that almost all of us are too buffaloed to notice?

107 comments:

Crawfurdmuir said...

An example you might include is that of Judah Philip Benjamin. Born in the British West Indies, he moved to the United States, became a U.S. Senator from Louisiana, and was twice offered appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, declining on both occasions. After secession, he was appointed first Secretary of War, then Secretary of State of the Confederate States of America. He ended up in Britain where he became a successful barrister, eventually being appointed Queen's Counsel and writing a textbook on the law of personal property which is reportedly still considered authoritative.

Auntie Analogue said...


Never mind Werner von Braun. How about Klaus Fuchs? Communist before WWII, and during WWII Fuchs sent MANHATTAN Project secrets to the Soviets.

DR said...

"It wasn't really complicated: Fischer's big decision was good for Israeli exporters and it was bad for American exporters."

Steve's lack of understudying of economics is by far his biggest weak spot. Sailer could really do with a remedial course in basic macro econ.

If Israel (or any other country for that matter) chooses to sell their goods at a cheaper price, that is no more "bad for Americans" than if Apple or Wal-Mart chooses to lower their retail prices. It might be bad for Microsoft or Target, but it certainly benefits middle class consumers.

If Israel devalues its currency then that means American consumers pay lower prices for the goods Israel sells (while Israeli consumers suffer from lower purchasing power). It might be bad for American corporation competitors, but under that same logic it's good for America every time OPEC raises the price of oil, because ExxonMobil makes more money.

For someone who claims to "stand up for the little guy," it's really surprising that Steve's so interested in the profit line of the mega American corporations at the expense of middle class American consumers.

Methinks rather that Steve is not such an ignorant guy, he's certainly took at least a few econ courses during his time at Rice. Rather he's just trying to create a mountain out of a non-issue to push his anti-Israel agenda by grasping at straws.

Anonymous said...

When I think of guys who've served as high government officials for multiple high-profile states, the first name that comes to mind is Alcibiades:

"During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his political allegiance on several occasions. In his native Athens in the early 410s BC, he advocated an aggressive foreign policy, and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition, but fled to Sparta after his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him. In Sparta, he served as a strategic adviser, proposing or supervising several major campaigns against Athens. In Sparta too, however, Alcibiades soon made powerful enemies and was forced to defect to Persia. There he served as an adviser to the satrap Tissaphernes until his Athenian political allies brought about his recall. He then served as an Athenian General (Strategos) for several years, but his enemies eventually succeeded in exiling him a second time."

By the way, the CAPTCHA is now functioning as a mildly difficult IQ test. If Google makes it just a little more difficult than this, we might get rid of Whiskey.

Anonymous said...

So you are worried he'll help Israel by keeping the dollar too strong? that's already what all the right wingers at the fed are doing right now.

I think you're wrong, and the left is happy because Fischer has demonstrated in Israel he doesn't have the bizzare phobia of moderate inflation that most elite central bank types share.

also, you think Iran had any friends at all in Washington so having a supposedly anti Iran Rhodesian-Israeli-American would change things? in fact, Obama's election may have prevented a crazy war with Iran that McCain was always hoping for.

Anonymous said...

Running the U.S. Fed - yet another job that Americans won't do.

Dutch Boy said...

Gen. Douglas MacArthur was once a Field Marshal in the Philippine Army (while it was still a possession of he USA).

Whiskey said...

Steve yes this sucks but no one really cares. Think EU. A whole passel of foriegners run everything. They even got Mario Monti PM of Italy. Soveriegnty no longer exists. A nation without borders is a nation without citizen officials. Both not just common but standard in the EU. Next Bank of Italy head might be a German. No one cares bc only Brussels matters.

End of soveriegnty. No borders, no citizen officials, same cause. Global elite run everything.

Rifleman said...

So is everybody on the US Federal Reserve Jewish?

The Jews really do target control of money and media/sports/entertainment.

It's like gays and musical theater/hairdressing/choreography or lesbians and pet grooming? or whatever they're into other than plaid shirts.

To elaborate on the gay guy/lesbian divide of your famous article you ought to consider a list/analysis of top gay/lesbian professions nowadays.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msEfgBfXAW0&hd=1

Anonymous said...

Succinct and pertinent questions, Steve. I am not American but I am amazed that this appointment is not seen as you see it. Perhaps because I am not American I am amazed how far your country has sunk.

It is our peril too, as Australians we depend on your country. This threat to American sovereignty is astonishing.

Anonymous said...

"In reality, the key to Fischer's success at keeping up the Israeli economy was his decision to boost Israeli exports at the expense of Israel's trading partners (of which the U.S. is the largest) by massively devaluing the shekel."

You ought to look into Israeli mortgage lending standards. The Israeli economy was never at risk of the sort of meltdown ours was, because, AFAIK, they maintained pretty strict lending standards.

Anonymous said...

This appointment is a public humiliation for American men. It tells them that they aren't capable enough.

This lowers their status in the eyes of men from other tribes and of women.

Anonymous said...

Fischer's prime concern will be to prevent a "pogrom." Will policies that derive therefrom be consistent with the kind of forbearances that are needed to ensure the future wellbeing of the American people and their posterity?

Anonymous said...

"Most arrived in the United States as children. A few arrived as students in their early twenties. Not one of them appears to have been a foreign government official of the slightest importance before arriving in America, much less the top official in their fields for any foreign government."

Neither have Stanley Fischer, who arrived to US as a student at the age of 23.

Anonymous said...

You want your policymakers to have "skin in the game" to the fullest extent. Fischer doesn't because he holds an option on Israel.

This is why dual citizenship is a really bad idea.

ok then said...

Auntie Analog:

Fuchs is brought up as an treasonous example, to the exclusion of all other communist spies, because he's basically the only one you can find that isn't zhewish.

Anonymous said...

Weimar Germany?

International Jew said...

It's funny, but when Fischer was appointed to his job in Israel, there was a lot of grumbling *there* that he wasn't a local product, that he didn't know Hebrew all that well, that he'd put American interests first, that there were already plenty of good Israeli candidates, etc.

Anonymous said...

Methinks rather that Steve is not such an ignorant guy, he's certainly took at least a few econ courses during his time at Rice. Rather he's just trying to create a mountain out of a non-issue to push his anti-Israel agenda by grasping at straws.

You're an idiot. Steve knows perfectly well that lower foreign currency values can mean lower import prices. It's just that he doesn't base his entire worldview on cheap imports.

BTW, you're even wrong according to your argument. Cheap imports have not really benefited middle class Americans. They've arguably come at the expense of the middle class, as the middle class has rapidly deteriorated with the rise in cheap imports.

J said...

Stanley spent forty years in American academia. Universities encourage their staff to spend time in foreign research institutes and environments, and keep their positions open for them when they return. He has spent more quality time in economic research with Yellin than Steve in bed with his wife.

DR said...

"This appointment is a public humiliation for American men. It tells them that they aren't capable enough.

This lowers their status in the eyes of men from other tribes and of women."

Yes, because young girls everywhere eagerly keep track of the Fed Board of Governors. Those guys are like rock stars. Chicks just drop their panties at the mere hint of some alpha having co-ethnics who vote on the level of quarterly central bank bond purchases. Talk about an aphrodisiac!

DR said...

"...as the middle class has rapidly deteriorated with the rise in cheap imports."

Yes, because literally nothing else has changed in the economy in the past thirty years besides the relative strength of the dollar. Ergo declining import prices absolute must be the reason for stagnant median wages, no other explanation is possible. Case closed, Sherlock! I cede to your airtight, flawless economic reasoning.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there is a precedent: our President. Entrusting any high government position to a citizen of a foreign country inevitably adds certain disadvantages and risks to those which inhere in appointing an unadulterated American - roughly in proportion to the official's non-American component.

Yes, installing von Braun atop our Moon-landing project was somewhat analogous to installing Stanley Fischer high in the Fed, and one may argue whether space or financial catastrophe presents the more fearful possibility. But the defects of the Fischer-von Braun analogy seem most stark on the benefits side of the ledger: Von Braun offered to confer benefits upon us that no one else could, whereas Stanley Fischer offers us little or nothing that we can't get in numerous other candidates. Appointing less-than-100 per cent Americans should remain an option, but in order to justify the additional disadvantages and risks, there should be some compelling benefit. What could that be here?

Robert the Wise said...

None of this matters to me.

As far as I'm concerned, the USA has been finished for a long time. I only just realized it recently.

I'm leaving America permanently as soon as I have enough money. The only question is: Baja or Belize?

You may continue to debate these angel/pinhead/dancing matters after I am gone. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

He has spent more quality time in economic research with Yellin than Steve in bed with his wife.

You know you're getting to them when they start engaging in this kind of trash talk that's designed to psychologically intimidate you and shut you down.

Anonymous said...

Yes, because literally nothing else has changed in the economy in the past thirty years besides the relative strength of the dollar. Ergo declining import prices absolute must be the reason for stagnant median wages, no other explanation is possible. Case closed, Sherlock! I cede to your airtight, flawless economic reasoning.

Yes, like I said, you're an idiot. Cheap imports have correlated with the destruction of the middle class. While there's absolutely no basis for your assertion that they've benefited the middle class.

Dave Pinsen said...

Obama may have been a citizen of Indonesia, but of course he lived there as a child and didn't serve in the Indonesian government. That said, he's probably more comfortable with more international sorts of folks (Fischer, Power, Geithner) because of his own exotic background.

Anonymous said...


India, apparently, does not recognize dual citizenship.

http://newdelhi.usembassy.gov/acsdualnation.html

Contemplationist said...

Not really an American case, but Mark Carney, a high-level Canadian central banker was appointed to head Bank of England.

agnostic said...

When the medieval Polish elite brought Jews in to run their financial sector, some of the early ones had probably been big mucky-mucks back in Germany or wherever before being chased off.

Decadent multiculturalism also smells like the Ottoman Empire. Might look there. In particular after the Jews were expelled from Spain, they were welcomed by the Ottomans. Some of them might have been big whigs in the multi-cultural Al-Andalus before the Reconquista, and continued their position under their new Ottoman employers.

I can't think of any examples from a democracy, though.

DR said...

"Cheap imports have correlated with the destruction of the middle class. While there's absolutely no basis for your assertion that they've benefited the middle class."

Except basic logic. If the price of the things that people buy goes down they have more purchasing power, ergo the value of their earnings goes up and they're better off. Like I said this is Econ 101.

But I'm sure you would love having to pay $10 a gallon for gasoline, $15 a pound for beef and $200 for a basic pair of sneakers. Everyone knows having a weak currency is the route to high living standards. Which is why the middle class in Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey enjoy luxuries that undreamed of in hard currency havens like the US, Switzerland or Sweden.

Anonymous said...


1.) USA.gov claims that one can lose US citizenship by naturalizing as a foreign citizen if not by marriage.....hmm is that accurate?
http://answers.usa.gov/system/templates/selfservice/USAGov/#!portal/1012/article/3400/Citizenship-Loss


2.)countries that recognize/don't recognize dual citizenship with the USA....

http://www.immihelp.com/citizenship/dual-citizenship-recognize-countries.html

Anonymous said...

Actually Fischer's reign over Israel included mass immigration of third world people, unaffordable housing for 'traditional' Israelis, and a lost war (Lebanon 2).

Fischer's Israel:

A week in photos: African asylum seekers strike for their rights

http://972mag.com/a-week-in-photos-african-asylum-seekers-strike-for-their-rights/85344/

Fischernomics:

The dark side of Israel's economy

The reality is that Israel’s economic miracle has depended on paying poor wages for unskilled jobs, l

http://972mag.com/the-dark-side-of-israels-economy/85235/

His Israeli experience is the US was always able to bail out Israel. The US is too big and currently has too few willing creditors to get a bail out. That is the problem.

Anonymous said...

Except basic logic. If the price of the things that people buy goes down they have more purchasing power, ergo the value of their earnings goes up and they're better off. Like I said this is Econ 101.

Like I said, this the fact of the matter: cheap imports have correlated with the destruction of the middle class. Cheap imports have been bad for the middle class.

But I'm sure you would love having to pay $10 a gallon for gasoline, $15 a pound for beef and $200 for a basic pair of sneakers. Everyone knows having a weak currency is the route to high living standards. Which is why the middle class in Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey enjoy luxuries that undreamed of in hard currency havens like the US, Switzerland or Sweden.

Non sequitur. High prices don't necessarily follow from no cheap imports.

Anonymous said...

"Yes, because young girls everywhere eagerly keep track of the Fed Board of Governors. Those guys are like rock stars. Chicks just drop their panties at the mere hint of some alpha having co-ethnics who vote on the level of quarterly central bank bond purchases. Talk about an aphrodisiac!"

Chicks dig guys with lots of money and power, controlling the levers of finance gives you a both, so your attempt at a witty reply is in fact incredibly stupid.

Steve Sailer said...

http://www.haaretz.com/business/.premium-1.563127

America wants our 'rock star banker' Stanley Fischer

Kids dream of rock-star status, but it's a rare man who achieves it, let alone at age 70. Let alone after decades in banking. Yet that's what's happening to Stanley Fischer, who's been shortlisted for No. 2 man at the Fed.

By Ruth Schuster | Dec. 12, 2013 | 1:23 PM | 3

Steve Sailer said...

"Not really an American case, but Mark Carney, a high-level Canadian central banker was appointed to head Bank of England."

So, the Carney Precedent justifies Fischer's appointment. In turn, the Fischer Precedent will be used to justify ... well, we don't know yet.

But, we'll find out!

Anonymous said...

It's the ultimate truimph of trendy thinking and 'globalisation'. You see 'nationality' is held - by the people who matter - to be of no importance anymore, (hence insane immigration policies), except, curiously, in times of warfare and crisis.

I repeat myself, the prevailing zeitgeits amongst the trendies who hold all the power and influence over the politicians, is that 'nationality' is 'oh so 19th century' and a minor matter compared to the semi-mythical 'global pool of talent' that big business should have the unalienable right to dip into, in the name of the great god of neoliberalism.
Politicians being vain and shallow people are cowed by the bombast of the corporate sponsored loudmouths, and fall in with the nonsense, even when it is plainly absurd,, because it's trendy, that's why, and politicians above all else sake validation on their 'smartnes' by those who matter.

Anonymous said...

What's happened to the 'captcha' ?

The puzzles were getting tougher and yougher - especially for a poor myope like me.

Sinister Jew said...

What's "the real question," Mr. Sailer? Please ask it slowly and precisely, so that your readers will know exactly what's worrying you.

Anonymous said...

About captchas: There are absolutely differences in degrees of difficulty from site to site, and the ones here (supplied by Google according to Steve) are harder than most.

My formal IQ is highish, so I wonder if I have some sort of captcha-dyslexia. If so, who can I sue?

Anonymous said...

"What's happened to the 'captcha' ?

The puzzles were getting tougher and yougher - especially for a poor myope like me."

Obviously, we don't myopes around these parts. Move along.

Anonymous said...

To the guy using the name J, I just checked out your blog entry: http://h2oreuse.blogspot.com/2014/01/israel-in-difficult-situation.html

You don't find it a tiny bit hypocritical to openly call for the deportation of foreigners who wash dishes in one country yet defend foreigners that don't wash dishes but instead are in charge of its finances as if that is of no consequence.

Speaking of the African immigrants protesting in Israel right now, I am surprised that he has not mentioned it.

Hail said...

I'm surprised nobody mentioned Israel-U.S. dual citizen Michael Chertoff. See here: "Michael Chertoff's Childhood in Israel"

Simon in London said...

Bashar Assad for US President! I'd say Vladimir Putin, but he might regard it as a step down.

Anonymous said...

Yes, because young girls everywhere eagerly keep track of the Fed Board of Governors. Those guys are like rock stars. Chicks just drop their panties at the mere hint of some alpha having co-ethnics who vote on the level of quarterly central bank bond purchases. Talk about an aphrodisiac!

Well, the head of the International Monetary Fund certainly shared your point of view.

leftist conservative said...

why don't americans say anything about this? Well, because the media is not making an issue over it.

And if the media does not make an issue over it, americans do not talk about it. That in and of itself is a phenomenon well worthy of discussion, but no one but me wants to to discuss it.

Now, as for why the media does not touch this issue--because such journalists would be called anti-semites and be fired, and then be broke and homeless, which is a Bad Thing.

Now, why will they be called anti-semites? Well, because of programmed pavlovian automatic responses generated by word associations. Hitler's Revenge and all that....

Oh, too complicated?

OK, because of socialism and cultural marxism and liberals, that's why!

foseti said...

It's certainly reasonable to discuss whether appointing foreigners to governmental posts in the US is a good idea or not.

However, it should be noted that other countries regularly appoint central bankers from foreign nations without worrying about conflicting loyalties.

(In my experience, at meetings of central bank staff from around the world, the US is notable for actually employing some Americans - though still not all that many. Since staff generally does all the work, the ship you're worried might sail has probably already been at sea for quite some time).

In addition, the "independence" of Israel is certainly debatable. Frankly, I think it'd be a step in the right direction if we starting appointing officials from our client states (which is to say most of the world).

Finally, assuming for some reason that an Israeli would want to undermine the US monetary system (a logical leap that I can't quite make without some assistance), could he really do a better job than the Bernanke/Yellin crowd has been doing?

Big Bill said...

"What's happened to the 'captcha' ? The puzzles were getting tougher and tougher - especially for a poor myope like me."

You never have to guess the blurry number right. Just put down some stray numerals of any length.

The blurry number is a house number taken from Google street view pictures.

Google is building a database of all the house numbers in the world to better track us.

Anonymous said...

Accepting a policy-level position in a foreign government may put US citizenship at risk. One needs to show intent of retaining US citizenship, e.g. traveling on a US passport, filing US tax returns, voting in US elections. I don't know, but Fischer likely did this. It's not easy to lose US citizenship, the IRS needs all the taxpayers it can get.

Anonymous said...

The Jewish chutzputsch.

Svigor said...

ANTI-SEMITE!!!

Svigor said...

It's the ultimate truimph of trendy thinking and 'globalisation'. You see 'nationality' is held - by the people who matter - to be of no importance anymore, (hence insane immigration policies), except, curiously, in times of warfare and crisis.

I repeat myself, the prevailing zeitgeits amongst the trendies who hold all the power and influence over the politicians, is that 'nationality' is 'oh so 19th century' and a minor matter compared to the semi-mythical 'global pool of talent' that big business should have the unalienable right to dip into, in the name of the great god of neoliberalism.
Politicians being vain and shallow people are cowed by the bombast of the corporate sponsored loudmouths, and fall in with the nonsense, even when it is plainly absurd,, because it's trendy, that's why, and politicians above all else sake validation on their 'smartnes' by those who matter.


Except in Israel. For every smart Jew in the world, there are several Chinese who are significantly smarter. But the Jews are xenophobic racist bigots who despise meritocracy and fear competition, so, no Chinese immigration for Israel.

Anonymous said...

A good write-up. That's why tools like "DR" are freaking.

anony-mouse said...

Lafayette seems to have gone back and forth between France and the US in high military service.

Not exactly unknown.

Anonymous said...

I don't think people have been buffaloed. It is more a matter of the country being dead and buried so no point wasting time or energy trying to resurrect it. Some may think we need a Bourbon monarchy but they would probably see the hopelessness of attempting to resurrect it.

US citizenship has been rendered meaningless. The President is a 1/2 Kenyan named Barack Obama. Most births in the country are to foreigners. No point trying to pretend there is still a country and nation.

Anonymous said...

"Talk about an aphrodisiac!"


These top economists !

http://www.businessinsider.com/heleen-mees-emails-to-willem-buiter-2013-12

Anonymous said...

What's happened to the 'captcha' ?


About the captchas... I now just assume the first one is unreadable (it usually is) and just hit the captcha refresh button until I get an all numeric captcha, which is usually quite readable. The real captcha now is to discard the unreadable captchas?

Anonymous said...

It's kind of like Jürgen Klinsmann being appointed to head coach of the US National Soccer Team.

Anonymous said...

http://weaselzippers.us/unc-professor-receiving-death-threats-for-revealing-low-reading-ability-of-student-athletes/

"In a CNN story this week, Mary Willingham said her research of 183 football or basketball players at UNC from 2004-12 found 60 percent reading at fourth- to eighth-grade levels and roughly 10 percent below a third-grade level. She said she worked with one men’s basketball player early in her 10-year tenure who couldn’t read or write."

Udolpho.com said...

DR's point would be valid if there were no such thing as nations which had an interest in a balanced, egalitarian economy (i.e. one with a large middle class). The race to the price bottom benefits large global corps that can sell cheap and make profits at volume, and in turn pressuring wages down. Of course the executive ranks make out like robber barons. This sounds great to libertarians and people whose main social interaction is through the Internet (overlapping sets). It sounds awful to someone like me who wants to live in a community where a lot of people find a place and do valuable work, as opposed to living paycheck to paycheck and running up credit debt when something bad happens like an illness.

Anonymous said...

The best analogue I can think of is Andy Pettitte. Born in Louisiana, his family moved to Texas as child. Pettitte pitched his first nine seasons with the New York Yankees and won four World Series and six AL pennants. In his early thirties, he turned down a larger contract offer from the Yankees to play closer to home in Houston. After three years with the Astros, Pettitte returned to the Yankees on a one year contract and ended up playing another four years with them. Then he retired for a year before coming back to play two more. He retired for the second time last September.

Auntie Analogue said...


Canadian Mick Carney's appointment to head the Bank of England is not unusual or remarkable, and it does not form a correlate to the appointment of dual citizenship-holding Stanley Fischer to the number two post at the U.S. Fed.

Canadian press baron Lord Beaverbrook (Max Aitken) was a British MP and in WWI and WWII held powerful British cabinet posts.

Then there's the only non-Briton to have been British Prime Minister, the Canadian Andrew Bonar Law (1922-23),

Canada, Australia, New Zealand all have the British monarch as head of state, and those countries and several others are members of the British Commonwealth. It's not unusual or remarkable for individuals from Commonwealth countries to hold political and other powerful posts in Britain.

David said...

Von Braun is a bad example because his first government no longer existed when he arrived on US shores. Last I looked, Israel was still around.

Thomas O. Meehan said...

The case of Mark Carney, a high-level Canadian central banker appointed to head Bank of England is indeed instructive. But it is so in a way not helpful to Fischer's defenders.

Canada is a member of the Commonwealth, is still largely populated by former British Isles natives and shares a common culture, language (the French exception duly noted), and legal norms with the UK. They are connected by history and it is quite common for high ranking people in the UK establishment to have Canadian links/origins. Finally, the Queen is the titular head of state of both countries.

We have nothing in common with the rogue state of Israel. Period.

It's interesting to see the defense of Fischer's case here, in as much as such a defense lends credence to the perception that for Jews ethnic solidarity trumps all other loyalties.

ok then said...

He [Stanley Fischer] has spent more quality time in economic research with Yellin than Steve in bed with his wife.

I concede that Mr. Sailer has probably spent very little time in bed with Stanley Fischer's wife.

Jim O said...

grammar alert:


As the most dynamic figure in the German-American community, Lincoln made the orator a general in Union Army . . .

Lincoln was not the most dynamic figure in the German-American community.

David said...

>What's "the real question," Mr. Sailer? Please ask it slowly and precisely, so that your readers will know exactly what's worrying you? <

He asked it in the sentence that followed. I am surprised that your reading comprehension is so poor.

Anonymous said...

Re: Alexander Hamilton

He was born on a British island colony, not in North America. But by participating in the American Revolution, he pretty much put his head in a noose, and linked his future, for better or worse, to the newly formed United States. I don't put him in the same category as Fischer.

TGGP said...

Boosting exports is a commonly given reason for the effectiveness of devaluation. But that's selling it way short. In situations like the recent downturn, its main benefit is boosting the domestic economy (which is typically larger than exports, though a small country like Israel may be more reliant on exports). In fact, its usually bad for a country when the economy of its trading partner shrinks (just ask Canada, which is heavily reliant on U.S trade). Rather than being a zero (negative) sum "beggar thy neighbor" competition, monetary expansion can lift all boats. In the current context, I'd expect the weakness of the Eurozone and (pre Abe) Japanese economies where harming America.

As for whether someone would be accepted back after they took a high position elsewhere, I expect Mark Carney would if/when he comes back from the BoE. He's regarded as having done a good job in Canada.

The magnitude of errors & own-goals resulting from inept monetary policy dwarf "whose side you're on" stuff in that area. The Federal Reserve has screwed things up on a large scale a number of times in its history, and none of those instances are attributable to dual loyalty.

Anonymous said...

as an Anglo Saxon, all things equal who would you trust as No. 2 Fed, an Anglo born in India, or the UK, or Ireland or an Askanazi born here? same goes with israel and jews...

lol said...

took me all day to get the captcha alright

Philip Neal said...

A year or two ago the magazine of my old school published a note from a man who emigrated to the USA, took American citizenship and held a job in the defence industry. He was not required to renounce British nationality and in fact retained it, but he had to sign a statement that he would side with the USA in the event of a war between the two countries. Sounds reasonable to me. Will Fischer be made to do the same?

Anonymous said...

About captchas: There are absolutely differences in degrees of difficulty from site to site, and the ones here (supplied by Google according to Steve) are harder than most.


This site caters to the high IQ crowd!

Honestly, I find the latest number based captcha to be easier than the previous alphabet based one.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Yes, installing von Braun atop our Moon-landing project was somewhat analogous to installing Stanley Fischer high in the Fed, and one may argue whether space or financial catastrophe presents the more fearful possibility."

Actually it is not analagous at all. For one thing, I believe that Von Braun completely renounced his German citizenship when he became an American citizen. Certainly, he spent the rest of his life in the U.S., working for the Federal government and then for the Fairchild corporation.

Secondly, Von Braun was not in charge of the Apollo program, nor was he even second in charge. He was the director of one NASA field center, charged with one element of the program, building the booster - an important part, to be sure, but not the only one.

Thirdly, going to the Moon was not really all that important. It was a cold-war stunt. It is not nearly as important to the near-term well-being of the nation as is monetary policy. In the long run - who knows? - but in the near-term, as in - up to the present day - Apollo wasn't that important. But monetary policy still is.

Mr. Anon said...

"DR said...

Except basic logic. If the price of the things that people buy goes down they have more purchasing power, ergo the value of their earnings goes up and they're better off. Like I said this is Econ 101."

The value of thier earnings is nothing if they have no earnings - because, say, they lost thier job when the factory they worked at was closed. We've heard the kind of crap you're peddling for thirty years now - the brilliant future that awaits us all in the global economy. Where is it? All I see is a nation in decline. Actually, your allies like Thomas Friedman and Tyler Cowen have recently started revealing the truth - that the future for a lot of people will consist of eating beans and driving hack-cabs.

You Homo-Economus types are all the same: you think about nothing but money, and know nothing of anything else.

Geoff Matthews said...

Mark Carney is a subject of the British crown, so his appointment isn't as much of a stretch. There is no formal political connection between Israel and the US.

Anonymous said...

What's "the real question," Mr. Sailer?

Don't know about Sailer, but for me:

"Is it good for the Americans?"

That simple enough for you?

Anonymous said...

"America wants our 'rock star banker' Stanley Fischer"

Songs that come to mind:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8wi7j22KzE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qFYmsuC01c

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAD6Obi7Cag

Anonymous said...

Actually, your allies like Thomas Friedman and Tyler Cowen have recently started revealing the truth - that the future for a lot of people will consist of eating beans and driving hack-cabs.

You Homo-Economus types are all the same: you think about nothing but money, and know nothing of anything else.


They don't seem to know much about money either, in the sense of promoting the prosperity of our people/community.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit late with this and it my not quite fit the bill. J.C.Smuts Prime Minister of South Africa. He had served with Winston Churchill in World War I, and had developed a personal and professional rapport. Smuts was invited to the Imperial War Cabinet in 1939 as the most senior South African in favour of war. On 24 May 1941 Smuts was appointed a field marshal of the British Army,[50]
Smuts' importance to the Imperial war effort was emphasised by a quite audacious plan, proposed as early as 1940, to appoint Smuts as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, should Churchill die or otherwise become incapacitated during the war. This idea was put by Sir John Colville, Churchill's private secretary, to Queen Mary and then to George VI, both of whom warmed to the idea.[51]
In 1931, Smuts became the first President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science not from the United Kingdom. In that year, he was also elected the second non-British Lord Rector of St Andrews University (after Fridtjof Nansen). In 1948, he was elected Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, becoming the first person from outside the United Kingdom to hold that position. He held the position until his death.[62] Wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

"that the future for a lot of people will consist of eating beans and driving hack-cabs."

By any beans necessary.

Anonymous said...

I'm a lean bean eating machine.

Anonymous said...

https://www.google.com/webhp?source=search_app#q=tyler+cowen+beans&safe=off

beanonomics

Anonymous said...

http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2013/12/tyler-cowens-west-bank-ethnic-dining-guide.html

Uh oh, are we all turning Palestinian?

"Foul is fava beans. (pronounced “fool”)"

Anonymous said...

https://tylercowensethnicdiningguide.com/?attachment_id=1347

Why, thank you, Mr. Cowen.

Anonymous said...

"What's wrong with Americans these days that almost all of us are too buffaloed to notice?"

Some guesses:

What you don't have to fight for, you just take for granted and it seems worth little, why not give it away, it will always be there, right? Right? Look at Ireland, fighting for independence for what, nearly a 1000 years, finally getting it... and now seemingly fine with high immigration and giving away Irish citizenship.


Americans noticed that participatory democracy didn't work if federal judges felt otherwise and also noticed that more and more federal judges are advocates on a mission.

The government has the power of the computer. The IRS and NSA without doubt know more about us as a whole than any previous government in history. It's getting real hard to fight city hall. Inconveniences happen, sorry about those closed lanes.

Computers made it possible for politicians to gerrymander really well. They can now elect their voters, resulting in a government in which the will of individial voters doesn't seem to have much effect.

It's also obvious that the government, with a lot of help from those afore-mentioned judges, screwed up big time about basic assumptions on some of it's dominant goals. (Say, bussing will close the Gap.) Too many people aligned with the government (the elite, I suppose you can call them) have too much invested in these positions. If they admit to being wrong about such basic things, it calls too much into question. So true "big issue" discussions are off the table.

There's too much badly-done obfusicatory news. "If you can't dazzel them with knowledge, baffle them with BS." We are drowing in computer-amplified BS news.

Setting the voting age to 18 didn't help. It just amplified the ease of selling voters good-sounding BS versus having the voters participate with a sense that they had real skin-in-the-game. (Of course, open immigration would continue to contribute to this as well.)

Anonymous said...

The Federal Reserve has screwed things up on a large scale a number of times in its history, and none of those instances are attributable to dual loyalty.

I agree totally; those are mostly cases of mere incompetence.

But how do incompetent Jews hold such a tight grip on those top jobs?

Anonymous said...

To the guy using the name J, I just checked out your blog entry: http://h2oreuse.blogspot.com/2014/01/israel-in-difficult-situation.html

You don't find it a tiny bit hypocritical to openly call for the deportation of foreigners who wash dishes in one country yet defend foreigners that don't wash dishes but instead are in charge of its finances as if that is of no consequence.


If you've read J's comments and posts, you'll notice that he doesn't just defend people like Fischer in the US, but other kinds of foreigners in the US, including the type that wash dishes, while calling for dishwashing foreigners to be deported from Israel.

Anonymous said...

The Federal Reserve has screwed things up on a large scale a number of times in its history, and none of those instances are attributable to dual loyalty.

I agree totally; those are mostly cases of mere incompetence.


Not necessarily incompetence. Fed governors, given their backgrounds, may have different priorities and risk outlooks. For example, they may place a higher priority on preventing pogroms in the short-term. They may see the probability and magnitude of pogroms as greater than someone from a different group might.

Anonymous said...

I agree totally; those are mostly cases of mere incompetence.

But how do incompetent Jews hold such a tight grip on those top jobs?


It helps to have the media on your side, bleating non-stop about how much of a "rockstar" and "genius" you are. The same media that's able to portray some guy loosely connected to a highway lane closing scandal as the most evil man in the world.

Anonymous said...

J wrote:

In fact, thousands [of African immigrants in Israel] are applying for refugee status in European embassies in Israel. They are persecuted in Israel.

K wrote:

I think that's the perfect solution. All the Africans should flee to the Swedish Embassy and receive asylum in Stockholm. A win-win-win situation. The Africans won't have to wash dishes any more and can live on Swedish welfare, Israel gets rid of a future population bomb and the Swedes get to feel morally superior.

J replied:

I second K's proposal.

http://h2oreuse.blogspot.com/2014/01/israel-in-difficult-situation.html

Anonymous said...

Fellow readers, we have the great privilege to post comments on one of the most brilliant blogs; could you please avoid complaining about captchas, which are not IQ tests, but merely require slightly above average lecture comprehension.

Only then can you make fun of these guys.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

They don't seem to know much about money either, in the sense of promoting the prosperity of our people/community."

Perhaps what they consider to be their people and their community is not our people and our community.

David Davenport said...

Secondly, Von Braun was not in charge of the Apollo program, nor was he even second in charge. He was the director of one NASA field center, charged with one element of the program, building the booster - an important part, to be sure, but not the only one

That is correct. Baron Von Braun's fiefdom was NASA's Marshall Center for Spaceflight [ propulsion], located at the metropolis of Huntsville, Alabama, where he and his team were responsible for the Saturn rockets. Ok, granted, Von Braun and his men also had a lot of say-so about Saturn launch operations at Cape Canaveral.

Von Braun never was Director ( i.e., head man ) of NASA, not during project Apollo and not after.

Undiluted American James Webb was Director of NASA during Project Apollo. He was the real NASA boss, not a chair warmer.

Everybody knows about Von Braun because Von Braun was a hog for publicity. Other people involved in Project Apollo resented him for that.

The lunar landing module and the macro-architecture of the mission was not Von Braun's idea. He wanted the Earth to Moon vehicle to land on the Moon, as in classic science fiction. Von Braun was overruled on that.

Tom Kelly of Grumman aircraft had the idea for the lunar landing module.

MQ said...

The closest analogy to this is Mark Carney's recent appointment as head of the Bank of England. Carney is Canadian and the former head of the Bank of Canada. The world of top financial regulators is heavily globalized. Fischer was an academic insider in the U.S. for a long time; he has a pre-existing relationship with Yellen who apparently wanted him.

Israel is much too small a country for decisions of its central bank to have any realistic impact on the U.S. economy.

I find the examples of interpenetration between U.S. and Israeli national security bureaucracies to be much more disturbing...

David Davenport said...

In fairness to Von Braun, his greatest contribution to Project Apollo may have been his role as salesman and impresario for the Moon project.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1/12/14, 3:53 PM wrote:

But how do incompetent Jews hold such a tight grip on those top jobs?

The Fed screwed up before Jews had a lock on it. It's only since Greenspan's appointment in 1987 that there has been a lengthy run of Jewish Fed chairmen.

Anonymous said...

No big deal, but I wonder why you didn't say Canada instead of Prince Edward Island for that one fellow?

Steve Sailer said...

So, any precedent in American history for somebody moving directly from the top role in his field in a foreign power's government to one of the top two roles in the U.S. government?

Anonymous said...

I'm not quite sure that the Canadian Carney's appointment as governor of the Bank of England is apposite . Canadians ( and Australians and New Zealanders for that matter ) are not foreigners strictly speaking under UK law

Doesn't ( these days )give them a right to residence but they do have the right to vote . This arrangement was once reciprocated among these countries but that is no longer the case

Philip Neal said...

Former member of Parliament Louise Mensch proposes to bear simultaneous allegiance to the Queen and the United States. She has not ruled out a move into American politics.

"Having parsed the words very carefully," Mensch said, "they call for me to renounce my allegiance to any 'prince, potentate, state or sovereignty', and since Her Majesty is none such, I do not regard them as being treacherous."

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/sep/22/louise-mensch-us-citizenship

Anonymous said...

"It's only since Greenspan's appointment in 1987 that there has been a lengthy run of Jewish Fed chairmen."

Was Volcker part Jewish?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Volcker

Volcker was born in Cape May, New Jersey, the son of Alma Louise (née Klippel) and Paul Adolph Volcker.[4][5] All of his grandparents were German immigrants.[4] Volcker grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey, where his father was the township's first municipal manager. As a child, he attended his mother's Lutheran church, while his father went to an Episcopal church. Volcker graduated from Teaneck High School in 1945.[6]

-----

Was his mother a converted Jew?

Bill said...


Anonymous said . . .
The same media that's able to portray some guy loosely connected to a highway lane closing scandal as the most evil man in the world.

"highway lane-closing scandal."

How do you have a scandal about something this utterly trivial in the first place? The level of control our overlords have of the dialogue in the US is mind-boggling.

Matthew said...

"The Fed screwed up before Jews had a lock on it. It's only since Greenspan's appointment in 1987 that there has been a lengthy run of Jewish Fed chairmen."

So, no economic catastrophes since 1987, eh? No recession in 1991, or 2000, and nothing of note happened around 2007/08?

Holy shit, you're fucking dense.

Bourbon said...

"Mark Carney is a subject of the British crown, so his appointment isn't as much of a stretch. There is no formal political connection between Israel and the US."

Wrong wrong wrong! It's our unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Middle East!!! It's home to dozens upon dozens of American Air Force ready to inflict destruction on America's Middle Eastern enemies on a moment's notice!

Matthew said...

The blurry number is a house number taken from Google street view pictures. Google is building a database of all the house numbers in the world to better track us.

The captchas got rid of the numbers a while ago. For what it' worth, I always deliberately typed in the wrong number on those.