January 11, 2014

Will nomination of Israeli official to Fed be "controversial?"

As I've often remarked, the word "controversial" has undergone a striking metamorphosis over my lifetime. From reading the Los Angeles Times in, say, 1967-1974, I recall that the word "controversial" was then a mark of approval: it was headline shorthand for new, exciting, forward-thinking, and, most of all, sexy.

Today, "controversial" usually means disreputable, derisible, and demonizable. (This may have something to do with the winners of 1967-1974 being more or less still in charge of our culture in 2014.)

So, it will be interesting to see how Obama's nomination of Stanley Fischer, until recently head central banker for the Israeli government, to be Vice Chairman of the U.S. government's Federal Reserve Board will be treated in the American mainstream press.

Will Obama's nomination of an Israeli dual-citizen be described as "controversial?"

Or, will any skepticism of the nomination be shunted aside as "controversial?"

Or, will the whole thing simply be treated as not being controversial at all, that everybody knows that high-ranking foreign government officials routinely become high-ranking U.S. government officials (even if it's hard to think of too many examples), so this is just a dog-bites-man business-as-usual story and no reason at all to distract the public's attention from the Really Big National News, the important issues you must think about, such as lane-closures in New Jersey?

From Google News about 30 hours after word that the President would nominate Fischer went on the news:
"Chris Christie" controversial: "About 70,900 results (0.24 seconds)"
"Stanley Fischer" controversial: "19 results (0.22 seconds)"

57 comments:

David said...

>Will Obama's nomination of a Israeli dual-citizen be described as "controversial?"

Or, will any skepticism of the nomination be shunted aside as "controversial?"

Or, will the whole thing simply be treated as not being controversial at all<

Answer:

Curtain #2 in NYT, WSJ, WP, and other "elite" media, for a two-day period max.

Curtain #3 everywhere else, including Fox where it will be Christie, Kardashian, and "lazy hippies refuse to get a job" 24/7.

Anonymous said...

"Stanley", what an unusual Hebrew name.

Look, Fischer is an American. The real controversy runs the other way: why the Israeli government hired a foreigner for a top position.

bjdubbs said...

JK Galbraith once negotiated both sides of a US-Canada trade dispute.

Anonymous said...

Ted Cruz is renouncing his Canadian citizenship, Fischer should renounce his Israeli citizenship.


goatweed

Anonymous said...

Nothing is 'controversial' by itself. It has to be declared as such by the powers-that-be.

It's like 'extreme'. One time, the idea of 'gay marriage' was not only extreme but loony tunes. Today, opposing 'gay marriage' is said to be 'extreme' while 'gay marriage' is promoted as the 'new normal'.

'Controversy' can have positive or negative connotations. It can mean something provocative,fascinating, worthy of debate, and etc in a free society.
Or, it can mean something threatening, destabilizing, and disturbing.

In art and culture, stuff that subverts conservatism and tradition is said to be 'controversial'--good--, whereas stuff that attacks and questions Jews, blacks, and etc. is said to be 'hateful'.

A lot of Jews went from being provocative to being preventative, from being controversial against wasp power to being consensus-enforcing with their own power.

White ruled South Africa was said to be plain evil whereas Jewish-ruled Israel/Palestine is said to be, well, sort of 'controversial'.
So, there's no need to debate the past and future of South Africa. Whites were bad, blacks and Jewish communists were good.
But when it comes to Ziotheid in Israel/Palestine, it's a matter of 'controversy', and we should keep debating instead of being 'simple-minded' in a cops and robbers way.

Anonymous said...

Look, Fischer is an American. The real controversy runs the other way: why the Israeli government hired a foreigner for a top position.

Stanley Fischer is Israeli.

Dave Pinsen said...

Is Fischer the first African American on the Fed board of governors?

Anonymous said...

Steve these last few posts are ugly and uncharacteristic of your normal good work. Though frankly you're worst on the topic of supposed Jewish dual loyalty and separately on macroeconomics. With fisher you're writing about both.

Basically there are two spectrums of thought at the Fed. The first is, how much inflation should we have. The second is how much should we subsidize the giant banks.

On both issues, Jews are unsurprisingly the leaders of all four possible factions.

Janet Yellen and Fisher are with the angels on both spectrums, favoring both more inflation to help the struggling debt burdened middle class, and both critics of Wall Street transfers.

Summers and Geithner both were much more friendly to wall street, and all then leading republicans were even worse.

As for inflation, moderate inflation is strongly correlated with middle class prosperity and low unemployment. in every country with a strong growing economy and rising living standards since 1950, you'll see inflation of 3 to 7 percent. In every country with inflation below 1% you have stagnation and mass unemployment.

Anonymous said...

really I'm worried about you. suddenly something Derbyshire wrote many years ago popped into my head:

One evening early on in my career as an opinion journalist in the USA, I found myself in a roomful of mainstream conservative types standing around in groups and gossiping. Because I was new to the scene, many of the names they were tossing about were unknown to me, so I could not take much part in the conversation. Then I caught one name that I recognized. I had just recently read and admired a piece published in Chronicles under that name. I gathered from the conversation that the owner of the name had once been a regular contributor to much more widely read conservative publications, the kind that have salaried congressional correspondents and full-service LexisNexis accounts, but that he was welcome at those august portals no longer. In all innocence, I asked why this was so. “Oh,” explained one of my companions, “he got the Jew thing.” The others in our group all nodded their understanding. Apparently no further explanation was required. The Jew thing. It was said in the kind of tone you might use of an automobile with a cracked engine block, or a house with subsiding foundations. Nothing to be done with him, poor fellow. No use to anybody now. Got the Jew thing. They shoot horses, don’t they?

Plainly, getting the Jew thing was a sort of occupational hazard of conservative journalism in the United States, an exceptionally lethal one, which the career-wise writer should strive to avoid. I resolved that I would do my best, so far as personal integrity allowed, not to get the Jew thing. I had better make it clear to the reader that at the time of writing, I have not yet got the Jew thing—that I am in fact a philoSemite and a well-wisher of Israel, for reasons I have explained in various places, none of them difficult for the nimble web surfer to find.

Anonymous said...

Look, Fischer is an American. The real controversy runs the other way: why the Israeli government hired a foreigner for a top position.

I agree. Dual citizenship is a terrible idea.

Anonymous said...

Is Fischer the first African American on the Fed board of governors?

Curious--has there ever been an black American on the board?

Anonymous said...

"Is Fischer the first African American on the Fed board of governors?"

Roger Ferguson was vice-chairman.

Anonymous said...

Steve google results vary depending on your own surfing and search history.I get:

"stanley fischer" controversial, About 74,000 results (0.47 seconds)

"chris christie" controversialAbout, 252,000,000 results (0.31 seconds)

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 3:10 PM said: Look, Fischer is an American.

Hunsdon said: Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Exhibit Two in why I don't buy the old trope (or is it a canard?) of "big Hebrew brains." (Exhibit One is Whiskey!)

anony-mouse said...

Is it wrong for the US government to hire Israeli citizen Stanley Fischer for a high government post?

Is it wrong for the US government to hire Zambian citizen Stanley Fischer for a high government post?

I'll believe that this is all about 'dual citizenship' when I start reading the latter.

Perspective said...

Don't worry about any controversy, economists are "thrilled":
http://www.businessinsider.com/stanley-fischer-resume-and-achievements-2014-1

Anonymous said...

Good article here: http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/12/aipacs-fed-candidate-stanley-fischer-on-a-warpath-against-iran/ " if Fischer can be "wedged" into the Fed, it begs the question of why former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. and historian Michael Oren could not someday lead the Near East division of the State Department. From AIPAC’s perspective, having qualified Israelis directly run key divisions of the U.S. Treasury such as Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, rather than indirectly through AIPAC-vetted appointees such as Stuart Levey and his hand-picked successor David Cohen, could probably boost the volume of taxpayer give-aways while improving coordination with Israel. Given AIPAC and Israel’s overly large influence on U.S. military initiatives in the region, the lobby may now feel the moment is right for appointing Israeli generals into the Joint Chiefs at the Department of Defense."

Anonymous said...

Steve, you're one of the best writers around, but you might want to cut back on using the word "striking" and its variations. Unless, of course, it's one of your signature words, and I missed that.

wiseguy

Anonymous said...

From Google News about 30 hours after word that the President would nominate Fischer went on the news:
"Chris Christie" controversial: "About 70,900 results (0.24 seconds)"
"Stanley Fischer" controversial: "19 results (0.22 seconds)"


False analogy. Christie is an elected politician. Fischer is an expert in monetary policy who was appointed for meritocratic reasons.

Whiskey said...

Controversial is the notion of a nation state, citizenship, and a people. Non controversial is the opposite, the EU, open borders, trans national elites, etc.

Steve Sailer said...

"Steve google results vary depending on your own surfing and search history.I get ..."

I'm looking just at Google News -- i.e., news sites.

Anonymous said...

" in every country with a strong growing economy and rising living standards since 1950, you'll see inflation of 3 to 7 percent. In every country with inflation below 1% you have stagnation and mass unemployment."

If you're that wrong about the economic record, which is publicly available and known to many, how can you possibly be right about intra-Fed politics, which are much more obscure, partly because they are conducted behind closed doors?

Like everyone who knows anything about economics I was aware that inflation was very low and GDP growth was high during the Kennedy administration, for example, but I had to turn to the Wikipedia for the actual numbers:

GDP expanded by an average of 5.5% from early 1961 to late 1963,[177] while inflation remained steady at around 1% and unemployment eased.[178]

Germany had low inflation during its post-WWII boom. Japan had low inflation while it was booming in the 1980s. I just looked up China, and it seems that from 1998 to 2003 its inflation rate fluctuated around 0%. China was booming through the roof in those years.

A government that wishes its people well would always aim at price stability. It's not always attainable, of course. Actually aiming for inflation is evidence of malfeasance in my eyes.

anony-mouse said...

BTW Albert Gallatin, the longest serving Treasury Secretary ever was part of a family lots of whose members served in a variety of government positions in Europe.

Anonymous said...

Fischer is an expert in monetary policy who was appointed for meritocratic reasons.

How do we know he was appointed for meritocratic reasons? What were these reasons, are they transparently listed somewhere?

Maybe the real reason is that he was in the "rolodex" of everyone who knew anything about this position?

If you did a blind national search based on the same measure of merit, what is the probability he would have been selected? (I imagine it would actually be fairly high because there are probably many "gating windows"... though one wonders about how technical these windows really are and how much of it is politics. These days your selection pool might end up all looking pretty similar.)

Anonymous said...

Steve these last few posts are ugly and uncharacteristic of your normal good work.

"Ugly." Steve shouldn't write about anything "ugly". What a Nice White Lady word. What a Nice White Lady thought.

And Steve, normally you're such a dear, I love you man, I'm all about you... I'll love you super more if you don't write about anything I tell you is "ugly". I'm sure you'll figure it out, you seem like a pretty smart guy, after all.

Your reward will be to be loved by me! And there can be no higher reward, right? Who could ask for more than attention from me? Feel the Love! Down with the Ugly! Align with the In Clique! Don't be Square! Come the Revolution!

TGGP said...

I don't disagree with your bottom line, but when doing this comparison you really should compare to how many hits you get without "controversial". Christie is just more well known because he's a governor (a Republican one of a deep blue state) and considered a Presidential front-runner. Also, fat (unusual for a prominent pol these days).

Anonymous #2 is sort of correct (Fisher was born in Northern Angola), but Israel also reportedly reached out to Larry Summers for such a role. They evidently have little problem with hiring foreigners, perhaps because they're a small country and constantly seeking to persuade Jews (and apparently not terribly Jewish Russians) to move there. But Israel may not be that unusual. The Bank of England recently recruited Canada's Mark Carney, and India's getting Ragu from the University of Chicago.

"How do we know he was appointed for meritocratic reasons?"
I guess we can never know for certain what lurks in the heart of men, but he was actually head of a central bank. That's a pretty rare experience, and he apparently did a good job of it. He's not going to be chairman (that's Yellen), but actually running a central bank seems like it should be enough to get a spot at the table.

TGGP said...

goatweed, Cruz is expected to run for President, and that position is restricted to natural born citizens (and those born when we were still a colony, if you want to get technical). Fischer's position is not, nor is he even running for election.

ogunsiron said...

to anonymous hasbara-ing sayanim :

John Derbyshire had admitted to jewcy.com that jewish power is real.
I think that he's decided that he had other things to do in life than to fight against it, but he's aware it exists.
By relating that tale about the disagraced conservative Sobran, he's alluding to it.

Reg C├Žsar said...

Steve, you're one of the best writers around, but you might want to cut back on using the word "striking" and its variations. Unless, of course, it's one of your signature words, and I missed that. --wiseguy

In that case, the ultimate iSteveism would be "not terribly striking". But I found 85-90 instances on Google, and none of them were Steve's.

Anonymous said...

"I don't disagree with your bottom line, but when doing this comparison you really should compare to how many hits you get without "controversial". Christie is just more well known because he's a governor (a Republican one of a deep blue state) and considered a Presidential front-runner. Also, fat (unusual for a prominent pol these days)."


Trust me. If his name were Stanley Fong or Stanley Ahmed, there would be a HUGE controversy, not least because of the Eskimo media.

Remember when Dubai was supposed to but the rights to some port?
It was on TALK RADIO 24/7 and Limbaugh got hell for supporting the deal.

Anonymous said...

(Fisher was born in Northern Angola), but Israel also reportedly reached out to Larry Summers for such a role. They evidently have little problem with hiring foreigners

Both Fischer and Summers held a right to Israeli citizenship from birth.

They effectively are natural born Israeli citizens.

Anonymous said...

"Steve these last few posts are ugly and uncharacteristic of your normal good work."

Adjectology. Not only ugly but odious, noxious, rabid, virulent, toxic, extreme, etc.

In a sane world, the real outrage should be the total media and political blackout about this matter.

Instead, the commenter finds a great UGLY wrong in a few posts by a blogger whose mission is to delve into stuff the MSM won't.

If you want 'pretty', stick with MSNBC and Slate.

Anonymous said...

Steve these last few posts are ugly

It's difficult work, but we need somebody to do it.

Anonymous said...

"Fischer is an expert in monetary policy who was appointed for meritocratic reasons."

I don't doubt he's a very smart guy.
But choices like this are more than about meritocracy--as surely there are equally talented people to manage such stuff.

It's about national interest. We need a guy whose undivided loyalty is to the US. When someone who's so close to another nation is allowed to handle the purse of the nation, I think it's madness.

But whaddya expect from a nation that elected a punk who attended Wright's church for 20 yrs?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous #2 is sort of correct (Fisher was born in Northern Angola)"

No, I am not sort of right, I am right. Fisher came to America in his early 20s and spent all his life, virtually through retirement age, in America. This makes him American in the eyes of everyone except few fringers.

I guarantee you that in Israel no one ever thought of Fisher other than as American.

Anonymous said...

http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-five-worst-fighter-aircraft-all-time-9695

Anonymous said...

"Look, Fischer is an American. The real controversy runs the other way: why the Israeli government hired a foreigner for a top position."

Israel automatically gives every foreign Jew the right to become an Israeli citizen, that already did not make him a foreigner. Even without that law, he was as foreign as a Chinese Malaysian would be going back to the Chinese mainland.

roundeye said...

The current US Abassador to the UN is a dual citizen with Ireland. I think that ginger is a lunatic but no real conflict.

Hunsdon said...

Anonydroid at 4:49 PM said: Janet Yellen and Fisher are with the angels on both spectrums, favoring both more inflation to help the struggling debt burdened middle class, and both critics of Wall Street transfers.

Hunsdon said: Fischer. For God's sake (or for G-d's sake), spell the man's name right.

Anonydroid at 4:54 PM said: really I'm worried about you.

Hunsdon said: How do you say "concern troll" in Hebrew?

same Anonydroid, quoting Derb: Plainly, getting the Jew thing was a sort of occupational hazard of conservative journalism in the United States, an exceptionally lethal one, which the career-wise writer should strive to avoid.

Hunsdon emphasized: "which the career-wise writer should strive to avoid" kind of gives away the game, doesn't it? Nice little career you got there. Be a shame if something happened to it.




Svigor said...

Look, Fischer is an American. The real controversy runs the other way: why the Israeli government hired a foreigner for a top position.

Like Jonathan Pollard.

Svigor said...

I guess we can never know for certain what lurks in the heart of men, but he was actually head of a central bank. That's a pretty rare experience, and he apparently did a good job of it. He's not going to be chairman (that's Yellen), but actually running a central bank seems like it should be enough to get a spot at the table.

Ahahahaha, I love it! If you're shopping around for a new head of CIA or the like, and you want someone who's actually headed a national intelligence agency, you're going to be looking at former heads of KGB, ISI, Mossad, whatever they call the secret police in China, etc. Brilliant!

Israel automatically gives every foreign Jew the right to become an Israeli citizen, that already did not make him a foreigner. Even without that law, he was as foreign as a Chinese Malaysian would be going back to the Chinese mainland.

Yep. "Jew" is a nationality. Europeans will tumble to this (again), eventually.

Anonymous said...

"No, I am not sort of right, I am right. Fisher came to America in his early 20s and spent all his life, virtually through retirement age, in America. This makes him American in the eyes of everyone except few fringers."

Yeah, only "fringers" think being born in a foreign country, living there for decades, being raised by foreigners, working for a foreign government and having foreign citizenship makes you a foreigner. Why resort to name calling? Just admit you don't like the idea of national identity, culture, borders, etc.

Udolpho.com said...

"Steve these last few posts are ugly and uncharacteristic of your normal good work. Though frankly you're worst on the topic of supposed Jewish dual loyalty and separately on macroeconomics. With fisher you're writing about both."

For a Jew it is a given that any criticism of Israel, no matter how muted, is "ugly" and "disturbing". In this case it isn't even criticism of Israel, but rather (although Steve could do better to highlight this) the sense that elites have no national loyalty--they're interchangeable globalist stewards (mainly stewards of their own wealth).

Sorry, I didn't mean to be rude. For "Jew" substitute "libertarian/neoreactionary".

David said...

Steve is just the messenger. It's the reality that isn't so peachy. Holy cow, just because Israel accepted this no-loyalty clown doesn't mean the US ought to suffer the same humiliation. We should expect to have higher standards than our colonies have.

Anonymous said...

"Look, Fischer is an American. The real controversy runs the other way: why the Israeli government hired a foreigner for a top position."

But what do Jews mean by 'American'?

They even push the notion of 'undocumented immigrant' and say amnesty should be granted to those who broke into this country.

So, while Fischer may be American in the legal sense, what does he feel about American citizens in general? With whom does his main loyalty belong? With the globalist Jewish interests or with all of us? Why do I have a feeling that his main loyalties are to Jews in Israel and EU and NY than with Americans in most of the 50 states?

Gubbler of the Society of Reformed Chechenistics said...

He wasn't allowed into a golf course, was he?

Anonymous said...

Jews still bitch and moan about how some wasp country club didn't take them, but we are to remain utterly silent about Jews--2% of the population--gaining a total stranglehold over American purse-strings that decide who gets the money and who doesn't?

And it's our tax payer dollars, and when the Fed prints our money, it devalues our savings while giving the super rich on Wall Street to play more casino with the free dough.

But as the example of Rick Sanchez made clear, if you bring discuss this matter of Jewish power, you are toast.

Anonymous said...

Look, Fischer is an American. The real controversy runs the other way: why the Israeli government hired a foreigner for a top position.

Fischer is Jewish. Israel, we are constantly told, is the Jewish State. Fischer was no foreigner.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

As for inflation, moderate inflation is strongly correlated with middle class prosperity and low unemployment. in every country with a strong growing economy and rising living standards since 1950, you'll see inflation of 3 to 7 percent. In every country with inflation below 1% you have stagnation and mass unemployment."

Correlation, not causation. America was the world's leading economy after 1950 because we alone had not been devasted and/or impoverished by the war. It was not inflation that created prosperity - it was productive capacity that did so. And just about everyone else's currency was tied to ours in someway, was it not?

There could be ways of increasing the money supply that don't simply enrich banks, as the current system does. That they are not tried is down to the fact that banks always call the shots. The Federal Reserve system is a way for financial interests to systematically enrich themselves at the expense of others. The whole system is rotten, corrupt, and evil.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Steve these last few posts are ugly and uncharacteristic of your normal good work."

Ugly, huh? You forgot to say "bizarre", "extreme", "hateful", oh and "controversial".

Two thirds of the Fed governors belong to one particular tribe. The Chairman's seat has belonged to a member of that tribe for over 25 years. And now the deputy is a citizen of that tribe's homeland. Are we supposed to NOT notice that? Or that one third of the Supreme Court and one tenth of the Senate is composed of members of that particular tribe. To say nothing about the entertainment/media and banking sectors.

Okay. Put your mind to rest. We will continue to pretend not to notice it.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Look, Fischer is an American."

Yeah, so is Fareed Zakaria. A real "American".

Mr. Anon said...

If pressed on it, I wonder if apologists for this appointment will offer the defence: well, what does it matter, anyway, the Fed is a private entity? But perhaps they don't want to point that out. The Fed likes to bask in it's identity as a "federal" institution, even though it is a consortium of private banks. It is "federal" when it wants to be and private when it wants to be.

24AheadDotCom said...

Chertoff was also a dual citizen, and I never heard anything about that.

An "unofficial" advisor to McCain - also affiliated with McCain's thinktank - was Juan Hernandez, a dual citizen and former top MX govt official (apparently Fox's right-hand man). Only one (1) MSM reporter that I'm aware of tried to ask McCain about that, and hacks like Ambinder covered up for McCain (write him at @marcambinder).

Anonymous said...

Chertoff was also a dual citizen, and I never heard anything about that.

I don't recall the media highlighting that either. I wonder why.

ScarletNumber said...

To be fair, I don't think Steve has ever sat in a New Jersey traffic jam.

Mr. Anon said...

"24AheadDotCom said...

Chertoff was also a dual citizen, and I never heard anything about that."

Plenty of people who are opposed to the transformation of the US into a police state were in fact upset about that very thing. And as the anonymous poster after you mentioned, the media didn't bring it up because they don't bring up that kind of thing. It had nothing to do with Chertoff being a Bush appointee.

ben tillman said...

Adjectology. Not only ugly but odious, noxious, rabid, virulent, toxic, extreme, etc.

You forgot "vile".