Alan Blinder ’67 realized that “I was unable to cut the umbilical cord to Princeton.”
Princeton Alumni Weekly. February 21, 1996.

Professor of Economics Alan S. Blinder ’67 announced in January that he wouldn’t seek a second term as vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board and would return to Princeton to resume teaching this semester. After serving one and a half years at the Fed, he will share some of his war stories in Economics 332: “Money and Banking.”

Blinder, who taught at Princeton for more than 20 years before heading to Washington, said his decision to leave the capital was an “extremely difficult” one, but he finally realized that “I was unable to cut the umbilical cord to Princeton.” Also, his permissible leave from the university was up.

Blinder left Princeton in 1993 to serve on the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers. A year later, he became President Clinton’s first appointee to the Fed’s board of governors.

Looking back on his Fed service, Blinder takes pride in helping develop “the most successful monetary policy in the history of the Federal Reserve” and keeping unemployment to 5 ½ percent for a year and a half, while holding inflation to 3 percent or less.

In a statement released by the White House, President Clinton called Blinder’s return to Princeton “a considerable loss for the nation. Alan is a powerful force for sound and sensible monetary policy. His tenure at the board was marked by integrity, intelligence, and candor.”

Blinder says he hasn’t ruled out returning to Washington in the future: “I’m not old enough to be put out to pasture.”

This was originally published in the February 21, 1996 issue of PAW.