When President Barack Obama selected two Federal Reserve nominees last week, he purposely chose economists with different perspectives and backgrounds: one a former financial executive who served in the U.S. Treasury Department during Republican George H.W. Bush’s presidency, the other an academic who has worked in the White House and Treasury during Obama’s time in office. But the nominees, Jerome “Jay” Powell ’75 and Jeremy Stein ’83, have at least two things in common: Both are Princeton graduates, and today, they share our Tiger of the Week honor.
Powell, a politics major at Princeton, received his law degree from Georgetown in 1979 and worked as a lawyer and investment banker before becoming undersecretary of the treasury for finance. He also was a partner at The Carlyle Group, a private equity and asset management firm, from 1997 to 2005. More recently, he has served as a visiting scholar at the D.C.-based Bipartisan Policy Center.
Stein, who studied economics and co-captained the gymnastics team as an undergraduate, received his Ph.D. in economics from MIT in 1986. Since then, he has taught finance at Harvard and MIT. He took leave from Harvard in 2009 to advise Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and serve on the National Economic Council. He also served one year as president of the American Finance Association, in 2008.
According to Washington Post reporter (and occasional PAW contributor) Zachary Goldfarb ’04, the decision to nominate a Republican and a Democrat might “break a political logjam” that has hampered recent nominees to the Fed’s governing board. Two current members also have Princeton ties: Chairman Ben Bernanke was the Class of 1926 Professor of Economics and Public Affairs and a chairman of the economics department, while board member Daniel K. Tarullo was a visiting professor at the University in 2004.
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