When Janet Yellen was named the first female chairman of the Federal Reserve back in October, the anti-Semites and misogynists both grimaced. The soft-spoken, intellectually ferocious economist would be the third consecutive Jewish chief of the central U.S. bank after Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan.
Today, it’s being reported that her replacement as vice chair at the Fed will be Stanley Fischer. The 70-year-old economist, whom Israelis speak of in hushed tones of reverence for his work in keeping the Israeli economy humming during the global downturn, was the governor of the Bank of Israel. Fischer was also floated a possible contender for the International Monetary Fund gig a few years back.
“He’s been offered the job” said the source, who declined to be named.
Fischer is difficult to characterize “with a term as obtuse as ‘hawk’ or ‘dove’ because he takes a balanced, academic approach to various topics of debate,” said Thomas Simons, an economist at brokerage Jefferies. “However, given that he played an instrumental role in helping Ben Bernanke form his views on monetary economics, his presence at the Fed would represent some consistency in this time of transition.”
As Judith Miller pointed out for Tablet, Fischer was well-known for his pronouncements about the need for ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arab-Israelis to have less children and get jobs. Should the reports be true, I imagine that Fischer will now be charged with telling millennials to start having kids and get jobs. That would be for fun. As Fed vice chair, Fischer would be instrumental in drafting policy.
Related: Herzliya Diary
Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.