On July 21, 2020 the Senate banking committee greenlight the approval of Federal Reserve nominee Judy Shelton for a vacancy on the central bank’s board of governors.
She is currently heading to the full Senate for confirmation. President Donald Trump initially signaled his intention to nominate Shelton back in July 2019.
However, Trump announced his intention to nominate Shelton back in July 2019, but the move was put on hold during the Wuhan virus pandemic. Controversies regarding Shelton’s gold bug views have also delayed the nomination process.
“Every Democratic member of this committee thinks we should have another hearing and talk to her and frankly reject her,” stated Senator Sherrod Brown. “Dr. Shelton is a threat to our economy, our democracy, our country.”
As mentioned before, Shelton faced constant poking and prodding from Senate committee members about her support for the gold standard.
Before the vote took place on July 21, 2020, Virginia congressman Don Beyer, the vice chair of the Joint Economic Committee, released a statement in opposition to Shelton’s move to the central bank. He cited her “extreme ideas” should bar her from receiving a confirmation.
“The current economic crisis once again has underscored the critical role of the Federal Reserve and the need for strong, independent leadership at the central bank. Judy Shelton miserably flunks that test,” Beyer stated.
Throughout her confirmation hearing, Shelton dialed down some of her more controversial positions, which elicited more pushback from Democrats who said she was renouncing those beliefs for the purpose of receiving her confirmation.
Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, the Idaho Republican in charge of the banking panel, recounted that Shelton addressed the questions posed by the committee throughout the hearing and in written testimony that she subsequently released.
“I’m confident that her deep understanding of the Fed’s monetary policy toolkit, monetary history and commitment to maintaining Fed independence will serve the Fed well in its ongoing efforts to stabilize markets, and toward its mission of price stability and full employment,” Crapo remarked.
Shelton served as an advisor for Trump and has worked at the Hoover Institution and was the U.S. director for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Monetary policy has largely been a technocratic, Keynesian echo chamber. With Shelton in the mix, the Federal Reserve can at least have a contrarian voice to shake things up and bring some sanity to U.S. monetary policy discussions.