In yesterday’s column, I disqualified Christine Lagarde for the position of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund on the grounds that she emanates from France, a country at the heart of the Euro-Zone bailout charade, that she is an impulsive bailer-outer of insolvent organizations and insolvent nations, and that she is technically incompetent in the discipline of economics.
Stanley Fischer towers over her as a financial realist, an intellectual giant and one of the world’s most accomplished economists working in precisely the areas relevant to the task of the I.M.F..The comparison is so one-sided that one would gasp with incredulity at the sight of the world’s leaders and the world’s press drooling over Madame Lagarde’s candidature, if one did not know just how out of kilter these wacked-out people truly are.
Stanley Fischer was born in 1943 in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). He is now an Israeli citizen. He obtained a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science Degree in Economics from The London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He served as Professor of Economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1977 to 1988, where he co-authored two highly-regarded textbooks, one with Rudiger Dornbusch and the other with Olivier Blanchard. In addition, he has edited 12 books and has published 254 articles primarily in leading professional journals of economics. Most of these articles are single-authored.
Among Stanley Fischer’s former students are to be found N. Gregory Mankiw, Ben S. Bernanke, and Kenneth Rogoff. Yes, this man knows something about the world of macroeconomics, monetary economics and financial crises!
Madame Lagarde, I challenge you to put your papers on the table before you trade your qualifications for office with those of Stanley Fischer.
But Stanley Fischer has not been content to while his time away looking out over the Charles River while dreaming of the Potomac. He has spent a great deal of his career in the real world of political economics. From January 1988 to August 1990, he was Vice President, Development Economics and Chief Economist at the World Bank. From September 1994 until August 2001, he was the First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. In December 2001, he became a member of the influential Washington-based financial advisory body, the Group of Thirty. Between February 2002 and April 2005, Stanley Fischer also worked as Vice President of Citigroup, as President of Citigroup International, and as Head of the Public Sector Client Group.
On May 1, 2005, Stanley Fischer became Governor of the Bank of Israel. On May 2, 2010, he was sworn in for a second term. Under his management, in 2010, the Bank of Israel was ranked first among central banks for its efficient functioning, according to IMD’s World Competitiveness Yearbook.
Stanley Fischer has earned international plaudits across the board for his handling of the Israeli economy in the aftermath of the global financial crisis of 2008. In September 2009, the Bank of Israel was the first bank in the developed world to raise its interest rates.
In 2009 and 2010, Fischer received an ‘A’ rating on the Central Banker Report Card published by Global Finance Magazine.
In October 2010, Fischer was declared Central Bank Governor of the Year by Euromoney Magazine.
You may well ponder with me, Dear Readers, why this star performer is not coasting into the Managing Directorship of the I.M.F. at this moment of international crisis. For he is clearly not just the Man for this Moment. He is a Man for all Seasons.
The answer surely does not lie in weaknesses in his Resume, which is as near perfection for this job as makes no difference. It lies in the muddy waters of public choice, and in the influence exerted by special interest groups that line the pockets of their members while harming the global economy.
Oh yes, and let us never forget that Stanley Fischer also happens to be a citizen of Israel!