October 28, 2020

Embattled Fed Nominee Celebrates Free Markets, but Not in Her Backyard

Ms. Shelton and her husband have also tried repeatedly to squash other proposed mines that they viewed as a threat to their bucolic community, which borders the Rappahannock River. The Sheltons filed a different complaint against a company owned by another neighbor, Larry Silver, over a project that they argued would detract from their property value and undermine their efforts at historic preservation. The complaint noted that Mr. Silver had also installed a “spiteful” hog farm on his property, which is adjacent to the road that leads to the manor.

Ms. Shelton did not respond to emailed requests for comment for this article.

Local land-use disputes have little bearing on Fed policy, but the disconnect between what Ms. Shelton says and what she actually believes have become an issue in her nomination.

She is a longtime critic of the central bank who has questioned its basic usefulness — asking in a 2009 opinion column, “Why do we need a central bank?” — but she courted a seat at its policy-setting table. She spent years criticizing low rates and easy money, but had a change of heart once Mr. Trump was elected. And though she has been a career-long champion for the gold standard, she downplayed that view during her bid to secure confirmation.

Ms. Shelton’s enigmatic background has fueled concerns about which version of the nominee would show up to the Fed, if she should win confirmation. Two Republican senators — Susan Collins of Maine and Mitt Romney of Utah — oppose Ms. Shelton’s nomination. Senator Lamar Alexander, Republican of Tennessee, has indicated that he would like to wait until after Congress passed a new coronavirus spending package to vote on her nomination.

“My major concern is that I don’t think that she will be independent enough,” Ms. Collins said last week.

If she loses four of the Senate’s 53 Republicans without gaining support from Democrats, she cannot win confirmation.

“We want to help her get through,” Mr. Thune told reporters last week, signaling that Ms. Shelton did not yet have the backing of enough senators. “When it’s right, we’ll move.”

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/22/business/economy/judy-shelton-federal-reserve-inconsistencies.html

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