The short version: He is an outstanding academic economist; he was the No. 2 official at the IMF; and he did a virtuoso job leading the Bank of Israel until earlier this year, making him the central banker to one of the nation’s closest allies. Whether you’re looking for academic brilliance, crisis management or central banking experience, Fischer’s resume is sterling.He is deeply respected, even beloved, in the community of central bankers, an intellectual leader among the group of men and women who guide the world economy. In fact, he was a mentor to many of them. As it happens, he was thesis adviser to both current Fed chair Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. In the symposium Saturday, Fischer raised a typically thoughtful point about capital flows to emerging markets, posing a question to the panelists who had just presented a paper.
And hey, I'm all for Not Larry Summers. But Fischer?
The reason Fischer is not viewed as a front-runner for the Fed chairmanship is that he is viewed as a foreigner. He was born in Zambia and raised overseas before becoming a U.S. citizen in 1976. More politically tricky is that he was a high public official of another country for the last several years while serving as governor of the Bank of Israel.But Fischer has been an American citizen for a generation and maintained his U.S. citizenship while serving overseas. And the politics around Israel are unique. Would Republicans really lead a charge against confirmation for Bibi Netanyahu’s top economic adviser?
They should, but not a one would. And while this guy may not be Larry Summers, "Bibi's economic guy" is not a plus in my book.