Hearing Planned for Nobel-Winning Federal Reserve Board Nominee

Posted October 13, 2010 at 4:35pm

Peter Diamond, the Nobel Prize-winning economist whose nomination to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Directors has languished in the Senate, will sit for another confirmation hearing as soon as next month.

Banking Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) plans to convene a second confirmation hearing for Diamond soon after Members return for the lame-duck session, spokesman Sam Gilford confirmed Wednesday.

Dodd told reporters in New York on Tuesday that he was aiming to schedule a hearing for the first week of the lame-duck session, which is slated to begin Nov. 15.

“I want to have a Senate vote on whether or not they want a Nobel laureate in economics on the board of the Federal Reserve,” Dodd told reporters after delivering a speech at New York University, according to Bloomberg News. “That will be an interesting vote.”

Republicans have charged that Diamond, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, lacks the credentials to serve on the Fed board. Banking ranking member Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) appeared unmoved in his opposition after Diamond won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday.

“While the Nobel Prize for Economics is a significant recognition, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences does not determine who is qualified to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System,” he said in a statement Monday.

The Banking Committee approved Diamond’s nomination in July, but it languished on the Senate calendar and was returned to the White House before the August recess. President Barack Obama renominated him to the post and, following Monday’s Nobel announcement, said in a statement, “I hope he will be confirmed by the Senate as quickly as possible.”