By James Kwak
Donald Kohn recently announced that he is resigning as vice chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, after forty years in the Federal Reserve system, most of it in Washington. Articles about Kohn have generally been positive, like this one in The Wall Street Journal. The picture you get is of a dedicated, competent civil servant who has been a crucial player, primarily behind the scenes, in the operation of the Fed.
It’s a bit interesting that Kohn is generally getting the soft touch given that he was the right-hand man of both Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke. Here are some passages from the WSJ article:
“‘Don was my first mentor at the Fed,’ Mr. Greenspan says. Mr. Kohn told Mr. Greenspan how to run his first Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the forum at which the Fed sets interest rates. He became one of Mr. Greenspan’s closest advisers and defender of Mr. Greenspan’s policies.”
“Mr. Kohn has spent the past 18 months helping to remake the central bank on the fly as Chairman Ben Bernanke’s loyal No. 2 and primary troubleshooter.”