Why Two Wealthy Senators Might Not Like Judy Shelton

By: Robert Aro

Just two days after Trump’s nominee Judy Shelton was approved by the Senate committee, it was Mitt Romney (R), senator of Utah, who said:

I’m not going to be endorsing Judy’s Shelton’s nomination to the Fed.

No reason was provided as to why he intends to vote against her, and CNBC reports that his office declined to comment further. However, they noted:

That Romney would oppose the nomination is not entirely surprising given his contentious relationship with Trump.

It seems strange that a US senator would not offer a reason for something as important as this vote. Without providing anything to defend his position, we are left only with assumptions to make.

If Mitt is making his decision based on the relationship he has with Trump, as CNBC suggests, then it could mean that he’s judging Shelton’s qualifications based on the opinion he has of the president. He would still be within his right, but his reasoning might be called into question.

And yes, this is the same Mitt Romney who is currently one of America’s wealthiest congressmen, with an estimated net worth around $174 million that he accumulated by founding and operating Bain Capital. Also, yes, this is the same Bain Capital that a quick internet search reveals was involved in many highly publicized leveraged buyouts (LBOs), whereby a company acquires another company primarily with debt backed by the assets of the company being acquired.

There may be nothing inherently wrong with LBOs per se. If a bank is willing to put up the money, then the bank (shareholders/depositors) are taking the risk. But perhaps this is also a reason why he may fear Judy Shelton. In a world where credit is no longer cheap and easily given to the rich and powerful, people like Mitt would not be multimillionaires today. Unfortunately, since he remains silent as to the reason for his decision, we are left with little to make of his rationale besides his dislike for Trump and success with tapping credit markets.

The second Republican is Senator Susan Collins from Maine. She’s not as wealthy as Mitt but still not someone to take lightly, hailing from a fourth-generation political family. Her website proudly boasts:

Senator Collins is recognized as a skillful legislator, which is one reason why ELLE magazine named her one of the most powerful women in Washington.

On Monday, The New York Times quoted her:

Ms. Shelton has openly called for the Federal Reserve to be less independent of the political branches, and has even questioned the need for a central bank.

It remains unclear to the liberty and freedom crowd what the problem is, but the “skillful legislator” continued:

This is not the right signal to send, particularly in the midst of the pandemic, and for that reason, I intend to vote against her nomination if it reaches the floor.

Unlike Romney, Senator Collins offered an explanation. The problem is that it’s not a very good one. According to Collins, because Judy Shelton asks questions, especially during a crisis, she’s not qualified for the job. Sadly, this is not the America the Founding Fathers envisioned. Liberty dies when subservience is considered a virtue and questions are considered a crutch. Having a sound money advocate at the Fed creates much-needed discourse, but without one we may only continue to see the same anticapitalist groupthink. Especially in a time of crisis we should welcome such questions.

Tangled is this political web in which the nation finds itself. One person who has unimaginable wealth and another who is an heiress of a political empire are allowed to make economic decisions, yet little understanding of economics has been on their part. At least when the Fed lies to us it’s done using Fedspeak, supported by impressive degrees and data we cannot see. But the politicians—they can simply cast a no vote!

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