Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Top Brookings Economist Forced Out By Elizabeth Warren

Here is a great example of why economists working for establishment organizations, left or right, don't speak truth to power in Washington D.C.

If you do, it wll get you tossed from your lucrative cushy job.

The Hill reports on the case of Brookings Institute affiliated economist Robert Litan:
The left-leaning Brookings Institution is forcing one of its top economists to resign, amid questions from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) about an economic study funded by the business community.

Robert Litan, Brookings’ nonresident senior economics fellow, will formally submit his resignation Tuesday afternoon, according to three sources familiar with the issue.
Warren sent a letter to Brookings earlier Tuesday suggesting that Litan used his Brookings affiliation to peddle an industry-backed study that's critical of the administration's proposed regulations for financial advisers. Industry groups, congressional Republicans and roughly 100 congressional Democrats oppose the so-called fiduciary rule, which is championed by Warren and President Obama.

"I am concerned about financial conflicts of interest in a recent study authored by [Litan]," Warren wrote in the letter to Brookings President Strobe Talbott.

Litan, a former Clinton Office of Management and Budget (OMB) associate director, and Hal Singer, a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute, published a study raising concerns about the proposal.

Economists, Inc., which is supported by the business community, commissioned the study, which is marketed as an Economists, Inc., study. Brookings is mentioned only as one of Litan's titles.

Litan's resignation has already ignited a firestorm within the financial services industry over what has become a contentious policy fight over Obama's proposal to tamp down on financial advisers.

"Senator Warren has chosen not to combat the facts and this sets a terrible precedent,” said one senior level financial services source who opposes the administration's proposal. “The message is clear: If you are an academic who challenges data supporting her ideas, you stand to put your job at risk.”


  1. This kind of stuff shows that Senator Warren has "Presidential qualities" - the ruthlessness to squash anyone who gets in her way... Like Hayek said - the worst rise to the top!