The next person to take charge of US monetary policy may not be an economist by training. Donald Trump has nominated Jerome Powell to replace Janet Yellen, though the US Senate will first have to confirm the appointment. Powell is a lawyer who spent many years in the private equity business.

The choice is interesting because economists have faced sharp attacks for their role in the global financial crisis. It will also mean that critics will have other targets for their ire the next time they disagree with US monetary policy. Many central bankers have had unusual careers. Alan Greenspan began his working life as a jazz musician. The legendary Karl Otto Pohl of the German Bundesbank was once a sports writer. Of course, they had some subsequent academic training in economics.

What about India? Reserve Bank of India governors were once men from the Indian Administrative Services. Now they are economists. Will the clock be turned back here as well? And will economists go back to their abandoned roles of being policy advisers rather than policymakers? Let’s see.

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