JONATHAN COHN AUGUST 6, 2010
[Guest post by Noam Scheiber:]
From the department of totally irresponsible speculation: If Austan Goolsbee is in fact the frontrunner to replace Christy Romer as head of the Council of Economic Advisers, wouldn't that mean the White House is now far more likely to nominate Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?
This is based on nothing I've heard from any administration official, other than that I know they've been thinking about the gender breakdown on the economic team for some time now. (And the Romer write-ups in the Post and the Times suggest it's still a preoccupation.) When Peter Orszag left as OMB director, one of the anticipated benefits of replacing him with Laura Tyson was that it would diversify the team's upper ranks a bit. But that job went to Jack Lew. Now you have Romer leaving and possibly being replaced by another male. If that's where things are headed--and it's hardly a certainty; if nothing else, Goolsbee has sometimes mused about heading back to his academic post in Chicago sooner rather than later--it seems difficult to pass over a highly compelling female candidate for the only other big opening on the horizon.
Anyway, for what it's worth...