Friday, May 26, 2006

John Snow and Me

Over the past few days, reporters have been calling my house to ask me about John Snow. I have missed all the calls (I have had an ec 10 exam to deal with, after all) and have not returned any of them (I am a bit tired of talking to reporters). But in case any of those reporters are reading this blog, here is what I would say in response to the two questions you want to ask:

1. "Professor Mankiw, what can you tell us about rumors of John Snow's resignation as Secretary of Treasury?"

Nothing. I never comment on such speculation. Why would I?

2. "Professor Mankiw, how did you get along with John Snow when you worked in the Bush administration?"

I had never met John before I interviewed for the CEA job. During my two years in Washington, I got to know him quite well, and we developed a good relationship, both personal and professional.

On policy matters, we usually saw eye-to-eye. In fact, in internal policy discussions, John was probably the other economic "principal" whose policy views correlated most strongly with mine.

That is not a surprise if one knows John's personal history. John is often described as a former railroad executive, which is true. But earlier in his career, John earned a PhD in economics (from UVa) and was on the economics faculty at the University of Maryland. His economics background was very clear from the first time I met him. John thinks like an economist, so it is natural that Treasury under his leadership worked well with the CEA.