At the same time, I was told what the ethical restrictions would be. I would have to let go of most of my business interests. I could not serve on any boards. I could not do any paid speeches. I could not advocate on behalf of capitalism, host my radio show or make appearances on Fox Business. Without getting too specific about how big a pay cut this would be, let’s just say I’m pretty confident that if your boss told you to take a similar pay cut, you’d tell him where to go.
But I did like the idea of serving on the Fed! I was convinced I could make a positive difference advocating for better growth and monetary policies. As recently as last Monday I had told President Trump I was all in, and on Friday I was making plans to come to Washington and visit with the senators who were skeptical of my qualifications. Last week I published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that explained my beliefs on the issues the Fed deals with, and I was prepared to defend these beliefs in meetings with senators and in confirmation hearings.
But the cost of doing this started weighing on me over the weekend. I also started wondering if I’d be giving up too much influence to get a little bit of policy impact. With my current media activities, I can reach close to 4 million people a month with the ideas I believe in. If I gave that up for one seat on the Fed board, would that be a good trade-off?