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What you see is what you get: Kudlow a great pick for NEC director

What you see is what you get: Kudlow a great pick for NEC director
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I knew who Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE was when I was in college. In fact, I used to get up early on Saturday morning to watch a CNBC show that he was on. It was called "Strictly Business" and was hosted by long-time CNBC anchor Bill Griffeth.

The show was only 30 minutes long. I wish it had been longer, because I always found it interesting, especially when it was Larry Kudlow’s turn to speak.

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Griffeth sat in the middle of a semicircle with two guests flanking him on each side. Kudlow, who was the chief economist of Bear Stearns at the time, sat on Bill’s right. There was another economist who was a regular on the show as well. 

 

The two other guests were either portfolio managers or journalists. There was no hedge fund representation. Most people did not know about hedge funds in the early 1990s.

Griffeth would make some quick introductions and then the conversation got going. He would pose such questions as: "Should the Fed raise rates?" "Is the stock market overvalued?" "Where are interest rates headed?" "What’s going on with the dollar?" "Should we be worried?"

Larry Kudlow always had a view. He was always clear — there was never any economic mumbo jumbo.

When the other economist would jump in, arguing the exact opposite of what Kudlow had said, he remained poised and respectful. He waited for his rival panelist to finish talking before responding. Kudlow never made the debate personal. That was admirable. We do not often see that these days.

Over the years, Larry Kudlow accurately spoke of the “Goldilocks” economy in the early to mid-2000s. He has rightly looked at market price signals emanating from the dollar, the yield curve and commodities to ascertain the true stance of monetary policy and what it has meant for the broader economy. Kudos to him for taking this non-conventional approach, which has now become mainstream.

Years later, I finally met Larry Kudlow. In fact, I became a regular on his CNBC TV show, initially when it was "Kudlow and Cramer," then the spinoff, "Kudlow and Company" and finally, "The Kudlow Report." Over time, Larry Kudlow and I became good friends. He has been a confidant.

What you see from him publicly is what you get privately. I cannot help but think he would be an asset to any administration.

In conclusion, Larry Kudlow’s intellect, communication abilities and people skills make him an ideal choice to lead the National Economic Council. Mr. President, you have chosen wisely. So to a long-time friend, I congratulate you and wish you the best of luck, Larry Kudlow.

Joseph LaVorgna is the chief economist for the Americas at Natixis, an international corporate and investment banking, asset management, insurance and financial services arm of Groupe BPCE, the 2nd-largest banking group in France with 31.2 million clients spread over two retail banking networks, Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne.