Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Donald Trump made a fateful decision last month when he attempted to politicize the Fed board.

Between the lines: By nominating Stephen Moore to the board — a Republican partisan rather than an economic technocrat — Trump turned the genteel if inefficient process of Fed nominations into something much more bare-knuckled.

  • The Guardian went into full-on muckraking mode, finding first that the government has accused Moore of owing $75,000 in back taxes, and then that a judge ruled in 2012 that Moore had failed to pay more than $300,000 of spousal support and child support to his ex-wife.
  • An epic Twitter thread from policy wonk Sam Bell has dug up Moore calling for rate hikes in August 2008, not to mention the abolition of the Fed and the reinstatement of the gold standard.

Winners: Trump wins this round even if Moore's reputation is ruined and his nomination never reaches the Senate. We're watching a familiar Trump play — by going on the offensive and infuriating the sophisticates, Trump and his allies get to congratulate themselves on shaking up the system.

Losers: Moore surely can't be enjoying seeing details from his divorce proceedings splashed across the press. But the biggest loser is the Fed itself, fighting daily to avoid being dragged into the swamp.

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