Jeb Bush is expected to tap finance veteran Justin Muzinich as policy director for his yet-to-be-announced presidential campaign, the National Review reports.
Muzinich is vice president of Muzinich & Co., an international investment firm. He's also worked at Morgan Stanley and hedge fund EMS Capital, according to National Review.
He's also has written a number of opinion pieces in major newspapers over the last few years on policies ranging from the Fed to trade to foreign aid. His ideas tend to focus on ways the government can either help businesses grow faster, or incentivize businesses to accomplish goals that might otherwise be done by public programs.
Since policy director is central to a presidential campaign, here's a look at his key arguments.
1) He wants to give the Fed a makeover
In a 2011 Washington Post op-ed, Muzinich called for a new Fed mandate: financial stability. In the piece, coauthored with Glenn Hubbard, dean of the Columbia Business School and top economic adviser to Jeb's brother, George W. Bush, the two argue that the Fed needs a new mandate to make sure it spots instabilities like the housing bubble and "financial excesses" of the pre-financial-crisis era.
They wrote that promoting financial stability should be an "explicit part" of the Fed's mandate. Currently, the Fed has a dual mandate (of maintaining full employment and stable prices). Many other Republicans want to change it, as well, but they'd simply like the central bank to cut back to just one directive, of price stability.
Muzinich and Hubbard's idea could also easily tighten (or at the very least complicate) monetary policy; using interest rates to try to keep bubbles in check could run counter to the Fed's goal of promoting full employment. Trying to keep markets from overheating might prevent the job market from heating up.
2) He wants a trade agreement with Europe
Passing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, he argued in a January FP editorial (coauthored with James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School of law and Diplomacy at Tufts), would be one way for the US to boost Europe out of its economic funk.
Trade agreements are going to be a hot topic in Washington and on the campaign trail in the coming months, as the Obama administration negotiates the T-TIP and the currently more contentious Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement with Pacific Rim nations. Both progressive and far-right politicians have opposed different aspects of these treaties, as well as the Trade Promotion Authority authorization the Obama administration wants in order to negotiate those treaties.
More broadly speaking, though, Muzinich in this editorial is worried about neglecting Europe as the Obama administration undertakes its "pivot to Asia."
3) He wants to rethink foreign aid
In a 2007 New York Times op-ed, Muzinich advocated modeling US foreign aid on a 2000 Community Renewal Tax Relief Act, under which businesses got a tax credit (known as the New Market Tax Credit) for developing in poor neighborhoods. That tax credit still exists today. The idea is to give companies similar tax credits for doing business in developing nations.
But it's possible this sort of policy idea could backfire in a presidential campaign, as economist Greg Mankiw pointed out in a response to the op-ed: "Imagine what would happen, however, if a political candidate of either party were to come out in favor of the proposal. The opposition would quickly lambast it as the 'outsource American jobs to third-world sweatshops tax credit.'"