108 WILLIAM G. SHEPHERD guidelines. He also planned to create a “Brains Trust” of economists to help guide his antitrust policy decisions. In practice, the Trust turned out to be a series of one young economist per year, a “Special Economic Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust”, who spent a year on leave from academic life. Finally, Turner created major new Division activity toward the deregulation of stock market, and banking, railroads, telecommunications and even electricity. This clairvoyant leadership was far ahead of its time. Many deregulating ofﬁcials and economists nowadays who may know nothing of Turner are, in fact, carrying out his ideas. The economic advisor had direct access to Turner and his successors, with a next-door ofﬁce, daily discussions, and attendance at weekly top-level Division meetings. Because Turner, who held an economics PhD as well as a law degree, was exceedingly open to economic methods, the “brains trust” had close involve- ment and some inﬂuence. Some of the latest research ideas were injected into policy choices. And there was a strong reverse process. The advisers learned in- tensively about antitrust and industries, and some of their new thinking turned into papers and books that had
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 16, 2004
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