On Sunday night, John Oliver didn’t address the recent news of DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s resignation—his show tapes earlier in the day, as it were—but instead dedicated the opening portion of Last Week Tonight to Trump’s recently announced plan to nominate Herman Cain to the Federal Reserve Board.
“In between claiming his father was born in Germany when he was born in New York, mispronouncing the word ‘origins’ as ‘oranges’ repeatedly, and trolling Joe Biden for touching women inappropriately, which seems, you know, a bit fucking rich, Trump made a major and shocking decision on Thursday regarding the Federal Reserve,” Oliver said.
Yes, he nominated Herman Cain—the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, Pokemon-movie quoter, Anita Hill joke-maker, ex-Fox News contributor, and man who was forced to drop out of the 2012 presidential race after five women accused him of sexual misconduct.
“You think the résumé of a pizza maker, talk-show host and alleged sexual harasser would be pretty unusual for the Fed? Well, why don’t you tell that to the rest of the board: six Mario Batalis,” joked Oliver. “But it is true: picking Herman Cain for the Federal Reserve is bonkers, and it comes just two weeks after Trump also said he’d nominate Stephen Moore, a TV commentator and fellow at a conservative think tank.”
Oliver then threw to a clip of Sarah Bloom Raskin, the former U.S. deputy secretary of the Treasury and Federal Reserve Board member, who said of Trump’s nominations: “It’s one thing to be putting your political friends and cronies within the agencies, but to put them on the board of the central bank is something that has to be done very, very cautiously, because the moment the Fed loses credibility it’s almost game over.”
Yikes. “You don’t fuck around with the Fed—and that is because a lot of America’s economic power depends in people’s trust in the stability of the dollar. It is the world’s reserve currency in part because the Fed is seen as a reliable, independent institution,” Oliver explained. “Trump has actually already filled four of the Fed’s seven seats, including the chairman Jerome Powell, but those appointments didn’t get much press because all of these people are fundamentally qualified. Cain and Moore, however, are not. Cain has argued for a return to the gold standard—a virtually unheard-of opinion among respected economists—while Moore is a tireless advocate of supply-side economics, he helped design the tax cuts that blew a hole in Kansas’ budget, and he once asked if the country even really ‘needs a Fed.’”
“These two guys are just goofs—they’re a pair of dangerously goofy goofs—and this isn’t actually a job where that’s OK,” he added. “Fed Board members are famously careful with anything they say in public because markets can react violently. Just two words from the Fed chair sent markets soaring last November… And these two are not known for thinking before they speak.”