The Rick Mishkin Steak n Shake Connection

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The W$J has an article Wednesday about the new financial disclosures from the members of the Federal Reserve Board. (The disclosures themselves don’t appear to be online yet, but should eventually show up here.) The headline refers to Chairman Ben Bernanke’s “conservative mix of assets,” but my favorite bit of information came at the end of the story:

Governors Randall Kroszner and Frederic Mishkin listed individual-company holdings among their assets, including Pfizer Inc. and Monsanto Co. for Mr. Kroszner and Coca-Cola Co., Lockheed Martin Corp. and Texas Instruments Inc. for Mr. Mishkin.

Mr. Mishkin’s portfolio was the most eclectic, with his holdings including $100,001 to $250,000 in Steak n Shake Co. and $1,001 to $15,000 in Tootsie Roll Industries Inc.

In the Journal‘s Real Time Economics blog, Greg Ip has more on Mishkin’s 2006 outside earnings before he joined the Fed in September:

He collected a $134,858 consulting fee from the Icelandic Chamber of Commerce; $63,188 from the Riksdagen, or Swedish Parliament, who hired him to co-write a report on the Swedish central bank; $15,600 from the Central Bank of Chile, $15,575 from the Bank of Korea, $9,161 from the Bank of Spain and $4,250 from the Bank of Canada. That’s all in addition to his salary from Columbia University.

The disclosure also shows that while he isn’t quite at Alan Greenspan’s level, Mr. Mishkin is no slouch in the book business, pulling down $434,000 in royalties from Pearson Publishing, whose imprints publish Mr. Mishkin’s popular textbook: The Economics of Money, Banking, and Financial Markets. Pearson also paid him a $75,000 advance and grant for an as yet unwritten textbook.

Still, I’m far more interested in the connection between the noted monetary economist (and frequently quoted source o’ mine back before he joined the Fed) and the heartland home of the STEAKBURGER™. I mean, $100,000+ is not a totally insignificant holding in a company with a market cap of $432 million. Well, actually, it is pretty insignificant. But still, if the Federal Open Market Committee announces in its next monetary policy statement that it’s worried about a downturn in burger sales, we’ll know what’s up with that.

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