EYECATCHERS: Freedom for Brimmer

Andrew Felton Brimmer, 47, was the Federal Reserve Board's Jackie Robinson. In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the Harvard-trained economist as the first black among the board's seven governors. Brimmer used the job to disseminate controversial, exhaustively documented opinions on black banks (they were more a symbol of black achievement, he thought, than a meaningful source of capital for economic development), minimum-wage laws (they worsened black unemployment by hindering the hiring of unskilled ghetto teenagers) and black capitalism (it was doomed to remain marginal unless blacks could develop large businesses that could...

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