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Sidney L. Jones
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy

In office
October 31, 1989 – January 11, 1993[1]
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Michael R. Darby[1]
Succeeded by Alicia Munnell[1]
Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs

In office
October 3, 1983[2] – November 1985[3]
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Robert G. Dederick[2]
Succeeded by Robert T. Ortner[4][5]
Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy

In office
July 17, 1975 – January 20, 1977[1]
President Gerald Ford
Preceded by Edgar Fiedler[1]
Succeeded by Daniel H. Brill[1]
Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs

In office
June 1973 – July 1974
President Richard Nixon
Personal details
Born September 23, 1933(1933-09-23) (age 88)
Ogden, Utah, United States
Political party Republican
Alma mater Utah State University
Stanford University
Religion LDS Church

Sidney Lewis Jones (born September 23, 1933) is an American economist and former official in the United States federal government. Educated at Utah State University and Stanford University, he initially taught in universities until he was recruited to join the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers. From there he held a number of positions in and out of government, including senior roles in the Departments of Commerce and the Treasury. A Republican, he has held strong views during his career about controlling inflation and federal government spending but was nonetheless well regarded as an economist across the political spectrum.

Personal life[]

Sidney Lewis Jones was born September 23, 1933, in Ogden, Utah. He is of Welsh descent. He spent a significant portion of his childhood in California, where his father earned a doctorate in bacteriology at Stanford University.[2] In 1953 he married Marlene Stewart.[6] They had five children.[7]

He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He has played several leadership roles in the church: he was a bishop as of 1984[2] and a member of the presidency of the Washington D.C. Temple as of 2006.[8]

Education and military career[]

In 1954 Jones earned a B.S. in economics from Utah State University.[6] He was valedictorian, a Distinguished Military Student, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Kappa Psi. He played varsity tennis,[3] a hobby he maintained during his career as an economist.[2] From August 1954 to September 1956 he served in the United States Army, first at Fort Lee in Virginia and then at the Sierra Army Depot in California. He left the Army as a First Lieutenant.[3]

In 1956 Jones entered Stanford,[9] where he earned an M.B.A. in 1958 and a Ph.D. in economics in 1960.[6]

Economics career[]

From 1960 to 1969 Jones taught finance, first at Northwestern University and then at the University of Michigan.[9] In 1968 he was promoted to full professor,[10] becoming at 33 the youngest full professor in the history of the University of Michigan.[2]

In 1969 Paul W. McCracken, chairman of President Richard Nixon's Council of Economic Advisers and a former colleague at the University of Michigan, recruited Jones as an aide to the Council. For the next 24 years he moved in and out of government, serving a number of senior economic policy roles and taking research and teaching appointments in between these stints. Most notably, he was Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in the Nixon administration; Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs in the Reagan administration; and twice Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, in the Ford and George H. W. Bush administrations.[9]

In a 1984 interview he described himself as more a teacher of economics than an original researcher. He also said his time in government made him a more knowledgeable teacher.[2]

List of positions[]

This list is drawn from biographical information on Jones from the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum[9] and the record of the Senate confirmation hearing for his second term as Assistant Treasury Secretary. Throughout his career he also had occasional, brief visiting appointments at schools including Dartmouth College, Rice University,[3] Carleton College, and Cornell University.[9]

  • 1956–60: Assistant and then associate professor of finance, Northwestern University
  • 1965–69: Associate and then full professor of finance, University of Michigan
  • 1969–71: Senior Economist and Special Assistant to the Chairman, Council of Economic Advisers
  • 1971–72: Professor of finance, University of Michigan
  • 1972–73: Minister-Counselor for Economic Affairs, U.S. Mission to NATO
  • 1973–74: Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs
  • 1974–75: Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy to the Counsellor for Economic Policy, the White House
  • 1975–77: Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy
  • 1977–78: Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution
  • 1978: Assistant to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
  • 1978–82: Lecturer, Georgetown University
  • 1978–83: Research Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
  • 1982–83: Consultant, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • 1983–85: Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs
  • 1985–86: Fellow, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institution
  • 1986–89: Associate Faculty, Center for Public Policy Education, Brookings Institution
  • 1986–89: Visiting Professor, Georgetown University
  • 1988: Member, Economic Policy Advisers Group, Presidential campaign of George H. W. Bush
  • 1989–93: Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy

For a time after his appointment as Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs he was a senior adviser to the Government Research Corporation.[11]

Policy views[]

Jones is a Republican.[11] He has described himself as an "eclectic monetarist."[2] In 1977 he identified inflation as the primary threat to prosperity and argued against the existence of a tradeoff between inflation and unemployment.[12] In 1984 as Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs he favored lower federal spending, a consumption tax, reducing income tax exemptions rather than increasing marginal income tax rates, and combating inflation.[2]

In 1983, two of Ronald Reagan's most senior aides disagreed over how to reduce the federal budget deficit in fiscal year 1985. Council of Economic Advisers chairman Martin Feldstein wanted to raise taxes, while Treasury Secretary Donald Regan wanted to reduce spending. Jones sided with Regan, and in the end so did Reagan.[2]

Republican and Democratic economists praised Jones's work as an economist and described him as within the mainstream of contemporary economic thought.[2] Democrat Jimmy Carter defeated Ford in the 1976 election, so in early 1977 Jones was preparing to leave government. He praised Carter's choices for economic advisers, including Charles Schultze, W. Michael Blumenthal, and Bert Lance, despite disagreeing with many of their policy views.[12] During the 1989 Senate confirmation hearing for Jones's second tenure as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, he won praise from Republican Senators John Chafee and Bob Packwood as well as Democratic Senators Lloyd Bentsen and David Pryor.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 United States Department of the Treasury. "History of the Office of Economic Policy". Retrieved Sep 24, 2014. 
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Farnsworth, Clyde H. (Jan 29, 1984). "Commerce's new economist: Sidney Jones; the man behind all those numbers". Retrieved Sep 23, 2014. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 "Hearing before the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, One Hundred First Congress, First Session, on the nomination of Sidney Lewis Jones to be Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy". United States Senate Committee on Finance. Oct 16, 1989. Retrieved Sep 23, 2014. 
  4. "Nomination of Robert Ortner To be an Under Secretary of Commerce". The American Presidency Project. Mar 7, 1986. Retrieved Sep 24, 2014. 
  5. Nash, Nathaniel C. (Aug 2, 1986). "Leading indicators rise 0.3%". 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Sidney L. Jones". Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved Sep 23, 2014. 
  7. "Nomination of Sidney L. Jones to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury". The American Presidency Project. Aug 4, 1989. Retrieved Sep 23, 2014. 
  8. Smith, Meredith M. (May 6, 2006). "Supreme court justices honor administrator". Retrieved Sep 23, 2014. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 "Sidney L. Jones Papers". Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved Sep 23, 2014. 
  10. Jones, Sidney L. (2008). Greenspan Council. University Press of America. p. 202. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Barnum, Alexander (Nov 11, 1985). "Newsmakers". p. 14. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Roderick, Lee (Jan 12, 1977). "Utah-born economist for Ford praises Pres.-elect to face". 

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