Finance

Christie's Chief Economist to Resign

July 21, 2014
 

Gov. Chris Christie's chief economist is resigning after a hectic three-and-a-half years in Trenton, the state Treasury Department said today.

Charles Steindel has been Christie's lead economic forecaster since he joined the administration in November 2010. Those forecasts, however, have missed the mark by billions of dollars over the last three years, forcing late fixes such as Christie's recent decision to slash $2.4 billion from two pension payments he had promised.

The resulting budget-and-pension mess in New Jersey has drawn scrutiny across the country, with Wall Street analysts cutting the state's bond rating and national Democratic leaders slamming Christie's budgeting practices at a time when he is laying the groundwork for a potential presidential run in 2016.

A former senior vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Steindel is heading to Ramapo College sometime in late August, though no date has been set, according to Treasury spokesman Chris Santarelli.

Steindel is leaving voluntarily, Santarelli said, and announced his plans in early April to state Treasurer Andrew Sidamon-Eristoff. That was before the Treasury discovered a huge revenue shortfall in the budget that eventually grew to $1 billion for the fiscal year that ended June 30, he noted.

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