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Report: Amid overly optimistic revenue projections, Christie's chief economist resigns

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Gov. Chris Christie is looking for a new chief economist.
Gov. Chris Christie is looking for a new chief economist. - (Governor's office / Tim Larsen)

Charles Steindel, chief economist of the New Jersey Department of Treasury, has resigned from his post to pursue a college teaching position, according to a report this morning from Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg reports that Steindel, who joined the Treasury in 2010, informed Gov. Chris Christie’s administration months ago that he would be resigning at the end of August to accept a position as a resident scholar at Ramapo College in Mahwah.

The department has subsequently put out a job posting for Steindel’s position, which existed under a different title in prior administrations. The state is seeking applicants by a July 30 deadline, the report said.

According to Bloomberg, Steindel’s overly optimistic revenue projections in four out of the last five years have been off target by a total of $3.5 billion.

New Jersey faces a projected budget revenue shortfall of $1.7 billion in the current fiscal year alone.

The forecasts have been often cited in downgrades to the state’s debt by Wall Street credit rating agencies over the years.

Prior to his work in Trenton, Steindel served as a senior vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Christie spokesman Michael Drewniak issued this statement Friday evening:

“We are extremely grateful for Dr. Steindel’s service and the expertise he offered on the full range of public finance and economic issues confronting New Jersey and the region. With his scholarly background, time in state government, and as a former senior vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Charles’ students will be fortunate to have him.  We wish him the very best.” 

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Andrew George

Andrew George

Andrew George covers the Statehouse from NJBIZ's Trenton bureau. Born and raised in N.J., Andrew has also spent time as a reporter in D.C., Texas and Pa. His email is andrewg@njbiz.com and he is @AndrGeorge on Twitter.

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