Feldstein to receive Frederick Heldring Award in Philadelphia

There are few bigger names in economics than Martin Feldstein, of Harvard University.

Just a day after testifying before the House Financial Services Committee on the $700 billion financial rescue plan, Feldstein was named the winner of the Frederick Heldring Global Leadership Award by Philadelphia's Global Interdependence Center.

In his testimony, Feldstein generally praised the actions of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and trashed the Troubled Asset Relief Program:

The Treasury's original plan to buy impaired loans as a way of cleaning the banks' balance sheets simply could not work.

Feldstein will receive the Heldring award Dec. 18 in a ceremony at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. He'll also offer remarks on the ongoing financial crisis.

The award is given to those who have "demonstrated an exemplary commitment to the development of international relations, trade and global citizenship," the center says.

It is named for Fred Heldring, a former top executive of Philadelphia National Bank in the 1970s and 1980s. He started the Global Interdependence Center in 1976.

Previous Heldring Award winners include Roger W. Ferguson Jr., the former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve, and Lawrence Klein, a 1980 winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics and longtime University of Pennsylvania faculty member.

(Klein is esteemed enough to have an economic forecasting award named after him. Joel Naroff, a Bucks County resident who runs his own firm, received the 2008 Lawrence R. Klein Award last week.)