Personally, I am a big fan of Stein's work. The shortest way to explain why is to list the titles of his five most cited papers:
- Herd Behavior and Investment
- A Unified Theory of Underreaction, Momentum Trading and Overreaction in Asset Markets
- Rick Management: Coordinating Investment and Financing Policies
- Bad News Travels Slowly: Size, Analyst Coverage and the Profitability of Momentum Strategies
- Internal Capital Markets and the Competition for Corporate Resources.
Stein has spent his career trying to figure out how capital markets really work instead of pledging fealty to models that don't work very well. I can't think of a better intellectual qualification for a Federal Reserve Board member.