Today on Zakaria GPS we have Robert Rubin, Citibank and Wall Street megamoneymeister and Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury.
Rubin is always one of the most impressive observers of the economy, and distinguished as one of the few Secty’s of treasury who presided over a Federal balanced budget. He articulates complexity well and also avoids the partisan nonsense that clouds these debates. For example he was complimentary of Paulson’s efforts
Main point was that we need to do more to address mortgages at home and bank level to stabilize things and that he wanted a *huge* stimulous package – probably not in the form of tax rebates because they don’t tend to hit economy fast enough and are often saved.
Rubin is Obama’s economic advisor (along with Volker, Buffett, Summers). Rubin was very complimentary of Obama’s style and intellect, pointing out that at the meetings Obama is always quick to divorce the campaign considerations from the economic solutions, and to listen to those who agree and disagree.
The bad news is that Rubin sounded like he was not willing to go back to Washington and take the position of Secretary of the Treasury again even though many (certainly I) would like to see him there again.
Update: Most likely Secretary of State is Larry Summers, though Obama’s team includes everybody from Rubin to Reich to Buffet to Volker. This is a “best and brightest” team…
I think it’s going to be the chairman of the NY Fed.
aka Stephen Friedman….
Goldman Sachs alumni may have too much influence in all this, but I’m really struggling to see how this will all shake out.
As the Dems jump in and tinker with an already vague, and far too opaque bailout strategy I’m worried that we could squander trillions with little effect. Part of the problem is the idea that the status quo is desirable when it’s not optimal at all.
Folks from Wall Street are not keen enough on plans that effectively penalize past risk takers severely in favor of past responsible parties. I want solutions that reward solvency rather than forgive insolvency as we appear to be doing more and more, and with the GM bailout proposal I predict we’ll simply push the problem forward a few years at enormous cost to … our kids.
In one sense the big spending is the greatest act of child abuse in all of history – people over, say, 50 are unlikely to reap what they have sown but the children of today’s USA are inheriting a debt so staggering it’s likely to wreak havoc on their future prosperity. All the “solutions” I see appear to ignore that likelihood.
Sorry, I meant Timothy F. Geithner, who is the President of the NY Fed, not the Chairman..
WSJ says it’ll likely be Geithner or Summers. I would like to see Rubin in this job but he says he’s paid his Govt dues.
Remember the “Six Million Dollar Man”? This is the 700 billion dollar man, valued at over 100,000 Lee Majors’s !