December 2, 2008

Economic Team Obama - Good and Downright Ugly

This article by David Weider at Market Watch breaks down team Obama, from what will be the President-elect's primary focus, the economy.

Weider has positive reviews for a few of the choices, like Timothy Geithner at Treasury, as a sign of real change. He defends Obama on the numerous former Clintonites, noting some of those were to be expected. However, it's a few specific appointees which Weider says are legitimate reasons to worry.

Robert Rubin, a former Clinton Treasury hack who worked on removing some of the reforms which came in the wake of the last Depression. Now, a decade later, we approach yet another economic meltdown. After that stunning performance, Rubin moved on to Citibank, and now Citibank needs $45 in bailout money. Coincidence, or a sign things won't be getting better?

Weider gives reason to why Rubin is a bad choice...

Along with Vikram Pandit, Citi's current CEO, Rubin seems to think that the whole system broke, not institutions. "This was something that was bigger than Citi," Pandit said.

Except, of course, that J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. is OK, and so are Wells Fargo Corp., and BB&T Corp., along with other banks that were wise enough not to boost short-term profits through derivatives at the risk of long-term survival.
But it doesn't end there. Add former Time-Warner (yawn) chief Dick Parsons to help get us out of the financial mess. Parsons, by the way, is on Citi's board as well - no, really.

Not sure this change is for the good.


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