Cabinet Diary 2 - Secretary of the Treasury (with poll)

It's time to continue our look at the Cabinet in the upcoming Obama administration. Second - Secretary of the Treasury, perhaps the most important appointment President-elect Obama will make, given the current economic circumstances.

There are several excellent options - some who served in the Clinton Administration - some outsiders - and even some paradigm breaking choices. For convenience, I've taken the list from a betting site (yes, it is in the order of the oddsmakers' favorite).

There were Republicans on the list, and I've left out the "I don't believe it" names still on the betting lines such as Phil Gramm and Bob Zoellick. There's also some chatter about keeping Paulson on, temporarily to administer the bailout. So as distasteful as it seems, I kept his name on the list.

Perhaps one key criteria (which you're free to throw to the side of the road) is whether the candidate would inspire confidence in the markets.

(X posted at OpenLeft - will X post at DK, as soon as the clock allows me to post another diary there)

Warren Buffet - Richest man in America, a new FOB (Friend of Barack). May make a bundle from his investment in Goldman Sachs and subsequent push to buy stocks. Is he interested in our best interests- or is he just another profiteer in our financial system?

Paul Krugman - Nobel Prize Winner, Economics. NYT Columnist. Is he the current incarnation of John Kenneth Galbraith? Perhaps a new progressive hero, as described in how he let loose on Republicans in this diary: Paul Krugman Lets Loose

Tim Geithner - Pres, NY Fed Reserve. Same age as President-elect Obama. Served as a UnderSec to Rubin and Summers. Some blame him for the failure of Lehman Brothers, as he refused to let them repackage themselves as a commercial bank. he refused to let them repackage themselves as a commercial bank.

Lawrence Summers - Last SecTreas under Clinton. Free Trader. Part of the trio which "saved the world" in '98 when Asian economies experienced the credit crunch we're experiencing today. Problematic tenure as Harvard Pres, including - ah - strange remarks on gender bias in the sciences. And then there's the recent diary: Summers' call for poisoning Developing World

Robert Rubin - Main SecTreas and econ architect under Clinton. First person to lead the National Economic Council (the econ version of the National Security Advisor). Former Goldman Sachs CEO. A director of Citigroup. Free Trader.

Paul Volcker - Fed Chair under Carter / Reagan. Credited with squashing the stagflation of the late 70s - early 80s. But that led to what was then the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Endorsed Obama at a key time. Oldest option, would likely inspire market confidence.

Chris Dodd - Chair, Senate Banking Committee. ex Presidential candidate. IMO, an excellent progressive.

Laura Tyson - Chief, Council of Econ Advisors and National Economic Council under Clinton.

Michael Bloomberg - Mayor, NYC. Forcing himself into a 3rd term as Mayor.

John Thain - Former CEO, NYSE, was the CEO of Merrill Lynch when they sold out to BofA.

Jon Corzine - NJ Gov, ex Senator from NJ, former Goldman Sachs CEO (similar to Bob Rubin). Reportedly a strong liberal (I don't know). Talked sensibly on the bailout, pushing for a restructuring of troubled mortgages. Meet the Press, Occ 12

Austin Goolsbee - Senior economist, Progressive Policy Institute; one of Obama's econ spokesmen.

Barney Frank - Chair, House Financial Services Committee. Frank was perhaps the chief Democratic architect of the bailout. Commonly thought of as the smartest and funniest person in Congress. Highest ranking gay American in Congress.

Bill Gates - As a Linux geek, I try to stay objective, so I'll just say that he's the former richest man in America, and the ex-co founder of Microsoft.

Hank Paulson - Current SecTreas. Normally, I'd say no way to extending the tenure of any Bush appointee. But it's conceivable that it would be necessary to keep him there, temporarily - for market sanity. He's not the worst of the Bush cabinet. But his public speaking skills were blamed in part for making the crash worse.

(Polls are apparently limited to 10 names at MyDD, so I arbitrarily select 10 favorites.)

Tags: Bloomberg, Buffett, Corzine, Dodd, Frank, Geithner, Goolsbee, krugman, paulson, Summers, Thain, Tyson, Volker (all tags)



paul o'neil

after reading "the price of loyalty" i have nothing but respect for this former SOT.

by citizendave 2008-11-06 06:59AM | 0 recs
I personally would like to see mostly new faces

in high places.  I think in this position it would be best to stay away from current or former Wall Streeters.  I'm rather enamoured of Krugman and as a fellow homo, I'd be thrilled with Frank, but despite his long tenure on the House Financial Services Committee, he doesn't have a financial background.  Perhaps that's not an important consideration, though.

by aggieric 2008-11-06 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Cabinet Diary 2 - Secretary of the

I do want to point out Buffett is giving away nearly his entire fortune to charity... so him making more money isn't necessarily a bad thing.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-07 10:12AM | 0 recs


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