I am giving an award for worst Treasury Secretary. And I am nominating these guys. Hamilton of course is in a class of his own so I am naming it after him. The Alexander Hamilton Award for Worst Treasury Secretary.
It all started when I got to thinking the other day about just how bad Robert Rubin was. He was the architect of much of Bill Clinton’s economic policy. While many think the economy was good under Clinton it’s important to remember that he balanced the budget by raising taxes instead of cutting spending and produced a nice big bubble that popped leaving us in a nifty little recession. Rubin convinced Clinton that he needed to keep interest rates low to get re-elected. What ensued was a policy of higher taxes and lower interest rates. That made profit less attractive and debt more attractive fueling speculation in the internet bubble. What would have happened if taxes had been lower and interest rates had been allowed to find their natural level? Perhaps more internet businesses focusing on profit? Perhaps less wild speculation? So after trashing the economy as Treasury Secretary he went on the work at Citibank engineering their disastrous climb to their lofty position as one of the worst failed mortgage market speculators. Old Bob quit a few months ago. It appears he never met a bubble he didn’t like – or one he didn’t create.
Do I need to talk about Henry “Bailout-Hank” Paulson? Would our current esteemed President have had the balls to toss away another trillion if Hank hadn’t paved the way foir him?
Tim Geithner? Did you catch him on “This Week” this morning. In a flash of brilliance he’s come up with the astounding conclusion that we need to reduce the deficit if we are to have a healthy economy! What a concept! AND
“that’s going to require some very hard choices. AND we’re going to have to do that in a way that does not add unfairly to the burdens that the average American already faces.”
But he’s not ruling out new taxes. Is this guy tripping?
I can’t decide. Each is worse than both the others. Let’s hear what you think. And feel free to nominate your favorite or comment on one of mine.