Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is expected to name fellow GoldmanSachs alum, Neel Kashkari, to oversee the government’s $700 billionSuperfund cleanup of Wall Street’s toxic assets. The Wall Street Journalreports, “Paulson likes to surround himself with people he’s comfortable with:people, mostly, from Goldman Sachs.” And why not? Making personneldecisions based on maximizing one’s comfort level has worked wonders forthe Bush administration thus far.
According to Bloomberg News, the Treasury will hire “about two dozen staff” and “five to 10 assetmanagement firms” to determine which securities to purchase and how tomanage them. Rest assured, the Treasury is working on a “firewall” toprevent any conflicts of interest between the people it hires and thefirms they previously worked for.
Well, I’m sold, aren’t you? Breeds all kinds of confidence for thetaxpayer-turned-investor in the Paulson Plan.
As the Bush administration outsources management of the bailout bonanza,how many more Goldman Sachs alums will fill these critical posts? Andwith the fox guarding the henhouse–who’s watching the fox?
Here’s a modest proposal for Secretary Paulson: instead of carrying outthis program of Goldman Sachs socialism, take a look at the most recent jobs report: in September, 159,000 jobs were lost. Approximately 769,000 people have lost jobs since January.
In the past twelve months, the number of unemployed increased by 2.2 millionpeople. Meanwhile, the GOP continues to filibuster Democratic effortsto extend unemployment insurance–nearly 800,000 Americanswill lose unemployment compensation benefits over the next few weeks.
So maybe Secretary Paulson should comb the unemployment rolls and findtalented people to fill these positions, train them, and invest in theirproductivity? After all, people are our best assets–they representthe true fundamentals of the real economy. And then we won’t have toworry about fictitious firewalls between former Wall Streeters and thefirms who are now begging for relief.