It’s clear to everyone that Treasury Secretary Geithner is in over his head and has no idea what he is doing. He should be fired. Instead the administration wants to give him help.
Is “help” on the way?
The answer can be found in Citi Losing Economist to Treasury.
Citigroup Inc.’s chief economist is leaving the company for a job at the Treasury Department, according to an internal Citigroup memo.
Lewis Alexander, who has been at Citigroup since 1999 and before that worked at the Federal Reserve, will head to the Treasury “to work on domestic financial issues,” said the Citigroup memo, which was sent Tuesday.
According to a government official, Mr. Alexander will be a counselor to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Mr. Alexander and a Treasury spokesman weren’t available to comment Tuesday. A Citigroup spokesman declined to elaborate on the company’s memo.
The Obama administration so far has largely avoided tapping Wall Street officials for senior spots at the Treasury, wary of stoking the mounting political backlash surrounding the federal bailouts of the finance industry. That has irked top executives at some banks, who say they can’t get an audience with top Treasury officials.
Mr. Alexander’s role as Citigroup’s chief economist didn’t entail significant management responsibilities. But his optimistic economic forecasts colored executives’ views that the U.S. was unlikely to face a prolonged slump.
“I think that’s not going to spill over more broadly into the economy, and so I think we’re going to have a normal kind of housing cycle that’s going to last through the middle of this year,” Mr. Alexander said in a 2007 interview on PBS.
Those top bank executives should be thanking their lucky stars they have a job. Instead they are whining about not getting an audience with the Treasury. The real story, however, is the continued appointment of incompetent fools in the Treasury department.
It takes talent to screw up so badly. Not anyone could do it.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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