Monday, November 24, 2008
Let Us Count The Days Together
This week the Obama administration is announcing several of the positions as “secretary of “ as part of their economic team. On Friday, word was leaked as to who the Secretary of the Treasury would be and the stock market reacted in a very positive way by running up some four hundred plus points before the closing bell. But, can a Secretary of the Treasury make such a positive impact? The answer is yes and no. Let me try to explain.
I remember reading an interview in FORTUNE magazine back in the late 1970’s between one of the writer’s for the magazine and the former Secretary of the Treasury in the Carter administration W. Michael Blumenthal. One of the things I remember from that interview was that the Secretary can only appoint about five or six people to key positions as the rest of the positions were civil service. The problem for Blumenthal was that the Carter administration left him out to dry on several occasions. For example, he would be giving a speech about Treasury policy and other members of the Carter administration in the White House would be saying the opposite thing. This under cut Secretary Blumenthal’s position within the Treasury Department and led to his eventual resignation.
W. Michael Blumenthal was well qualified for the position with a doctorate in economics and having run several large corporations. Unfortunately, President Carter and his gang from Georgia did not understand money, markets or how they worked. For someone who was a peanut farmer and dealing with a commodity, I thought Carter would have had a better understanding of money and markets. It is my opinion that President Carter was an idiot when it came to money and markets and economic policy. President George W. Bush has given Carter a good run for taking over the position as this country’s biggest economic idiot while in the White House.
President-elect Obama and his White House staff, I hope, will remember how important it is for everyone to be on the same page. Letting the Secretary of the Treasury appear to be not plugged into the White House will under cut that person’s effectiveness among the career troops in his department.
I do not think there are very many people who would not want President-elect Obama to take over the government right now. President Bush and his administration have little if anything to offer at this point except to continue talking about too much regulation. The idiots that think it was too much regulation that got us in the present financial crisis which has lead us to the present economic crisis can not, in my opinion, be educated. They have married themselves to an ideology and they are going to stick with it even if it brings this country’s economy to the brink.
January 20, 2009 can not come fast enough for the United States of America, and for that matter the rest of the world. Believe it or not, we still are the economic engine pulling the world’s economic train. Let us count the days together.